Helminthic therapy and children

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    Helminthic therapy and children with autism

    See Helminthic therapy and autism.

    Helminthic therapy and children with other conditions

    I'm treating my 10 year old child who developed very severe allergies to both cat dander and dust mite. When it hit she became so sensitive to dust mite that she could only just handle school (with a couple of days off a week to get away from the dust) with medication. She's improved immensely over the last 6 months of treatment, never needs a day off and is off all her meds. Absolutely, definitely worth the effort and money, imo. And the risk is negligible. She handled the initial discomfort well. The first dose was about 5-7 worms, second dose 25 about 6-8 weeks ago. I'm hoping for full remission, and it is looking likely at this point. [1]
    My daughter has EoE. We have been extremely conservative with dosing her. I think her first inoculation was six worms. She had another ten about five months later. We don't inoculate more than once a year at the most. She has been in remission for about four years. [2]
    (Our son) hasn’t had an anaphylactic episode in over two years. He is 8yo and he has had about seven anaphylactic episodes, so two years without one is stunning. He’s healthy, he rarely gets sick, and when he does, he recovers quickly. We are over here living a basically normal life. His progress compared to other children who have his disease (EoE, IgE-mediated allergies, Gastroparesis, OAS and all of the symptoms of MCAS) is unheard of, and I credit it to the helminths. He missed more than half of kindergarten and first grade, but only missed five days of school in second grade. [3] Also see this earlier, more detailed report about the same child.
    My daughter is 18 months old. I inoculated her (at 15 months) with 3 NA for severe eczema and allergies… The back of her neck, arms, and legs were riddled with eczema and she didn't sleep well. Last week her skin became smooth, the redness is greatly reduced. She doesn't need to be moisturized at every diaper change, only twice per day. She started sleeping without our 4 am itch fest, which was our nightly ritual for months… the change in her skin is remarkable progress. I had tried so much before Helminth Therapy. It's the only treatment that has brought my girl relief. I look forward to the weeks to come. [4], [5] (My daughter also has) anaphylaxis from a long list of food/dog allergies. The dog allergy was the first to go 10 months after first dose of 3 NA. Her food allergies started going away 2 years in, but she still has some of her most severe (soy, dairy). Her pediatrician is very impressed with the results, as she said my daughter had the most severe case of non-infected eczema she had ever seen. [6]
    The author of the last quote reported again, almost 1 year after starting the treatment, that her daughter's progress was being maintained.
    Her milder food allergies still give her some hives but the swelling has diminished noticeably. We stay away from most of her allergens still, but her (eczema) went from being terrible on her arms and legs and face to being mostly gone. [7] For more, see: Hookworms help a one-year-old overcome severe eczema and food allergies.
    I thought I would post an update on my 2 year old son regarding his NA treatment while breastfeeding. I inoculated him just over a year ago for his severe eczema and multiple food allergies (he could only handle about 10 different foods, and since I was nursing him I had to be on the same limited diet). Breast milk contains lauric acid which is the same compound found in coconut oil that inhibits NA efficacy. I nursed him until January of this year, and up until then his results from the worms were moderate (his skin had improved a bit and I was able to introduce a couple new foods). But since weaning him it's been completely night and day. His skin has cleared (with only a tiny patch of eczema that shows up every once in a while), and he's eating a much wider range of food now. It's been incredible now that his small but mighty colony can work more efficiently. He's had two doses, and I'm planning for a third soon. This is not an encouragement for moms to stop nursing their babies sooner if they're considering helminths for their little ones. I'm glad I nursed him as long as I did because I believe the benefits of breast milk outweigh the impact on his colony. [8]
    We began giving our son NA a year and a half ago. He was almost two years old at the time and had suffered from severe (and I mean extremely severe) eczema from one month of age. We had tried everything possible including fecal transplants, and NA was probably the last thing I could think of that we hadn't tried. 12 weeks into his first dose of 5 NA, he was able to play naked, without two layers of clothes on for the first time in his life (he couldn't have skin anywhere within itching reach as he wouldn't do anything else other than scratch his skin to the point of bleeding). Since this first dose, we have given him a few others and also included 8 months of TSO treatment. There have been ups and downs with his skin but overall, a year and a half later, he is a completely different kid. Looking at him you would never know he had eczema and I couldn't be more grateful. [9]
    My 14 yo and 12 yo have been inoculating for several years. They now tell me when they need another dose. History of seasonal allergies, asthma, eczema, GI ulcers. All symptoms are gone when NA are in use. [10]
    We use HT on children in our family with no problem or side effects whatsoever. We had an 8 year old with OCD, waking with pain in random joints, ticks in the day time. She responded quite quickly with complete resolution of symptoms, between 3-6 months (after 2 doses of 3 NA). She is now 11 years old and asks for more NA when she feels any symptoms return. Although we try to keep up fairly regular 3 monthly doses of 3 NA. [11]
    I gave 5 NA to my then 6 year old for allergies, I took at the same time myself. She did seem a bit more tired at the same time as I was but no other symptoms. It resolved her allergies well, but they came back when I stopped dosing regularly. [12]

    Also see

    The question of appropriate age

    Many parents are particularly concerned about the age at which helminthic therapy should be used in children, and, while there is as yet no definitive advice about this, the following articles, reports and opinions are informative.

    Early life is critical for future health outcomes

    The most significant critical window for healthy human/microbial superorganism formation is pregnancy, birth, and shortly thereafter.

    And this period may not extend much further than the first 100 days of life.

    Prof Edwin Gale of Bristol University believes that the first three months of life is the time when a child should normally get in contact with pathogens. “It’s also the period wherein its immune system learns to react forcefully, without running amok…”

    Extracts of worm or egg completely prevented the onset of type 1 diabetes in mice, but only when treatment was started at 4 weeks of age.

    Historically, babies would often become infested with the helminth, Enterobius vermicularis ('pinworm' in the US, 'threadworm' in the UK), at, or very soon after, birth, either by direct contact with the eggs on the mother’s skin or from infected bedding or breathing in eggs floating in the air.

    Today, helminthic therapy-aware parents are beginning to expose their children to small numbers of therapeutic helminths in the early months of life.

    My baby started to get dermatographia hives from touch at 6 months when I introduced solids. At 8 months he got 3 hookworm and the hives have stayed away. (Reported to a closed group, Oct 2014)
    There are a few babies who started helminths before 12 months, one in particular I remember had very severe IBD and did amazing. (Reported by a Clinical Scientist to an online group, Apr 2014)
    We once used a protocol starting with just 50 eggs (Trichuris suis ova - TSO) and then escalating up to 500 within 10 dosings in a 15 month old. Worked absolutely great. [13]
    I gave my daughter her first dose of HW at 16 months. The benefits far outweighed the side effects in our case. [14]
    My daughter was 3 years old and was permanently suffering on every kind of infections on her eyes, nose, ear etc. My son was having various allergies all the time. I've put both on TSO for 10 doses escalating from TSO500 up to TSO 2500. Their symptoms disappeared completely. I repeated the 10 doses treatment once every year since. They are now 13 and 17 and still doing very well. [15]

    The following protocol was suggested in response to a question about using helminthic therapy in a 19 month old baby.

    In children that young, treatment should start with an adaptation phase using very small doses, which can be increased gradually and slowly, e.g. initial treatment with 1/5th of the TSO500 dosage, then 2/5, 3/5, 4/5, 6 x 5/5. [16]

    While the very early introduction of helminths may have a long-term effect on the immune system, it is unlikely that introducing a one-off helminth infection later in childhood will confer life-long protection, as some parents have hoped. If helminths are introduced later in childhood, helminthic therapy will almost certainly need to be maintained throughout life, either in the form of a viable colony of human helminths, e.g., the hookworm, Necator americanus (NA) or regular dosing with a non-human helminth such as the pig whipworm, Trichuris suis (TSO) or the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminjuta (HDC). [17]

    Helminthic therapy and minors: legal concerns

    When using helminthic therapy to treat a young child, there is a potential for conflict leading to possible legal action from other parties who have an interest in that child.

    If you are married with kids or in a partner guardianship relationship, I strongly recommend notarized documentation that all parties agree to the treatment of a minor with helminths, especially if treatment occurs outside the U.S. It could potentially be used against you. You might not think they will harm your children, just to hurt you, but it takes like five minutes to type it up and it’s like five bucks at the bank to have it notorarized. Worst part is, my thriving son might be forced to stop his astoundingly effective helminthic treatment. Don’t be like me. [18]

    In addition to following the advice given by this writer, it may be a good idea to document a child's health status (saving copies of medical test results, making videos, etc.) before treatment begins and then record the results following therapy.

    See also