Day 25, update. Upward trending :) and do worms dream?
It’s been just about 25 days since I inoculated.
Side effects are non existent. Even the vague nausea that I was feeling a week or so ago, I cant even attribute to the little guys, because I was a bit anxious about “day 12/13” (when they molt & migrate) side effects, and we’ve had an unbelievable heat wave in New England, and I have no A/C, and its been above 90 F almost everyday.
I have to say, nothing but good news on the bowel front. I think my little comrades must be nicely settled in by now, and have been slowly working their “magic,” as I’ve had solid bowel movements every single day for the last 6 or 7 days. Only 1-2 bowel movements per day. The only time I’ve been able to have consistent solid bowel movements (with no mucus or other markers of inflammation) has been when I’ve gone on a full blown prednisone regimen for a month or so. While I have achieved periods of “remission” on my normal IBD drug, Colazal (a 5-ASA), I’ve still never been able to get solid stools for more than a day or so without prednisone, and have always had some trace of mucus. I’m not on prednisone at all, but still taking Colazal, but only 500mg, down from 750mg which has been my daily dose for 5+ years. This is all encouraging but I’m very wary of pulling a G Bush and throwing up a “Mission Accomplished” banner.
*An important note here. Most people with autoimmune diseases who are interested in helminthic therapy will most likely be using Necator americanus, or human hookworm, as their worm of choice, however as mentioned elsewhere, this blog is about Trichuris trichiura, or human whipworm, which is a (seemingly) better organism for specifically Ulcerative Colitis. In any case, not to beat to this distinction to death, but my reason for bringing this up again is to point out that the effects of human whipworm begin to be felt FAR sooner than with hookworm. With whipworm, as far as I have learned from research and speaking with others, the effects begin within weeks, while hookworm the effects begin within months, often taking up to three or six months. For some conditions, the ‘full effect’ from hookworm may even take up to a year. Patience, not something we are used to in the instant gratification world of pharmacological medicine, is a virtue here.
From my reading of a little parasitology online, human whipworm take about 30 days from inoculation to maturity. After day 30, I will begin to have a better idea of what I can expect from this therapy. After two months, I expect to have an even more solid idea.
So it goes.
Oh, and just in case some of you out there are curious if I can “feel” them (I know I was, even when told otherwise by smarter minds), my answer is no, not at all. I dont think about them nearly as much as I imagined either. In fact as time goes on, I mostly forget that I’ve “got worms.” Once, I did say goodnight and wish them sweet dreams, just because I’m a bit weird. What would a little bowel parasite dream of, anyhow? A never ending colon? A young and nicely curved female whipworm perhaps?