Jump to content

Helminthic Therapy


Recommended Posts

Helminthic therapy is treatment for autoimmune syndromes; MS, allergies, asthma, crohn's disease, etc. It is still somewhat experimental, but it has a good track record so far.

The treatment itself is radical-sounding - infestation with parasitic worms. The theory behind it is that our immune systems evolved to accomodate pereptual co-occupation by a foreign organism. Without that organism, the immune system is more likely to go haywire and attack itself. It seems like a logical corollary of the "hygeine hypothesis" of asthma - which says that Westerners get more asthma than third-worlders because our immune systems arn't preoccupied fighting off the germs and viruses found in nature.

If the theory is right, then it could be useful for someone whose dysautonomia is autoimmune in origin.

The downsides are that it is repulsive to even contemplate for many people (does not bother me), expensive (only provider I have found charges 3,000 $), and requires reinfection every 2 years, the upside is that you can't get a patent on hookworm and whipworm, so the treatment doesn't need FDA approval and you could get it right now if you wanted it.

There is an article about it here http://themoderatevoice.com/46921/hookworm...lergies-asthma/ Also, the wikipedia article is good.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, if it would "fix" me, you could dump me in a tank of leaches! I have heard of this working like a "hard reset" of the immune system. My fear is that the autonomic stuff would go haywire with the introduction of that kind of parasite. You'd have to be very sure that it was autoimmune in causation.

Actually, it's cheaper than that. Many of our Hollywood stars keep an internal pet to stay thin! There are several restaurants that serve steak tartar with tapeworm eggs stuffing...blehhhh!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ludicrous! Leeches are one thing...they are OUTSIDE the body and can do lots of good work.

But setting off critters inside? I don't think so...our "Automatic system" is way too off kilter to know the reaction.

How are they monitored and eliminated if they cause problems

I also know hookworms and the like can create HAVOC with deadly consequences in dogs and cats...and they have stronger digestive systems than we do.

And I thought that old Drinking urine therapy was weird. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can imagine if the immune system is expecting to always be doing *something*, it could end up being overzealous when there isn't an active invader ("idle hands" theory). Not too crazy a thought. I guess the treatments are simple and trustable enough that it is reasonably safe. Some things I guess you take a pill for a few days and then the thing makes a graceful exit. :)

There was a show on TV lately where this parasitologist guy goes and get's himself infected on purpose, I forgot the name... he ate some raw infected meats, swam in the Ganges, etc. The best scene was when he had to stop the tour bus, ran to the bushes, then came back with a hefty tape worm "specimen" rinsed with some bottled water! Lovely.

For those grossed by worms, perhaps this could be a future "nanotech" approach as well... assuming the theory has merit. One could consume a steady stream of otherwise harmless nano-critters to draw the immune system's ire.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually the research on this is quite sound - very sound in fact.

WHether it would help POTS is another question - it would have to be that your form of POTS is a result of autoimmunity and its still unclear in many cases.

Ive looked into it for Ankylosing Spondylitis as its been found to be quiet helpful.

the theory is something similar to sickle cell - a genetic adaption over time to lessen the impact of malaria in a population but that sometimes results in sickle cell related illness.

Similarly, one of the theories is that Crohns, RA, Ankylosing Spond and UC are all different manifestations of a genetic adaption to some kind of to certain helminths. Without these helminths the immune system - which is genetically primed to function with this helminth or against this helminth - becomes overactive when it isnt present.

The other argument is that these helminths secrete certain kinds of immuno suppressants that seem to work quiet well in some people for these disorders.

Id be interested if someone tried it - its relatively expensive although you can get one yourself by eating undercooked pork for a few weeks no doubt... LOL.

That being said, we dont know what is causing POTs and there isnt agreement on it so unless there is proof of an autoimmune basis its speculative.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Id do it in a second if I thought it was going to help. Our bodies function need certain bacteria to help us digest food - we are literally crawling with, swamped with and actually rely on for some bodily functions foreign organisms. I dont see this as any different. No to pork tapeworm though because it wanders (usually to the brain).

As for the comments on our ANS being out of whack. its still speculative that the primary cause of POTS is our ANS - a myriad of other mechanisms have been demonstrated to result in imbalances of the parasympathetic/sympathetic system - chronic inflammation, elevations of angiotensin II, may all play a part in some forms of POTS - where the ANS is normal but is subject to unusual demands or abnormal potentiations because of imbalances of other chemicals.

POTS seems to be a kind of reactive illness for many - where certain things trigger flares of the condition. Flares are not generally the hallmark of purely neurologically based illnesses - they are the hallmark of migraines and of autoimmune illnesses. POTS could be the primary result of this mechanism or a by product of the chronic inflammation it causes or possibly the methylation it forces on CpG rich gene promoters.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see...midodrine or worms, what do i want to try first? But, seriously, l'll respond in the same way that I did to the cannabis post. I think it's important to try the treatments commonly used for POTS symptoms. It can be exhausting to try them and they all are somewhat of a gamble, but they are much more likely to help than trying something new. I especially feel that way about treatments that are expensive and not covered by insurance. It's tempting to read about "inventive" cures for other conditions hope they will work for ours. We are also vulnerable to try things that might not be helpful for us.

I also think not enough is known about the relationship between dysautonomia and autoimmune conditions. I know some people have a confirmed diagnosis, and many others suspect autoimmune components. But that doesn't apply to everyone. I am pretty sure I don't have anything autoimmune going on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

>Id be interested if someone tried it - its relatively expensive although you can get one yourself by eating undercooked pork for a >few weeks no doubt... LOL.

Autoimmune Therapies mentions tapeworm in the FAQ on their website. They claim that tapeworms are a hazar to the health of thr host (among other things, apparently, they can rob you of 30 % of your calories). Hookworms and whipworms, on the other hand, are generally well-tolerated.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Let's see...midodrine or worms, what do i want to try first? But, seriously, l'll respond in the same way that I did to the cannabis post. I think it's important to try the treatments commonly used for POTS symptoms. It can be exhausting to try them and they all are somewhat of a gamble, but they are much more likely to help than trying something new. I especially feel that way about treatments that are expensive and not covered by insurance. It's tempting to read about "inventive" cures for other conditions hope they will work for ours. We are also vulnerable to try things that might not be helpful for us.

My post was talking about using them in general for auto immune disease and not specifically POTS. However the reason most of us are looking for treatments is precisely because the ones that are currently offered are based on more guesswork than science because they dont really understand the underlying causes of this condition.

This is why their clinical improvements are usually only partial.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

I am seriously considering trying helminthic therapy. This is an old thread, so I was wondering if anyone has had any experience since it was posted. Seems doubtful, but I thought I'd ask. If I decide to go for it I'll keep you updated on what happens.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

i'm doing helminthic therapy for dysautonomia, ulcerative colitis, and food allergies. you can read about it here:

http://gettinghealthiernow.wordpress.com/

specifically, i did 55 hookworm (necator americanus) and 500 whipworm (trichuris trichiura). low level infections don't make the host anemic, nor do the helminths mis-migrate or multiply. it is a very safe therapy that has been tested many times in clinical trials throughout the world.

i inoculated almost 17 weeks ago. so far it's controlling my IBD really well, and i have high hopes it will one day reduce my hyperadrenergic POTS symptoms.

Link to post
Share on other sites

if you think of helminthic therapy in the same way as probiotics, little bugs in your gut that were designed to be there, it makes a lot more sense. look up the "hygiene hypothesis" or the "old friends hypothesis" and you'll see what i mean. humans co-evolved with certain benign and beneficial organisms in their intestines, some which appear to modulate the immune system. take them out through some action like deworming, and suddenly you've got a world where everyone is becoming hyperallergic to foods, seasonal allergens, etc.

when i first started getting symptoms of POTS, i thought it was food allergies, because i'm already allergic to quite a few things. i had ulcerative colitis, asthma, and was running out of things i could eat. after some thorough research, including talking to a medical doctor who had conducted clinical trials using hookworm, i decided to try helminthic therapy.

i inoculated with 55 hookworm and 500 whipworm on april 25th, 2011. 16 weeks in, already i can tell a difference in my gut. i have had no colitis symptoms since. zero. i've also had periods of no POTS symptoms, too, although after a viral illness earlier this month, and a traumatic neck injury, some POTS symptoms have come back. i'm hoping once the helminths are giving me their longer term benefits, which could happen at any point now, i will experience a major reduction in all my allergic and inflammatory conditions.

for those who are squeamish, all i can say is i have a much harder time gulping down meds like imuran, 6-mp, prednisone, etc. than a few worms. i've been given all the most harsh medications over the last decade and in every case they weakened my immunity, ultimately making me sicker than when i first took them. this is the first time since my health started spiraling downward that i am feeling real improvements.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...