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Parasitic Worms may hold the answer to Allergy cures!

(13 Posts)
M2T Thu 04-Dec-03 11:41:00

Did anyone else see the program last night called Body Snatchers?? It was about parasites and the majority of it was pretty horrifying, but there was an interesting part at the end about Allergies.

Doctors are researching using certain types of Gut Worms to combat various Allergies and conditions caused by allergic reactions, such as Asthma!! YUK I hear you cry, but wait until you hear the reasoning behind it…..

The research has shown that in an area of Africa where children have not been treated for worms (can’t remember which type) there are practically NO allergies…. But a year after treatment these children have developed allergies to various things.

The theory is simple: It is well documented that in order for some parasites to survive in our gut they have to suppress out immune systems. This stops our body producing an immune response and attacking the parasite. An efficient parasite wants to live in perfect harmony with your body and it seems these worms have developed a way to do it. The worst problems these particular worms cause is Anaemia , but this only happens in 3rd world country where diet is poor and malnutrition is common. If someone in Britain with a perfectly healthy normal diet had these worms they would suffer no ill effects.

Is it a case that we have developed an interdependency with these worms??? This would explain the HUGE increase in the occurance of Allergies over the last 20 yrs as worm infections dramatically decrease.

A British man has infected himself with worms (wish I could remember the species!!) to backup his research and his Hay Fever has completely disappeared! An American Professor is also researching the possibility of using these worms to combat Auto-immune diseases, where the bodies own immune systems turns on itself. The woman used as a case study suffered for a bowel disease that was incurable. She would be running to the toilet with severe diahorrea 7 – 10 times a DAY! Even though she was on 16 tablets her white cells still attacked the gut wall and made them bleed. OUCH!

Every week now she swallows these microscopic parasitic worm eggs and since then has been able to lead a practically normal life. She has also had her medication halfed.

Very interesting and pretty logical when you think about it!! I’m sure there must be a website on it. Anybody know?

WSM Thu 04-Dec-03 11:51:16

I saw this, it was really interesting, DH spent the majority of the prog hiding behind his hands though, wuss !

The potential for using these worms as treatment is huge. Haven't got time to look for sites now, but the research shown last night seemed very credible to me.

Queenie Thu 04-Dec-03 12:27:57

The guy had taken hook worms and now no longer has hayfever - reckons he has about 300 in there now. I saw the programme last week and this week week and it is fascinating though stomach churning in parts.

M2T Thu 04-Dec-03 12:32:45

Thanks Queenie - that was it! He looked at his poo under a microscope every week to count the eggs..... weirdo..... but all in the name of science!
It does look incredibly exciting and promising though! I have suffered from various allergies all my life: Hay Fever, Asthma, Excema, Allergy to tomatoes and various food intolerances!!!!

I would DEFINITELY be up for a trial!! Wonder where I sign up.

salt Thu 04-Dec-03 12:35:52

I saw this and couldn't stop watching. I watched most of it with a glass of wine in one hand and the other clasped over my mouth but I thought it was incredible and indeed logical when you thought about it.

Rhubarb Thu 04-Dec-03 15:40:35

Did you watch it last week? Did you see that guy poo out his tapeworm? Way too much info there I think!!!! I have very bad hayfever and was discussing with dh last night whether or not I could handle hook worms if it cured my hayfever. After all, there's only the psychological barrier to overcome, but it's a big barrier!

WSM Thu 04-Dec-03 15:43:01

The one last week was really grim when they pulled that maggot out of the womans head

salt Thu 04-Dec-03 15:46:02

I didn't see last week but am looking forward to next weeks already... almost as addictive as wife swap.

I don't think I'd have a problem with having them in me (not that I have an allergies) but it would just be forcing myself to drink the liquid knowing the eggs were in it. I can feel my throat tightening up already!

samACon Thu 04-Dec-03 15:46:52

He said the worms the american lady had only grew to 2cm long, not really any worse than the kids getting threadworm and definitely better than her colitus (sp?).

Good program, but not to be watched whilst eating and I was so itchy afterwards I went and showered.

Blu Thu 04-Dec-03 16:07:54

The American woman was infected with whip worms.

Thought it was very interesting...and may explain why kids who live in the country have far fewer allergies, even hay fever, than townies, because of exposure to animal worms in the soil.

I think worms will need a re-branding before they become widely acceptable here...but look forward to hearing M2T's experiences!!!!!

What about the fact that 30% of us are affected by taxoplasmosis (?) and it can't be cured, and makes us take risks? THAT is freaking me out. How do we find out if we have it?

suedonim Thu 04-Dec-03 16:09:40

Eulalia posted a link about this recently. I saw the prog and wish the worm/colitis idea had been around for my friend's dd. She had her bowel removed and a colosotomy bag at the age of *12*, for g*d's sake. A few worms would have been a piece of wee-wee, compared to the mess her body is in now.

Those guinea worms were awful, pulling them out of their feet. It was obviously very painful and the victims were so brave, no anaesthetic at all.

Rhubarb Thu 04-Dec-03 16:10:00

Do a blood test I think. You're more at risk if you have a cat and like your steak undercooked. I like my steak to be charcoal and I've never had a cat so I think I'm ok!

Blu Thu 04-Dec-03 16:10:29

LOL at the 'too much info' last week. I am looking forward to the next series which is linked to how clean is your house..."How Clean is Your Bottom?"

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