Busy veterinarian has no time for pain

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    Sixteen months ago, my daughter, who was then 32, made the decision to start helminthic therapy.

    Tammy had shown symptoms of autoimmune disease since she was 15 years old, and assumed that it was rheumatoid arthritis. However, blood tests taken a number of times over the years had failed to reveal any rheumatoid factor.

    As the disease progressed, the level of pain and range of symptoms increased, to the point where her pain and dry mouth became unbearable.

    Sixteen months ago, a blood test taken just before starting helminthic therapy, showed that Tammy was producing ANA antibodies against her own body and there was also evidence of systemic inflammation. This combination is indicative of lupus.

    Her symptoms included: painful feet - plantar fasciitis and pain on the top of her feet as well - painful wrists, hands, knees and back muscles, burning feet and a very dry mouth. Based on this presentation, we assumed the condition was probably Sjogren’s / lupus, and decided to try helminthic therapy using the human hookworm, NA.

    Over the past 16 months Tammy has received 7 doses of NA, the first two being generously donated by a friend of a friend before I began incubating our own supply.

    • Dose 1: 31.08.21 - 3 NA larvae.
    • Dose 2: (13½ weeks later) 3.12.21 - 5 larvae.
    • Dose 3: (14 weeks later) 8.3.22 - 9 larvae.
    • Dose 4: (10 weeks later) 18.5.22 - 10 larvae.
    • Dose 5: (8 weeks later) 13.7.22 - 12 larvae.
    • Dose 6: (11½ weeks later) 30.9.22 - 10 larvae.
    • Dose 7: (13½ weeks later) 5.1.23 - 12 larvae.

    Tammy is a wife, a mum and a trained veterinarian, studying and working as an epidemiologist.

    She was skeptical about treatments that are not backed by peer reviewed, long-term double-blinded clinical trials, but knowing that there were many unanswered questions about the immune system, she was prepared to give HT a go. She is also very aware of the placebo effect, so decided to try to forget about the fact that she had deliberately inoculated herself with helminths, and just focus on her very busy life.

    Eleven weeks after her first inoculation, she told me that her symptoms had returned. This was a surprise because I had no idea that she had been symptom-free for some time - apparently from sometime after week 6!

    The timing of doses 3 to 7 were guided by the return of one or more symptoms. She had intended dose 7 to be a month earlier than it was, but days after both submitting her Master’s thesis and moving into their newly built home, her second daughter was born a month early. So she was a little distracted.

    Apart from the initial itchy rash, the only negative side effect worth mentioning to me was the development of dry eyes 4 days after the first inoculation. This symptom seemed to persist for another 3 weeks, after which it just seemed to resolve.

    Although symptoms returned sooner than expected before doses 4 and 5, she did not attribute this to the effect of her diet on the hookworms, even though she is fond of cooking with coconut cream and oil, which are known to adversely affect hookworms in some people.

    When symptom-free, she is pain free, and her mouth is about 90% perfect.

    Her conclusion is that helminthic therapy has been an effective treatment for her autoimmune symptoms, and what she is experiencing is not placebo effect.

    Her challenge now is to remember to top up her colony before the need to do so becomes apparent.

    From my perspective, I am so grateful that this therapy was an option, and I don’t hesitate to recommend it as a consideration to anyone experiencing autoimmune symptoms.

    January 2023