Worm Therapy May Be Effective Treatment for IBD
Quick post about something way interesting (and sorta gross) that I just came across:
Worm therapy is being used to treat people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which is the general name for several digestive diseases that affect thousands of people across the United States (and world), including Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease.
Not only are these diseases incurable, but researchers have no idea what precisely causes them. There are plenty of hypotheses out there, from eating cow meat containing certain microbes to today’s world being too clean (so our immune systems go nuts). There may also be some connections to genetics, because it seems that many people with these diseases have members in their family who also have stomach/gut problems.
Anyway, a new therapy for treating these diseases is worm therapy, and the research behind it is based on the hypothesis that humans are just waaaay too clean these days. Now, I’m not talking worms as in earthworms here, but worms as in parasitic stomach worms (ew!) like whipworm, for example. In fact, in this treatment, patients are given pig whipworm eggs. Apparently the way that these little worms “dirty up” the person’s digestive tract helps the disease go into remission! And, according to results, the longer the patients do some worm therapy, the longer they stay in remission!
I’m not sure I could ever consider this worm therapy stuff, but then again, I have Crohn’s Disease, and I really, really, really, really don’t ever want to have to go through another surgery like I did a few years ago. Who knows? Maybe this worm stuff could have something to it