As The Worm Turns

I have been wanting to discuss an idea in depth and have started writing about it several times, and I keep getting side tracked.  So I decided that I would just talk about the side tracks for a while.  The idea that I want to discuss is the fact that in 2012, science does not have a good answer to the question: “What is the ideal environment for human health?”  I find it both fascinating and outrageous that this is the case.

Researching this subject keeps opening doors to related topics that I spend way too much time reading about and consequently no time writing.  For example, hookworms.  Yes, I said hookworms.

Crohn’s Disease is a horrible ailment that is often confused with IBS, but it is not IBS.  Crohn’s is what IBS sufferers are grateful they don’t have.  Crohn’s means ulcers at any location in the digestive track, and occasional lengthy hospital stays, and it is progressive.

Well a few years ago, a gastroenterologist named Joel Weinstock was studying Crohn’s disease and trying to answer the question as to why Crohn’s is almost nonexistent in some third world countries but it is common in the developed world.  He proposed a theory that good hygiene was the cause.  He knew that only recently have we, as a society rid ourselves of intestinal parasites like hookworm or whipworm (known collectively as helminths).  What if we evolved a symbiotic relationship with these animals?  What if their presence actually helps our immune system to work optimally?

And so they tested patients with Crohn’s by giving them hookworm, and miraculous cure testimonials soon followed.  A new branch of medicine was born known as helminthic therapy, and now people all over the world are going to ridiculous lengths to infect themselves with helminths.  They are buying black market nematodes or going to shady Mexican helminthic therapy clinics.  The web is full of fascinating stories on this topic, and now helminthic therapy has been reported to relieve not just Crohn’s disease but ulcerative colitis, IBS, multiple sclerosis, asthma, eczema, dermatitis, hay fever, and food allergies.

I encourage you to do some web surfing on this topic.  The discussions are fascinating.  But before you go spending $2,500 on some prime Mexican whipworm eggs, might I remind you that these parasites are common in less developed countries because they are very easy to get.  Based on my reading, I would suggest a trip to the dog park over a Mexican clinic.  I think if you walk around barefoot for a while, then rub your hands all over your feet, and then eat a sandwich, you are probably pretty likely to be getting some helminthic therapy.  Let me know how that works for you.

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