Crohns and colitis patient bounces back to health with hookworms and fecal transplants
I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis aged 12, and managed the condition until more inflammation developed in later years, causing joint flairs and iritis, along with food and chemical intolerances, eczema and hay fever.
Life became progressively more of a struggle, and in 2018, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and immediately told that, if I didn’t begin drugs, I would have bowel cancer in 3 years.
The roller coaster of drugs began. Severe diarrhea set in, followed by fatigue, depression and weight loss. I went down to 44 kilos, losing 9 kilos from my already small frame.
Then, in May 2019, I was introduced to helminthic therapy and began with 5 NA, while continuing to take the drugs - Budesonide, and, from February 2019, Entivio. But, still the diarrhea continued and became more prominent after each infusion of the drug.
The ‘bounces’ that followed each inoculation with worms were something to look forward to and my appearance began to change for the better. I slowly began to regain some weight, developed a healthy glow, and optimism became my new way of being.
In February 2020, I was still having gut issues and began to take a low dose of TSO - 250 ova every couple of weeks. While this seemed to be the most I could tolerance, it caused further, amazing ‘bounces’ on top of those I got from each inoculation with NA.
By April 2020 I could no longer tolerate the drugs, and it became clear it was time to take the plunge into full-time worm therapy. I had gained enough weight, my energy levels were good and I felt I was strong enough to deal with the shift.
The adjustment period took several months, but I now have clear, glowing skin, and my thick curly hair stopped falling out and began to regrow in abundance. The iritis and joint flairs disappeared and have never returned since beginning helminthic therapy.
However, I was still experiencing gut issues and unable to increase my hookworm colony so, in December 2020, I started fecal microbiota transplants (FMT) and had 10 in over 2 months.
An immediate positive response from the FMT told me I was on the right track. The frequency of my bathroom visits decreased, and my stools were more often normal than they had been.
My levels of energy and vitality are now predominantly more stable, and, while there are still some dips along the way, my lows no longer get in the way of living, and I’m loving my life again.
I’m now practicing yoga 4 or 5 times a week, go to the gym twice a week for weight training, and walk every day with my 2 dogs. I grow my own vegetables, enjoy time with family and friends, and have been able to get back all my creative hobbies.
Regaining tolerance to foods has been slow, but I’m now pain-free and eternally grateful to have had the courage to start this journey. And, although I’m not taking any drugs, I haven’t developed bowel cancer, as the doctors predicted I would.
I plan to continue with FMTs, and work on maintaining my hookworm colony. I’ve already begun to increase the doses of TSO, which I take about every 10-12 days.
By Vicky Garfield, March 2021.