whipworm

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Right now there is an explosion of articles on helmintherapy, because one single man had the courage to try worms independently, and do enough colonoscopies to prove efficacy.

For those of you new to this blog, I’ve had Crohn’s colitis for over 20 years, tried almost all the available western (and alternative) medications, and tried hookworms (necator americanus) in December of 2007 to reverse my severe ileal-colonic Crohn’s disease.  It worked!  I had many horrible side effects the first few months (see year 1 on this blog), but I also experienced gains I never had before, like the heighest weight ever (this is a good thing), clearer skin (this was an unexpected bonus) and the ability to eat foods I hadn’t tolerated in over a decade.  (Dark chocolate, my new love.) Read the rest of this entry »

Many articles came out today about the case study of a man with ulcerative colitis who used human whipworms  (trichuris trichiura) as therapy for UC, with colonoscopy samples to supply information on inflammatory pathways and mucus secretion in relation to these helminths:

http://www.livescience.com/health/worm-therapy-stimulates-gut-mucus-101201.html

http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/la-heb-worm-healing-20101201,0,2645483.story

http://discussions.latimes.com/20/lanews/la-heb-worm-healing-20101201/10

From Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=helminthic-therapy-mucus

For the Good of the Gut: Can Parasitic Worms Treat Autoimmune Diseases?

Helminths could suppress immune disorders by promoting healthy mucus production in the intestine

By Ferris Jabr December 1, 2010

human-whipworm-eggs PROPITIOUS PARASITE: Human whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) eggs from a patient who deliberately infected himself with parasitic worms to treat his ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. The worms may have sent his sent his disease into remission. Image: Kimberley Evason, UCSF Read the rest of this entry »

My slides:

http://openetherpad.org/deborawade-bter-slides

My talk:  (numbers in parentheses are the slides)
(1)My name is Debora Wade and I have had Crohn’s disease for over 20 years.  Since December of 2007 I have been experimenting with helmitherapy.  In other words, (2)I have approximately 15 of these hookworms living in my small intestine as I speak. Read the rest of this entry »

I found a few case studies highlighting the potential dangers of helminthic therapy.  These are probably rare, hence case studies, but I would like to be advised of the negative potential of any therapy I was considering before trying it.  I was also told once by a helminth immunologist that in the mouse model, those mice bred for high risk of colon cancer also infected with whipworms had a much higher rate of colon cancer than those uninfected.  He didn’t know if that translated into the human model, but felt that those of us experimenting with worms might want to have more frequent colonoscopies, just in case.  Some frightening information:

A case of granuloma of the ascending colon due to penetration of trichuris trichiura :  (and this wasn’t a heavy infection)
http://www.springerlink.com/content/f932x6x5n12327h6/

Colonic obstruction and perforation related to heavy Trichuris trichiura infestation : (not sure how many worms she harbored)
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=2768490

Suppurative anal cryptitis associated with/Trichuris trichiura :/
http://www.springerlink.com/content/8433626380461n8q/

Hookworm infestation masquerading as Crohn’s disease: diagnosis by double-balloon enteroscopy. :
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19209160

Granted, as someone writing WITH Crohn’s disease who has had bowel blockages in the past and surgery due to the stricturing that Crohn’s causes, and now is in remission with a small number of hookworms, almost symptom-free, I have to say, it’s worth the risk.

For TSO users, because of the horrible expense, I’ve thought of a potentially elegant solution.  Why not get and infect a pig?  In most city ordinances, pot-belly pigs are allowed, and were quite popular in the 80’s as pets.  I’m told they are intelligent, trainable animals that can live with dogs happily.  I used to live across the street from one, and it could be quite loud at times, but also was rather cute.

If one were to feed them a vial of trichuris suis, I imagine they would implant in the pig.  I don’t know the longevity of the pig whipworm, or the methods one would have to take in order to isolate the ova from the pig’s feces in order to avoid contamination and ingesting any fecal flora that one wouldn’t desire, but with a little research, I imagine it would be possible.  The pig whipworm was chosen since pig farmers have been exposed to this organism for a long time and were considered asymptomatic.  It could also be protective to people’s children, as contact with farm animals  is associated with a decrease in pediatric crohn’s disease.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/120/2/354#F1

I wonder if using cow or horse manure on vegetable crops would be protective?

If anyone experiments with this idea; gets a pig and isolates the pig whipworm, please share with us your methods.

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