Tag Archives: anemia

Day 10. FAQ.

Hi guys. I have not yet succumbed to the “worm flu” but I have been feeling a little off, especially this evening. Nothing too crazy. Just dealing with the same out of control skin flare-up, some mild joint pain, tingling in my hands/wrists, occasional mild dizziness, and fatigue. Apart from being maddeningly itchy, the rest is pretty easy to deal with. I will survive!

Today, I’m going to answer a few questions that I’ve been asked as well as list a few other frequently asked questions (Mom, that’s what FAQ means!) and answers. I encourage more questions! Keep them coming.

Questions From Friends

Jnettie asks, Q“What are these worms living on in your body? (Basically, are you about to become super model thin?)”

A: Jnettie, you of ALL people will love this answer. Basically, the worms are vampires. They will be feasting on my blood. They are not yet, at this point in the timeline, feasting on me. Right now they are still maturing. Once mature, they will attach to the mucosa of my small intestine and basically feed on my blood with those very sharp teeth of theirs. This is why anemia is a side effect of helminth infection “in the wild”. When a person becomes infected with hookworm “in the wild” they can be infected with hundreds of worms at once. This, for obvious reasons, can make the host very ill. It is also known that hookworm secrete a powerful blood thinner which can obviously contribute to the above issue. When undergoing helminthic therapy, you are taking what’s called a ‘therapeutic dose’ of helminths, small enough to be benign and not typically cause such adverse effects.

Peppermint Patti asks, Q: “How do those worms NOT multiply all up in you?”

A: PP, it’s impossible. They cannot reproduce inside a host organism. It goes a little something like this: the adult helminth lives inside the host intestine, producing eggs, which are then shed with the host’s feces. The eggs typically become infective or hatch into larvae while in the soil. The eggs need to be in an ideal environment with the proper amount of time, usually about 8 days, to hatch. The larvae can survive in water for around a month or so. When in soil, they have been found to be able to migrate around a foot each day for up to 6 days — this is one of the reasons why outhouses were designed with 6 foot holes. Supposedly, they can only migrate 1 foot per day. The larvae can’t reach the surface of the holes if they’re 6 foot deep because they will die first. And as you know, we have modern sanitation in this country and our waste is treated. You won’t ever get worms from me. In a nutshell, I took a dose of 35 hookworms. 35 hookworms is the maximum amount I have until I inoculate a second time.

Typical FAQs in “the literature”

Q“Are helminths easy to eliminate?”

A. Yes. Very. You can take a single dose of an anti-helminthic drug called albendazole or a 3-day course of mebendazole via a prescription from your doctor. See the diagram below. Notice how there is no suggested treatment for a light infection. Anyone undergoing helminthic therapy would be considered having a light infection.

CDC treatment diagram. notice "light infection" -- that'd be me.
CDC treatment diagram. notice “light infection” — that’d be me.

Q“Can you accidentally kill your helminths?”

A. Yes. Not many things kill helminths but it is possible. Nitrous oxide is pretty well-known in the helminthic therapy world as something to avoid. Helminths are extremely sensitive to it. So, I must stay away from Redi-Whip *sad face*, Easy Cheese *double sad face*, and Whip Its *triple sad face*!  I am advised to try to avoid antibiotics and anesthetics as well as they may interfere with the efficacy of helminthic therapy. If I accidentally kill my pets, my provider will supply a supplemental dose for a fee.

Q: “How long does helminthic therapy take to work?”

A. The answer to this is unknown. The length of time is different for each and every case. It’s dependent upon your specific disorder, genetic makeup, disease history, medications taken, and so on. Typically, if you are going to benefit from helminthic therapy, you begin to see signs of improvement between 3 and 6 months after beginning treatment. Although improvements can be seen as early as 7-9 weeks, 4-5 months is more common and 9 or more months is part of the normal range. Subtle changes in the immune system will usually be ongoing for several months or even years. The full effects of helminthic therapy are typically achieved after a year of more of hosting helminths and in some cases up to 2 years.