Helminthic therapy is the re-introduction of “old friends” or symbiotic worms for the management of chronic inflammation and immune dysregulation. All humans hosted various forms of helminths until improved hygiene and anti-helminthic therapies (deworming) practices increased about 150 years ago. Deworming eliminated many harmful worms, but it also eliminated worms that were a natural part of our microbiome and functioned to keep the immune system from overreacting. When the immune system overreacts, people experience increased allergies, autoimmune issues, and inflammation. Amazingly, researchers have found that communities who have not undergone deworming have no autoimmune disease or allergies! When members of these communities are dewormed, they start to develop these diseases.
This therapy is being studied worldwide, including at Duke University and Tufts Medical Center in the U.S. Conditions that have responded positively to helminthic therapy include celiac disease, psoriasis, asthma, allergy, atopy, type 1 and 2 diabetes, heart disease, rheumatic diseases, crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, autism, and psychiatric disorders.
What to Expect
In our consultation, I am able to help you decide if the addition of helminths to your microbiome would be a safe and effective therapy. Many people interested in this alternative therapy are looking to online resources where they may receive information that could cause harm. I am able to discuss with you the types of helminths available for treatment, dosing, and care for your “new friends.” We do not provide helminths, however we are able to direct you towards trusted suppliers.
How Does it Work?
Therapeutic helminths are delivered through microscopic eggs or larvae. Some species live in the intestines long term (but they do not reproduce!) while others spend a short amount of time in the body before passing through. In the intestines they create a symbiotic relationship with the immune system and train the immune system to have tolerance for substances that should not cause harm including allergens, food particles and body tissue in the cause of autoimmune diseases.