Archive for March, 2011

Colon comrades… AND friends!

Bombs away! Well, no ok. Helminths attack! Err, well, I guess I can’t really think of an exciting introduction other than to say that about a week and a  half ago, on March 17th, I added in a new cohort of whipworm, about 500 TTO, and 15 hookworm larvae. My little comrades I’m sure have been happy to receive their new friends, although I really hope there is no generational rivalry going on, especially since the new hip youngsters are moving in. I really don’t want to deal with the issues of gentrified colonic real estate.

Two days prior, I started on a 20 mg dose of prednisone in order to blunt any possible side effects, and more importantly, keep my immune system from damaging the incoming helminths. This seems to be a perfect recipe, for me at least, as I have had nearly zero side effects since inoculation. I did have the classic puritic rash, from the 15 hookworm, and although it does not itch at all anymore, is still visible on my arm. My bowels have been good, although I have had a day or two of slightly loose bowels, which is to be expected. I will stay on the prednisone for another 2 weeks, as I taper down, and then be done with the stuff, thankfully. Otherwise I’ve been feeling really well, and have been going to work/gym etc. with no problem.

I honestly don’t expect to see any great changes from adding in this new cohort–the plan has always been to add in more about half a year after I first started. I was seeing excellent results from just my first dose, so with this second, I hope to have staggered the population age, and hope to have continued success. The small dose of hookworm, for me, is really just to see if I can host both organisms in harmony, as my long-term goal for this therapy is to have around 25 or so hookworm, combined with around 1,500 TTO, which I think is a good balance for me and my symptoms, and will avoid any possible problems of having too large of a helminth burden. Many of the patients on combination therapy (both whipworm and hookworm) have seen excellent results, and it just makes sense, to me at least, to try to have a diverse ecology of the little ones. Add to that eating a good diet with fresh food (I’m getting a CSA – Community Supported Agriculture share this summer for local fresh veggies), getting lots of sunshine and exercise, and hopefully I can maintain a good immune system balance, and overall health.

I really don’t want to change the name of this blog, and probably won’t, but I can’t say anymore that I just have colon comrades, since I now host helminths in both my colon and small intestines.

*My huge thanks to AIT, and in particular Dr. Marc Dellerba for his insights and help, as always. I have had many a great conversations with him, and it really makes this whole therapy much easier to deal with.

My 15 new little hookworm friends!

Saying hello to my little friends, 500 whipworm ova, that is.

Hookworm larvae on the skin, felt periodically strong itch for about two hours.

Reinforcements are on their way.

In two weeks I’ll be getting a “top up” dose of some more comrades (whipworm). This is not, I repeat, not because I’ve seen a loss of efficacy, or because I’m feeling sick. Quite the opposite, I continue to have solid BMs and am feeling very well in the UC department. I’ve planned on getting a “top up” dose ever since the beginning, as all the experiential knowledge from AIT points to 1,500 TTO as just about the ideal amount for most people. I’ve only taken 1,000 TTO, and will add in another 500 TTO.

Most exciting for me, is that I’ll be adding in a small dose of hookworm as well, 15 larvae. I’m doing this for two reasons; aside from UC, I’ve long had other, less serious but still difficult autoimmune-related problems; specifically GERD, which has been bothering me for years, and Lichen Planus (probably related), which is inflammation of the inside of the mouth, and I frequently get lesions. I have even seen a slight (could be totally random and unrelated) increase in these non-UC symptoms since starting TTO therapy.

My experience with whipworm is that, at least with 1,000 TTO, I have not seen an effect on anything but my UC. Again, this is huge and wonderful, but I think it’s worth trying out a small dose of hookworm, as hookworm appear to have a more pronounced ‘systemic’ effect, while whipworm appear to have a more localized effect to the colon. Probably such a small dose, 15, will have little effect. So this is really just a test to see if I tolerate hookworm along with whipworm. If so, maybe a ways down the road, I’ll add in another 15 or so to get up to a therapeutic range.

Also, some patients who are using combination therapy; both hookworm and whipworm together, have seen very impressive results with both, so this is not too ‘experimental.’