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Parasites might have their uses? (such as arresting autoimmune diseases)  RSS feed

 
Mick Fisch
Posts: 235
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I would put this under the medical part of permaculture.  The jury is still out, but what I have read is intriguing.

I have a wife with an autoimmune disease and a brother slowly loosing strength and function due to mulitple sclirosis.  As I was looking around for some possible helps I ran across several small studies that indicate that maybe there is a need for parasites.

Autoimmune diseases are caused by a person's immune system targeting some part of their own body.  They are long term and potentially severely crippleing and/or painful.  Examples are rhumetoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclirosis.

The summary of the small studies I have seen is that when people have intestinal parasites (some used tapeworms, some other worms in the studies) autoimmune diseases go on hold.  In a couple of studies on MS patients they found over a few years the symptoms froze (damage already done remained, but no further degradation).  Significantly, all the patients at the end of one of the studies opted to keep their parasites and keep the disease arrested rather than be cured of parasites and risk the disease starting  back up again. 

There have been no major, large studes.  No company wants to fund a study because you can't patent a parasite (no money to be made), plus the initial ick factor.  A cynic might point out it would end the gravy train they have for their current meds.

The theory is that through most of human history pretty much everyone was hosting intestinal parasites and that we have evolved to handle that load.  The first thing a parasite wants to do when they infest a host is calm down the immune system so the host body doesn't attack them.  If you have an autoimmune disease, this pretty much stops the disease in it's tracks (problem is a hyperactive immune system, calm down the immune system, problem solved).

I suggested this to my brother and he said he would rather die.  I suspect my brother will get the opportunity to do just that, eventually.  His strength is gone and he either uses a cane or drags a foot (He was always unusually strong, now when he goes anywhere one of his sons goes along in case something needs to be lifted or carried, to spare his dignity, because he can't lift or carry anymore).

My wife is game, (she is self concious about her weight and figures a tapeworm will kill two birds with one stone) but we can't find a clean source of parasites.  She doesn't want to go to some third world country and drink out of the river.  She prefers to know what she's introducing into her system.

I realize that parasites have their own risks and side effects, but the same goes for any medicine I know of.

Anyone know where we could get tape worm eggs?  I don't see them on Amazon.com.

 
Daniel Ray
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Location: Stevensville, Montana; Zone 4b
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Interesting thread.

A few years ago I remember hearing a talk on how parasites could reduce or eliminate allergies and asthma. The theory is that most early humans would have been infected with these types of parasites and thus shared a symbiotic evolution together each helping the other out.

There are other, less intrusive means of fixing autoimmune issues. Check out the Wim Hof method, I posted a thread about him earlier this year, but his site is extremely insightful. https://www.wimhofmethod.com/ ; Many individuals have found that they can get both weight loss and a fix for an auto immune disease by a combination of Wim's three pillars: right breath, cold conditioning, and commitment. I've been doing the Wim Hof method for around a year and can say that it is legitimate for health and wellness, but I did not suffer from any autoimmune issue so can't say that I've benefited in that way.
 
John Weiland
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Location: RRV of da Nort
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Mick,

It may still be a ways off, but have you looked into "tolerance re-training" of the immune system for these cases?   Unfortunately, it looks like the clinical trials are not that far along, but for the degree of which the population suffers from these maladies, there may be ramped-up efforts to get them into practice.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/825900
 
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