Intestinal worms, like some types of bacteria, have gotten a bad rap in our hyper-sanitized modern life. But over the last fifty years, scientists have begun to question whether or not the vast eradication of these ancient friends has caused more long-term harm than good.
In today’s episode, we talk about the hygiene hypothesis and how some people today are trying to right the wrongs of their immune system by reintroducing certain worms into their bodies. Spoiler alert: I’m one of them! This practice is called helminth therapy, and no, it’s not at all sanctioned by the FDA. However, many desperate chronically ill patients have resorted to trying it and the stories include some incredible transformations.
One person who is at the forefront of helminth research and analyzing these self-administered helminth case studies is Dr. William Parker, who just so happens to be our guest for this conversation. Dr. Parker has studied biochemistry and immunology at Duke University since 1993. He is best known for the discovery of the function of the human appendix as a safe-house for bacteria. And his work on “biota alteration,” has led to many of the discoveries about intestinal worms’ role in human health. Dr. Parker has published more than 120 peer reviewed papers, including a number of widely acclaimed studies comparing the immune function of wild rats with that of their cleaner and more “Westernized” cousin, the laboratory rat.
If you have an autoimmune condition or are just curious about how worms can support (rather than hurt) our gut health, today’s episode is for you.
Next week we are off for the holiday – stay well, and I will see you in 2020!!
A quick taste of what we’ll cover:
- What conditions have seen positive outcomes with helminth therapy, and which should be avoided
- The different types of worms used and potential symptoms
- Risk factors and ways to mitigate them
- The best ways to apply hookworms
- My personal experience with using helminth therapy to lower my Hashimoto’s anti-bodies
- And so much more…
Resources, mentions and notes:
- Dr. Parker’s website and facebook page
- Episode 19: FMT (Stool Transplants) with Dr. Andrea McBeth
- Moises Valasquez-Manoff’s book an Epidemic of Absence
- The Hygiene Hypothesis
- Why We Need Worms
- Helminth and Joint Inflammation
- Whipworm and IBD
- Helminth Therapy WIKI
- Phoebe’s book, The Wellness Project, on her journey with Hashimoto’s
- Join the SIBO Made Simple Facebook Community Page
- Subscribe to receive a free low FODMAP cookbook
This episode is brought to you by 4 Weeks to Wellness, my online program for finding the sweet spot between health and hedonism. Need 4-weeks worth of easy low FODMAP recipes with a step-by-step meal plan laid out for you? You’ll receive a 20-recipe cookbook, complete with shopping lists, elimination diet guidance and reintroduction worksheets, in addition to the many other program resources like my symptom and activity tracker, lymphatic massage videos, doable desk stretches, and so much more. The 300+ people who have joined the tribe have reported clearer skin, calmer tummies, less bloat, tamer food cravings, and a general ease over their newfound habits. To find out more details about when the next session starts, click here. Use the code SIBOMADESIMPLE at checkout for $40 off!
Disclaimer: The information in this podcast does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, or treatment. The information discussed is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional care.
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