Anyone consider or try hookworms?

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qazwsx12
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 6/17/2009 12:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Seems like an interesting concept. The worms are thought to somehow numb the bodie's immune response so they're able to reside in the intestines, but this could also help UC/Crohns. If there aren't any real side effects to being infested with hookworms, I'd probably do it just to try it. I wonder how hard it is to obtain eggs, like online maybe? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3287733.stm

PrednisoneJunkie
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 6/17/2009 7:14 AM (GMT -6)   
You laugh, but it says the woman in this study went into remission. Maybe instead of actually infesting you with hookworms, they could discover the substance that is being secreted by the worm and synthesize it into a pill.
27 / Male
UC Diagnosis May 2003
Survived 9 flares
Used prednisone, asacol 9/day
Alternatives: have successfully tamed 1 flare without prednisone
Diet: paleolithic (but I often cheat), non-smoker, non-drinker
Other problems: Childhood asthma


seconder
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 6/17/2009 7:56 AM (GMT -6)   
The science is sound and, if I'm not mistaken, the idea is to eventually synthesize the substance created by the helminths.
 
I decided I had nothing to lose by giving it a whirl, and I'm currently waiting for a shipment of human whipworms. . . .  I plan to post as I go.

Probiotic
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 6/17/2009 8:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Good for you, Seconder. I have used pig whipworm eggs- TSO - with some success for my UC but it is simply too expensive for me, and simply dampened my UC somewhat without giving me a full remission. I tried hookworm therapy from autoimmunetherapies but although I know of several people with Crohn's who benefited, it doesn;t seem to work well for UC and in my case actually flared me a bit, and I eventually killed them off intentionally. I am planning to begin the human whipworm soon however.
Pancolitis >20 years, allergic to all 5ASAs
(To pharma: enough already with the umpteen variants of Asacol!)
Tried everything under the sun (natural and alternative)
Some partial success with TSO but was too expensive to keep up 
Remicade Humira, lots of probiotics, entocort, tapering increasing pred again,
maybe surgery this year soon
 
 


notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16724
   Posted 6/17/2009 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I hope it works out for you guys. I have never heard of such a thing but I find it fascinating.
Diagnosed with mild proctitis in March 2007: Treated with Canasa (as needed)
December 08: Began treating with Asacol 400mg (9/day) + Canasa 2x/day - Anemic
May 09: Off Canasa, taking Asacol (9/day)
Back on Canasa every other night + Asacol (9/day) + Probiotics + Iron
Reducing to 6 Asacol/day + Canasa + Probiotics + Iron - So far so good!!! -SPOKE TOO SOON! Back to 9/day...


mjw82704
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 6/17/2009 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow please post I can't to hear how everyone trying this does. This maybe my next venture as well.
Female, Left-sided colitis diagnosed at age 28 in 2001
Remicade stopped a major flare for me I am now off all meds except the remicade.


mjw82704
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 6/17/2009 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Seconder,
Where did you order the whipworms from? Why not hookworms? Just curious I am now considering it.

Thanks
Female, Left-sided colitis diagnosed at age 28 in 2001
Remicade stopped a major flare for me I am now off all meds except the remicade.


PrednisoneJunkie
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 6/17/2009 10:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I found a related article concerning UC on the same website.
 
This one is about actual research being done with probiotics as treatment.  They don't name the specific probiotic they are using for "commercial reasons" but I aim to find out.  Nice to see it being taken seriously as a treatment, and worms... ew!
27 / Male
UC Diagnosis May 2003
Survived 9 flares
Have successfully tamed 1 flare without prednisone
Asacol 9/day
Supplements: probiotics lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium infantis, Omega-3 fish oil 6g
Diet: paleolithic (but I often cheat), non-smoker, non-drinker
Other problems: Childhood asthma


seconder
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 6/17/2009 11:38 AM (GMT -6)   
mjw82704 said...
Seconder,
Where did you order the whipworms from? Why not hookworms? Just curious I am now considering it.

Thanks

 
I'll be getting the whipworm from Autoimmune Therapies.  From what I understand, hookworms didn't provide a great response in uc, as probiotic points out.  The use of human whipworm is based on research that shows porcine whipworm is effective in uc and postulates that human whipworm will be just as effective or better.  There are a few small observational papers that suggest this will be the case.

imagine
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 6/17/2009 11:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I think I would do surgery before I put worms in me. I have a tremendous fear of parasites. *shiver* But good luck anyways!
Diagnosed 2002(?) Indeterminate colitis (recently called Chrons)
Currently on: alternating doses of 6mp, 8 Asacol, weekly Humira, & 1000mg Canasa nightly
Also: generic Immodium and Levbid
 
Refusing to take pred and humira...(doing a diet/food diary change)
 


seconder
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 6/17/2009 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I was ready for surgery myself, and was planning for a window of time I had in May.  At the last minute, my GI threw a monkey wrench into the deal and said he would absolutely not recommend surgery until I had tried Remicade. 
 
So much for that!
 
Since I now have a year to figure out what to how to control the uc, I'll try the whipworm.  I'm hoping it works for no other reason than to send a nice little note to my now former GI.

Probiotic
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 6/17/2009 12:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I am with you, seconder. Worms are 100% reversible (a pill or two kills them within 48 hours), while surgery is 100% IRreversible. I have had very so-so results with biologic drugs, and they have been around for only 10 years or so and we only have data on at best tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Human varieties of hookworm and whipworm have evolved with humans for millions (hundreds of millions if you want to go back to the first fish and shrews) of years and today infect BILLIONS of people, mostly with no adverse symptoms at all. Adverse effects are associated mostly with high loads of parasites, not the very light loads used in helminth/auto-immune disease research and therapy. As for ick factor, the TSO involved nothing more than taking a tiny vial of odorless and tasteless liquid, mixing it into a glass of water, and drinking it, once every two weeks (they dissipate rapidly if not replenished, unlike hookworm and human whipworm which colonize for a few years). The hookworm involved nothing more than putting a bandaid on my bicep for a few hours. Surgery involves hacking through your abdominal muscles, with 4-9 hours of massive, bloody amputation of a huge organ and a few years to stabilize fully, and then would increase my average rate of poohing from about 2 per day to up to 12 a day and possibly make me immodium-dependent (a drug I rarely ever take now).  I fully expect I will end up having to get the surgery given my luck to date, but I sure want to exhaust all possibilities especially those that are non-toxic. My biggest concern is that a colonoscopy will harm them, but I am hoping the critters will survive. But I plan to delay my next scope an extra few months to allow them to mature to adulthood.  Of course, ick factor doesn't affect me anyway- next week I am pumping my girlfriend's feces up my rearend for 5 or 6 days to see if Human Probiotic Infusions do the trick.  Compared to that, there is no ick factor in worms.  But compared to UC, there is no ick factor in HPI either.  And as for fear of parasites- did you know that bacteria cells in our bodies outnumber other cells in our bodies many fold?   A "healthy" human colon, not just a UC colon, is loaded with tons of fermenting bacterial sludge 24 hours a day- much of it is what helps us stay alive.


Pancolitis >20 years, allergic to all 5ASAs
(To pharma: enough already with the umpteen variants of Asacol!)
Tried everything under the sun (natural and alternative)
Some partial success with TSO but was too expensive to keep up 
Remicade Humira, lots of probiotics, entocort, tapering increasing pred again,
maybe surgery this year soon
 
 

Post Edited (Probiotic) : 6/17/2009 11:35:55 AM (GMT-6)


Malkavian
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1439
   Posted 6/17/2009 5:44 PM (GMT -6)   
The idea is that UC and Crohn's are much more common in developed countries than in third-world countries due to lack of parasites. The immune system, having evolved in a parallel manner to gut parasites, is pretty much tuned to attack them. In clean areas where there are no parasites, the immune system gets wonky and attacks the guts (hmm, no parasites? let's attack EVERYTHING). You add parasites to someone with IBD, they will be targeted instead of the immune system. We learned a bit about it in a parasite ecology class i was in.

That being said, I would go with TSA (Trichuris suis ova, or pig whipworm) rather than human hookworms. Hookworms cause a small about of blood loss, and though it's only a mL or two per day per worm, with someone who is losing a lot of blood already it can add up. However, you do have to take hookworm less often than whipworm (since they're adapted for pigs, they end up dying off every few weeks whereas hookworms can live for about five years).

And probiotic-last figure I heard we have about 3 pounds of bacteria in and on our bodies. =D
21, female, diagnosed 3/6/2009
Mild ulcerative colitis from rectum to mid transverse colon
Currently in remission
Currently taking Asacol (3x/day) and Calcium/D supplements


Dr-A
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 6/17/2009 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Really interesting. I am always up for something new, so I'll definately keep up on this.
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
Golimumab study (100mg every 4 weeks)
L-Glutamine 5000 mg + 600 mg pyridoxal alpha-ketoglutarate
Probiotis/VitD3 5000IU+Ca/1000mg DHA

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