ZocdocAnswersDo I have a tapeworm?

Question

Do I have a tapeworm?

I eat like six or seven times a day but still feel hungry. Is something wrong with my metabolism? Could I have a tapeworm? Why am I hungry all the time?!?

Answer

Most of the time, feelings of hunger like this are just part of your personal, unique variant. In other words, many people are more hungry than others, and this probably has something to do with variations in the basal metabolic rate. For this reasons, it is common to hear that some people have a 'fast metabolism.' It is very unlikely that you have a tapeworm. Tapeworms are very uncommon in the United States, and they also do not typically cause significant symptoms, such as hunger, in healthy adults even when they are present. There are some medical problems that can lead to a feeling of excessive hunger. Therefore, if the symptoms continue, I would recommend that you at least get a basic check up from your primary care doctor. Some of the most common problems that can lead to excessive hunger include an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) and diabetes. When you go to see your doctor, make sure to tell them if you have other important symptoms, such as weight loss, blurry vision, excessive urination, heart palpitations, excessive sweating, or changes in your skin or hair. These symptoms will help your doctor decide whether or not there is a problem and whether additional testing is needed.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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