Helminthic therapy and thyroid disease

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    Relatively few people are using helminthic therapy to treat thyroid disorders, so the amount of evidence is limited. What has been learned so far is presented below.

    Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's thyroiditis

    We know that prednisone can provide relief from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis [1] and, since helminths act in a similar way to prednisone (but without the damaging long-term side effects) this may indicate that helminthic therapy could be of value in arresting Hashimoto's and other forms of autoimmune thyroiditis.

    Someone with autoimmune thyroid problems who began using helminthic therapy to treat other disorders reported noticing a significant decrease in anti-thyroid AB titres following inoculation.

    Others have commented as follows.

    A year or so ago, my husband's annual checkup showed elevated thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and low thyroid hormone. Further tests revealed antithyroid antibodies. Although diagnosed with developing hypothyroid disease he was non symptomatic for hypothyroidism and didn't want to start medication as suggested by his doctor. After starting helminthic therapy with NA about nine months ago, his latest blood test showed both TSH and thyroid hormone in the normal range, and his antibody level had lowered. (Edited from a private message and this post.)
    My 15 new worm friends may have cured my hypothyroidism. I inoculated myself with 15 hookworms (and) after about 6 months I noticed I was burning up when I took my prescribed dose of thyroid hormone (Synthroid). I eased up on taking Synthroid and completely stopped it about three weeks ago. I'm doing fine. Skin warm (oral temp 98.3 which is normal for me), no hypothyroid issues other than perhaps muscle stiffness. But I suspect that may be more related to an astonishingly little amount of sunlight exposure this year than to thyroid issues. My impression is my worms have successfully cured my hypothyroidism. [2]
    Definitely had positive effect on my thyroid issues. I don't take thyroxine anymore and while I haven't had blood test to see where it is at, I can't feel the difference, whereas prior to HW I would be quite unwell with headaches and general malaise etc after a week of forgetting. [3]
    Within a couple weeks (of taking my first dose of HW) I could no longer take thyroid medicine for Hashimoto's without feeling like I was on speed. I haven't taken thyroid since. The rest of my autoimmune issues are still there, and I still take Lugol's iodine, but my thyroid is symptom free. I don't think this is typical, and I have only had my first dose, but my experience has been good thus far.
    It seems to (help with Hashimoto’s). Not that I do not need medication any more, but the medication seems to work better. My T4 to T3 conversion is much better than it was.
    I’ve found helminths (I use NA) combined with diet (AIP and Wahls) to be very effective for autoimmune thyroid issues. I had hashimoto’s, which is just the other side of the same coin. Initially I put my hashi’s in remission with daily acupuncture for a month, but my thyroid labs never looked very good until I’d been doing the helminth/diet combo for about a year. Now they’re perfect. [4]

    While it appears that helminthic therapy can arrest the ongoing autoimmune process in Hashimoto’s, it is unlikely to be able to reverse existing damage to the thyroid, so people who are in the early stages of this disease, with minimal thyroid damage, will likely gain more benefit than those for whom the disease is well established. Unfortunately, in most cases, there is quite a large degree of thyroid tissue destruction before disorders like Hashimoto's become clinically evident and are diagnosed, so the extent to which helminthic therapy might help in these cases may be limited.

    Hookworm therapy had no positive results on my thyroid disease.
    I am hypothyroid and was on thyroid replacement meds before going on HW. My need for thyroid replacement has never changed in the several years I've been on HW. I guess what I'm saying is that HW have never helped my hypothyroidism. (Link expired)

    Hyperthyroidism and Graves' disease

    Helminth infection has been found to be associated with inhibition of Graves' hyperthyroidism in a mouse model.

    See also