So this is my first blog entry, but I’m starting this blog right as I am about to begin treatment with helminthic therapy, the two words that most likely brought you here in some way. My journey really began more than a year ago, when I read a New York Times article; “Babies Know: A Little Dirt is Good for You,”
which was my first exposure to the idea of the hygiene hypothesis and the first time I had heard of helminthic therapy. As someone with one of the autoimmune diseases mentioned, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, I was intrigued. Like so many others with these kinds of autoimmune diseases, drugs offer help, and at best long-term maintenance, but a future of surgery, possible colon cancer, and more extreme drug therapy always looked so damn bleak to me. Not to mention I simply was not satisfied with the lack of explanation or understanding for why autoimmune diseases like IBD occurred in the first place.
Long story short: After reading the article, I spent the rest of my night, well until 3 or 4:00 AM, googling the hell out of “helminthic therapy,” to put it plainly. The Wikipedia pages on hygiene hypothesis and helminthic therapy were of huge help, and provided a good sources to begin with. Even that first night, in my google frenzy, I stumbled across the infamous Jasper Lawrence and his incredible story. I first read his account on Kuro5hin:
but would later see it reproduced in brief in many newspaper articles and even TV news programs. I’m sure we’ll see a Hollywood movie based on his experience someday.
In any case, fast-forward to this present, and after a year of reading many news media stories, following the yahoo helminthictherapy group’s message board, reading blog posts and daily “helminthic therapy” google alerts, even reading research journal articles and many abstracts, I’ve finally decided to “take the plunge” and begin therapy. I’ve weighed the pros and cons a thousand times, and it simply makes too much sense. That’s the scary thing about this therapy actually, IF it works (and it appears it is for those who are actively trying it), then this therapy is part of a larger paradigm shift in medicine, “treatment,” and even how we think about ecology and the human body.
So, this blog exists because I want to provide another account of someone using helminthic therapy in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. In fact, there are just a couple blogs out there from people using this therapy, and they were extremely helpful for me in “normalizing” the idea of using helminthes to treat disease (especially the excellent blog waitingforthecure.com) Please see the blog roll for a list of related blogs.
Additionally, of the helminthic therapy related blogs I read, I haven’t found one that focuses on the use of human whipworm (Trichuris trichuria, or TTO) to treat Ulcerative Colitis, specifically. Since that’s the therapy I’m about to begin, my hope is that this blog will be useful for others with UC interested in whipworm therapy, and generally those interested in helminthic therapy.
So, I sit here, finalizing my plans, asking last minute questions to Jasper, Marc, and Michelle—the wonderful trio of Autoimmune Therapies, from whom I’ll be receiving my dose of helminths. Finally after a year of learning, of concerns, excitement, and even despair, I’ll be one more person to take the plunge into the great adventure that is the experimental (but extremely promising) therapy using helminthes to fix my out-a-whack immune system.
Stay tuned for more.