Hookworms for Crohn's???

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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/27/2009 8:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Some look to hookworms to reduce Crohn's symptoms
Some Crohn's disease patients are experimenting with the use of parasitic hookworms to ease their symptoms. Hookworms, which are not an FDA-approved treatment, secrete a chemical that distracts the immune system and reduces its response. "It's not a therapy that I can officially endorse or condone," one gastroenterologist said, adding, "But at the same time, there is a growing body of science that suggests that this makes some sense. It's not a crazy idea."
I'm not so sure that the hookworms cause the gut to stop attacking itself, so much as it gives the guts something real to attack.  In the case of autoimmune disorders, your body attacks its own healthy tissues, thinking that there's something wrong with them.  Apparenty, if you introduce a real problem, it will do what it's supposed to do and attack the problem. 
I guess the diarrhea can't be any worse than when you're having a Crohn's flare. 
Funny how modern medicine is finding old solutions to new problems.  They already use leeches to help reattach severed limbs and to reduce massive bruises, where there is too much blood under the skin.  And they use maggots to clean wounds that won't heal on their own or get badly infected (happens a lot to severe diabetics).  So perhaps hookworms are something that's going to be added to the arsenal. 
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