Helminthic therapy FAQ

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If you are new to helminthic therapyThe reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected benign intestinal worms in the form of larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome in order to treat or prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy., it's best to start by reading the 'Introduction to helminthic therapyThe reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected benign intestinal worms in the form of larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome in order to treat or prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy.'. While this is not set out in the FAQ format, it is the most comprehensive and up-to-date guide available to everything you need to know in order to understand and get started with this therapy. Its contents form a foundation to the rest of the material on this site and include details about the special types of helminth which are used in therapy and the companies that provide them. Reading this document carefully, and in full, will help to prevent you wasting time and money and possibly not getting the best from the therapy, if you were to try it.


FAQs

Is helminthic therapyThe reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected benign intestinal worms in the form of larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome in order to treat or prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. safe?

Yes, it is very safe, as can be seen from the details on the following page.

Why is helminthic therapyThe reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected benign intestinal worms in the form of larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome in order to treat or prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. necessary?

Helminthic therapyThe reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected benign intestinal worms in the form of larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome in order to treat or prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. has only become necessary because we humans have adopted many practices that interrupt the life cycles of helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] (e.g., wearing shoes and using toilets) which our forebears had previously hosted for millions of years.

HelminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] are now considered to be “heirloom” species that have coexisted and co-evolved with humans to the extent that we are now incomplete without them and depend on their presence for the optimal functioning of our immune systems. These mutualisticMutualism is a type of symbiotic relationship between individuals of different species where each organism benefits from the other. organisms train the developing immune system in infancy and continue to regulate immune function throughout life for as long as they remain with us. Helminthic therapyThe reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected benign intestinal worms in the form of larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome in order to treat or prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. is therefore not like a drug treatment, but more a form of replacement therapy - putting back something that we need.

Although some people with particular genetic profiles don’t develop autoimmune diseases or allergies as a result of being helminth deficient, there is evidence that even they are more susceptible to degenerative diseases because they lack the very efficient inflammation control that helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] provide.

What are the benefits of hosting helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths]?

Helminthic therapyThe reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected benign intestinal worms in the form of larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome in order to treat or prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. modulates (normalises) the function of the immune system. This controls inflammation and reduces autoimmunity and allergies. To see how these effects are achieved, go to the following page.

What conditions have been helped by helminthic therapyThe reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected benign intestinal worms in the form of larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome in order to treat or prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy.?

Conditions with the largest number of reported successes are Crohn’s disease, allergy, food intolerance and ulcerative colitisUlcerative colitis (Colitis ulcerosa, UC) is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which specifically affects the large intestine, or colon, causing characteristic ulcers, or open sores. The main symptom of active disease is constant diarrhea mixed with blood, of gradual onset..
Other conditions with a high number of reports of success include multiple sclerosis (MSMultiple sclerosis (also known as disseminated sclerosis) is a chronic, typically progressive disease involving damage to the sheaths of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, whose symptoms may include numbness, impairment of speech and of muscular coordination, blurred vision and severe fatigue.), eczema, irritable bowel syndrome (IBSIrritable bowel syndrome is a widespread condition involving recurrent abdominal pain and diarrhoea or constipation. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irritable_Bowel_Syndrome Wikipedia:Irritable_Bowel_Syndrome]), asthma, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCSMultiple Chemical Sensitivity is a chronic physical illness affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. It involves allergic-type reactions to very low levels of chemicals in everyday products and often also sensitivity to food, medicines, moulds and electromagnetic fields. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1241652/ A review of a two-phase population study of multiple chemical sensitivities]), food allergy, anxiety, depression, autism, migraine and Sjogren’s syndrome.
In all, more than 100 conditions have been reported to have been successfully remediated by helminthic therapyThe reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected benign intestinal worms in the form of larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome in order to treat or prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy.. These are all listed on the following page along with thumbnail comments by the patients or their parents, and with links to their full reports.

How long does it take to see benefits?

Helminthic therapyThe reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected benign intestinal worms in the form of larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome in order to treat or prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. is typically very slow to deliver benefits when compared with drugs. For the majority who do respond, consistent improvements do not usually materialise until at least 3 months after their first inoculationThe introduction of an infectious agent into an organism. [http://helminthictherapywiki.org/wiki/index.php/Helminth_inoculation Helminth inoculation], with most people only seeing improvement in their condition between 3 and 5 months. Some may only start to improve between 6 and 12 months and a few may even have to wait for as long as 18-24 months.

Once improvements do begin, some people can experience a sudden and dramatic reduction in symptoms while others may respond more gradually over a period of time, possibly three years or more. Improvements during the first 2 years are not always continuous because there can be periods of exacerbation during which symptoms may worsen again, albeit temporarily.

Helminthic therapyThe reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected benign intestinal worms in the form of larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome in order to treat or prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. is not a one-size-fits-all solution, nor a one dose fix. Dosing needs to be tailored to the unique needs of each individual, and continued indefinitely in the vast majority of cases.

Which worm species are used in helminthic therapyThe reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected benign intestinal worms in the form of larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome in order to treat or prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy.?

Four species of benign helminth have been domesticated for therapeutic use.

How are helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] administered?

Three species (TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis, TTOthe ova (eggs) of the human whipworm, Trichuris trichiura and HDCthe cysticercoids (larval cysts) of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta) are taken orally in a drink. NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus is introduced percutaneously (via the skin). More details on the following page.

Where, and how long do helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] live?

NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus and HDCthe cysticercoids (larval cysts) of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta live in the small intestine. The whipwormsA helminth with a tapering whiplike body that lives in the colon. In helminthic therapy, the microscopic eggs of either the human Trichuris trichiura (TTO) or pig Trichuris suis (TSO) are taken in a drink. (TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis and TTOthe ova (eggs) of the human whipworm, Trichuris trichiura) live in the large intestine.

NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus are reported to survive in humans for 3-10 years [1] but to be capable of living for up to 15 years, [2] and possibly even 18 years.[3] However, the experience of hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. self-treaters suggests that they typically only survive for approximately 1-3 years, and sometimes for only a few months, depending on the strength of the individual host’s immune response. For more, see: Hookworm dosing and response.

TTthe human whipworm, Trichuris trichiura can survive in humans for more than 2 years, but may die in under a year.

TSOthe ova (eggs) of the porcine (pig) whipworm, Trichuris suis and HDCthe cysticercoids (larval cysts) of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta only survive in humans for 2-3 weeks, and a few people may need to re-dose every week with HDCthe cysticercoids (larval cysts) of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta, suggesting an even shorter lifespan for this species in some hosts.

More details on the following pages.

What symptoms are experienced by people who inoculate with helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths]?

See the following page.

What products and medications can harm a worm population?

See the following page.

FAQs produced by the helminth providers

The following "Frequently Asked Questions" pages on the websites of the commercial helminth providers are an additional source of answers to questions about the therapy.

  • Wormswell FAQ (NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus)
  • Symmbio FAQ (NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus)
  • Autoimmune Therapies FAQ (PDF) (NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus and TTOthe ova (eggs) of the human whipworm, Trichuris trichiura)
  • Biome Restoration FAQ (HDCthe cysticercoids (larval cysts) of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta)
  • Worm Therapy FAQ (NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus and HDCthe cysticercoids (larval cysts) of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta)
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