July 11, 2016
“…scientists are wrestling with germ theory, a cornerstone of modern medicine, and beginning to articulate a more nuanced idea: that the organisms in our bodies not only make us sick but also keep us healthy. Participants in the parasite underground see themselves as acting on this new emerging paradigm.” —New York Times, The Parasite Underground
Imagine two truly amazing possibilities:
- The bacteria in our gut may be the key to one’s personal health and physical well-being.
- There may be a way to alter the composition of the types of bacteria and parasites that live in our stomachs to treat a host of chronic debilitating diseases.
The science is not yet there, but there are tantalizing clues. In combination with the bacteria in our gut, certain parasites may aid in the lessening of symptoms from a host of allergy and autoimmune associated diseases. The list—at least with anecdotal evidence— include diseases like: celiac disease; multiple sclerosis; peanut allergies, colitis, and on and on.
This article (The Parasite Underground) talks about some of the people who have experimented with “helminths”, parasitic worms that live in the guts of their host for extended periods of time. Recent scientific studies are spurring hope that some patients with otherwise untreatable conditions (or poorly treated with pharmaceutical drugs) may have a new avenue for treating their disease. These ‘underground’ patients, numbering in the thousands, are going beyond the established frontiers of science and becoming their own guinea pigs in a desperate attempt to improve their health.
There are caveats too. Some scientists and physicians are concerned about the dangers that these unregulated methods of treatment may pose to the patient. But for those in dire straits, any possibility for relief, may be— for them— worth the risks.
Only time will tell, how this new approach will pan out.