I’m 65 years old, was born in Albany, N.Y., and am currently living in Hamburg, Germany.
My disease symptoms were barely controlled by medication
I have had lifelong asthma and eczema. Same for allergies - you name it, I have it - trees and grass pollens, dust, molds, and fish. For the most part, medicines kept me under check. Yet over the years, the medications became progressively stronger. At one point, a doctor told me that I had deteriorated to COPD.
I didn’t believe this, knowing that my symptoms had become starkly worse since I moved from the U.S. to Germany. Not only had my asthma become much worse, but medicine didn’t help my severely itching eyes, which had become perennial instead of seasonal. I considered the worsening of symptoms, and still do, the change in environment.
Just before starting helminth therapy, I was taking four puffs of Symbicort and one Montelukast pill per day. My asthma was largely controlled by this, though I still noticed discomfort during my daily aerobic exercise. I also used a prescription cortisone cream for my eczema, and various over-the-counter preparations for eyes and allergies.
My itching eyes were constant, and I had to visit the doctor at least four times per year for eye infections due to rubbing them so much. For the infections, I was prescribed antibiotic with cortisone eye drops. Even if not infected, my eyes would often blow up and weep constantly. I looked like a monster during those episodes. And on many days, even when not swollen, the itching would plague me. I would just have to keep my eyes closed to make it through the day. It was depressing and debilitating, really affecting my quality of life.
To be perfectly honest, my eyes were the overriding reason I finally took the plunge into helminth therapy. My sister came to visit one year, and in a very kind way, used the word disfiguring with regard to what was happening to my eyes.
Yes, I am vain. So, sue me.
Some lingering symptoms and a few side effects don’t detract from the brand new me
I took my first dose of hookworms (NA) about four years ago in 2017. From perhaps the first week, I knew something was different. Everything felt better. My eyes, my lungs, my skin. Everything. It may sound trite, but I felt like a brand new me.
As time went on, I stopped taking the Montelukast pills altogether. I am down to one or two puffs of Symbicort per day, and sometimes I forget to take it.
My asthma and eczema are the most improved. I exercise now and barely feel it. I can handle much more exertion much more easily. I use my cortisone cream very infrequently. My allergies are also much improved. I have bouts in spring and summer, but they are much less frequent and strong. I still take allergy pills during these times.
As for my eyes, they are perfect in fall and winter without medication. In spring and summer, I need drops again. BUT my eyes have never blown up like a balloon again. Yes, they continue to itch like crazy sometimes. Still, the improvement is remarkable. Last year, I only visited the doctor once for an infection.
Helminth therapy has produced only two real side effects. The first is at the site of entry for the helminths. That patch of skin becomes somewhat leathery and rough. The reddishness remains, and I can see the point of each bite. The site itches on and off. All of this lasts for months after I apply the patch. The roughness, itching, and visible marks eventually go away, but it takes four to five months. I have come to use this complete healing as a gauge for my next course of helminths.
The other side effect is stomach related. While most report flatulence in the first few weeks after dosing, this is perennial for me. Without grossing anyone out, let’s just say it’s bad. But it doesn’t hurt. Just slightly embarrassing. I now take bacillus coagulans, which help somewhat.
As with everything, there has been a silver lining with the bowel issue. Previously, I had lifelong constipation. If I had a bowel movement once a week, I celebrated. Thanks to helminth therapy, this has also changed completely. Oh, what a relief it is. LOL
I take 25NA every four months or so. I have not upped the dosage, largely because of the flatulence. However, I think my next dose, I will up it by 5NA and see what happens.
From initial hesitation to wishing I hadn’t waited as long as I did
In closing, I would say that while helminth therapy has not been the complete cure I was hoping it might be, it has markedly improved all my conditions. Percentage wise, the improvement is probably around 75%.
At first, my hesitancy to pursue the therapy stemmed from an initial repulsion to it. Seeing what hookworms look like put me off. This repulsion diminished upon learning how uncomplicated using the patch is. One doesn’t see a thing. Just a clear liquid on a patch.
My other hesitancy stemmed from my sister. Her being a doctor and older had undue influence on me. She asked wouldn’t I rather try to fix my medical conditions with diet changes and other natural remedies. Just the question from her stymied me for years. However, this sister’s comment years later, about my eyes becoming disfigured, also became the unwitting catalyst for my decision to try helminth therapy.
I wish I hadn’t waited so long, and would urge anyone considering it to go ahead and try.
In my opinion, just my considering helminth - what others consider drastic - was my true answer to do it. That I was considering something so outside of mainstream meant I needed it.
The Facebook Support group helped me internalize what I’d really known from the moment I’d heard about helminth therapy - that it wasn’t drastic at all and much more natural than any medication I had been taking all my life. For that, I am forever grateful for the Facebook page and helminths.
By Stephanie Jones, May 2021.