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Worms for Crohn's Disease
Worms for Crohn's Disease
Definitely not for the faint-hearted
Worms Relieve Symptoms of Bowel Disorder - Study
Mon Dec 13, 2004 07:14 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - It's not a treatment for the faint-hearted or squeamish but scientists said on Tuesday that worms could be a new treatment for a bowel disease.
In a small study, researchers at the University of Iowa in the United States found that parasitic worms, or helminths, relieved the symptoms of patients suffering from Crohn's disease which causes inflammation, abdominal pain and weight loss.
"This new therapy may offer a unique, safe and efficacious alternative for Crohn's disease management," Dr Robert Summers and his colleagues said in a study published in the journal Gut.
Parasitic worms, such as tapeworms, are not common in people living in developed countries where the rate of Crohn's disease is high. The illness is rare in nations where people carry parasitic worms.
The scientists tested the impact of a species of worm called Trichuris suis, which is commonly found in pigs, on 29 patients with Crohn's disease. The patients swallowed 2,500 live eggs concealed in a drink every three weeks for 24 weeks. By the end of the trial 23 of 29 patients said their symptoms had improved.
Summers and his colleagues said the response rate was 80 percent and the remission rate was 73 percent. Unlike tapeworms which could cause disease, the researchers said the worms they used in the study have a short lifespan which minimizes the risk of colonization.
Once the eggs hatch, the worms gather in the bowel and suppress the body's immune response which lessens the inflammation.
Although more research and larger studies are needed, Summers and his team believe the worms could be used either alone or combined with medication to treat patients with the illness.
helminths as therapy
I have read a lot about this. Many people have tried Ovamed and rave about the results, but moan about the cost. I think it is close to 20K per year (USD).
I have found this site, http://www.autoimmunetherapies.com but have not read any posts anywhere about whether their therapy works.
I would like to hear from someone who tries it before I go ahead.
Any advice, any experience?
Please let me know, my Crohn's sucks...
Last edited by FQ1513; 06-09-2007 at 02:40 PM.
Reason: misunderstood what a track back url is. Still don't. Want to provide link to site so people can let me know what they think.
Yum. Pretty gross, but sounds effective. I am not sure you can sell many people on this treatment however...
Can it get out of control and dangerous?
There are much simpler ways of treating bowel disorders, of course most of them center around diet, obviously. Also, supplementing your diet with digestive enzymes and probiotics can aid with this as well.
Best of luck if anyone decides to go with the worms! Ew!!!
Can they get out of control?
No, they do not proliferate within the host, they only reproduce by passing embryos in stool. It takes about ten days on the ground for the larvae to become infectious. So, if you live in a house with a flush toilet and shower more than once every ten days you are in good shape.
The study I read said that the remission rate for Crohn's was 76%, and that 80% saw improvement. This was in a population that were non-refractive to other therapies. Meaning, nothing else worked. So, pretty impressive results.
Still, does anyone have first-hand experience with this approach?