Helminthic therapy

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

Helminthic therapy is the reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic larvae or eggs to reconstitute a depleted microbiome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy.

Theory[edit | edit source]

Humans and our primate ancestors have hosted helminths for many millions of years, during which time we and our worms have coevolved to the point at which we now need some of them in order to maintain optimum immune function.[1]

There are many helminths that can cause disease but, in the early years of the twenty-first century, four safe, mutualistic helminth species were domesticated and have been made available commercially for use in therapy.

Evidence[edit | edit source]

There is no evidence from clinical trials to support the use of helminthic therapy in ME/CFS. However, there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that this therapy can provide a degree of relief in at least some cases.

There is considerable evidence, both from formal science and the anecdotal reports of self-treaters, to support the use of helminthic therapy in autoimmune, inflammatory and allergic diseases, some of which can occur concurrently with ME/CFS.

Safety[edit | edit source]

Helminthic therapy is very safe if used sensibly by knowledgeable individuals.

However, anyone with ME/CFS needs to take special care with dosing.

Costs & availability[edit | edit source]

For details about each of the currently available therapeutic helminths, and how they compare, see this page.

The following link provides full details about the companies that sell these organisms and what they cost.

Customer feedback about the service provided by these companies is available on a separate page.

Medical support[edit | edit source]

Helminthic therapy is currently not approved for use by doctors anywhere in the world, so few doctors are willing to condone it, fearing the loss of their license if they do. As a result of this, the therapy has been developed by patients who treat themselves. In 2015, the number of individuals worldwide who were self-treating with helminths was estimated at between 6,000 and 7,000.

In the vast majority of cases where patients are self-treating, their doctors are willing to continue to provide them with routine medical care while the patient arranges for, and pursues, helminthic therapy independently.

There are several health professionals with extensive experience of helminthic therapy who offer one-to-one educational consultations about the therapy. This service may be valuable to anyone wanting to understand if and how helminthic therapy self-treatment might be of value in improving their health.

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]