Neurocysticercosis is a horrifying disease caused by pork tapeworms. Its earliest recordings in history often led certain people to swear off the meat and contact with pigs. Many Jewish sects still will not eat pork of any kind, fearing this disease and avoiding it as part of their religious customs. What actually makes this disease so awful? Here is the awful truth about this disease, the nasty little parasites that cause it, and how to prevent it.
Burrowing Pork Worms
To get this disease, you have to consume pork infected with pork tapeworm eggs. Sadly, most pork has pork tapeworm eggs, something most consumers do not know. The difference between those that develop the disease and those who never develop it is not religious convictions or persuasions. It is undercooked pork, or touching pigs and not washing your hands.
The pigs carry these worms in their intestines most of the time. The worms and eggs travel out of the pig's body via the feces. The butchered pig is contaminated when the belly of the pig is sliced open. Yes, even the pigs can develop neurocysticercosis, which often leads to pigs behaving in very bizarre ways and developing seizure disorders. As the worms travel to the brain and burrow into brain tissue, they create dozens of hard little cyst-pockets that destroy brain cells and leave you less functional as a human being.
Dozens of Worms in Your Brain
Usually, one or two of these cysts in your brain is ugly enough. The uglier cases of this disease have dozens, or hundreds, of worm-cysts. You can feel it in your skull, and you cannot do anything about it. Neurosurgeons are willing to remove one or two here and there, but if your brain is crawling with tapeworm larvae, surgery is not a viable option. It is then that you have to be on special medications that will kill all of the worms in your brain, hopefully, early enough that you still have plenty of living brain tissue left.
How to Prevent It
Sadly, the best way to prevent it is to avoid eating pork. That means no bacon or sausage at breakfast, no ham sandwiches at lunch, no glazed ham for the holidays, and no pork ribs on the grill or pork chops for Sunday dinner. Pigs are completely off the menu. If you cannot go whole-hog on never eating pig, you will have to eat less of it, and make sure the meat is thoroughly well-cooked.
Contact a company like Neurosurgical Associates of San Antonio for more information and assistance.