I currently inoculate with 25 Necator americanus larvae every 5 months to keep myself in remission from celiac disease and ulcerative colitis. This works very well for me. If I let my colony die off/age out both conditions quickly return.
Ten years of misery in spite of medicine and dietary measures
My story of GI issues began when I was 35 when I started noticing that I was reacting to protein powder. The seller had never heard of a problem and I just chalked it up to a curious mystery. Sometimes I could tolerate it, other times I couldn’t.
Fast forward to age 42. I developed an abdominal abscess that eventually led to three surgeries and left a minor permanent disability. That experience was unpleasant, but what came next over the next several years made the abscess pale in comparison. I developed ulcerative colitis.
Initially it was blood in the bowl that got me to check it out, but rapidly came the pain. Treatment was mesalamine suppositories. I’ll never forget seeing a mountain of suppository boxes delivered to my door. What fun! So far as I know that medication did little to control my colitis. The situation soon became worse with intense bouts of diarrhea that eventually hit upwards of 11x a day. Between the disability, the ulcerative colitis and the diarrhea I had no quality of life. I became home bound and seriously considered suicide as I saw no way out.
After a couple of years of this I finally got wise and started doing elimination dieting. Two months later, I discovered the diarrhea was being caused by gluten. I immediately adopted a GF diet and the diarrhea stopped the next day, however the damage was done. I still experienced a good six months of expelling buckets of blood and mucus, and it was a good two years before things really settled down.
The colitis was always still there though. Over the years it waxed and waned. Unfortunately, after 10 years, things really came to a head. I was down to about a dozen simple foods I considered least problematic. I lived on eggs, sardines, rice and potatoes. Nothing with an ingredient list, and no beef or pork as meat would cause an immediate colitis attack. The baseline colitis had strongly amped up and I considered having a colectomy. It was at that point I finally pulled the trigger on trying hookworms. The prospect of more surgery trumped fear of the unknown.
Hookworms bring relief from symptoms and pain
I had first heard of hookworms as a treatment for celiac disease back in 2008 but I didn’t know how to pursue it. Over the years I had read several more articles on the topic and in the summer of 2018 I finally pulled the trigger. I found a provider via Quora and ordered some. Back in those days there was less control on initial quantities. The max was 25 and that’s what I asked for.
They arrived late July and I inoculated immediately, but because I was so nervous it took me till early December before I finally did a gluten test. I had no gluten in the house so I borrowed a piece of bread from a friend. I tried the smallest pinch I could and waited with bated breath as my gluten reactions were extremely severe. There was nothing. By the next day I was back on a regular gluten containing diet. After 12 years I was free! It was a miracle.
I had no issues until the first week of March the following year. I had thought hookworms lived for several years, a decade even. Maybe so, but the symptom relief turned out to last only 5–6 months for me, post inoculation. Through later experimentation I determined that it was about 30 days after inoculation that I was able to handle gluten.
And that’s where things stand now. I am symptom and pain free with no dietary restrictions. Hookworms have been a huge success for me. I just have to make sure my inoculations come on schedule. I do use a hydrocortisone cream post inoculation as I do develop a strong skin reaction, but I never experienced any side effects from the hookworms.
For some time now I've maintained a blog where I describe my hookworm journey and promote hookworm use by celiacs. It’s my strong opinion that anyone diagnosed with either celiac disease or ulcerative colitis should be treated with hookworms as a matter of course and it’s almost malpractice if they aren’t. In my case drugs, a GF diet, even a meat free diet didn’t make me healthy. It took hookworms for that, and I regret all the years of quality living I lost because I wasn’t hosting hookworms.
Over the winter I plan to try my hand at breeding my own supply of hookworms to both lower the cost and to ensure a ready supply.
By Pete Dixon, August 2023.