Hookworms – The Other White Meat « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowHookworms – The Other White Meat

Hookworms – The Other White Meat
Published on Friday, April 30, 2010 by

hookwormsImagine putting a bandage on your skin that contains several hookworms.  Shortly after, the itching begins as they start to burrow in to your skin.  From there they move through capillaries, eventually settling in to your lungs.  Then the violent cough starts as they move in to your throat and you swallow them.  Finally, they settle in to your intestines, happily drinking blood from their new host.  That would be you.

Would you do this?

I would.  If it really got down to it, I would.  And let me tell you why.

Years ago a gentleman who suffered many hospitalizations a year due to his life-threatening asthma learned about the hookworm and it’s potential in treating asthma and allergies.  His research led him to Africa, where he purposely walked barefoot over feces-infected soil in order to infect himself with hookworms.  The result?  No more hospitalizations.  No more allergy medications.  No more steroids.  All thanks to a little parasite that lives in his intestines.

Still with me?

The science behind this is fairly simple.  We are the host to the hookworm and provide this little guy with blood for food.  In turn, the hookworm causes our histamines to slow, shutting down allergic reactions and asthmatic symptoms.

We live in a sterile society.  Too sterile.  Some bacteria and parasites are good for us.  But we have tried to remove them through antibacterial soaps, hand cleaners and overzealous bathroom sanitizers.  In the meantime, we are getting sicker.  Many say there is a connection.

There is now scientific evidence proving that infecting yourself with hookworms can put your asthma and allergies in to remission.  And even more amazing?  Colitis, IBD, Crohn’s and Multiple Sclerosis have been recorded as going in to remission with the introduction of hookworms.  Personally, I would like to see a study regarding Lyme Disease and hook worms.  Perhaps some day.

Of course there is one tiny little drawback to having hookworms in your intestines.  If they take too much blood you can develop anemia.  But this does not happen overnight, so it can be monitored by a physician.  And if you indeed become anemic, the hookworms can be removed from your system within two days with an inexpensive and common medication.

Now, remember I have bad enough allergies that I get four shots a week.  And I’m on antibiotics many times during the year for my sinus infections.  Furthermore, I have gastroparesis.  That involves the digestive system.  See the light bulb above my head?  Digestive disorder… hook worms… yup, you got the point!

Am I bad enough now that I would want hookworms?  Uhhhh… nooooooo!  But many gastroparesis sufferers are on feeding tubes and near death.  And there are also asthma sufferers who have been near death themselves due to asthma attacks.  So I’ll tell you right now – if I got to the point where I thought I was going to die, I would say, “bring ‘em on!”  And if I suffered from Multiple Sclerosis, as a mother of three, you BET I would try me some worms.

Did I mention you can get rid of them with medication?  JUST IN CASE YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND?

Now it’s your turn.  You have MS.  You can’t walk anymore.  You have children you have to take care of.  Or suppose you can’t leave the house anymore for fear of being away from a bathroom.  Or you are constantly in pain due to Crohn’s disease.  Or you had an asthma attack and almost didn’t get to your epipen on time.  Would you try hookworms?  Just how bad would you have to be in order to try them?

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  • While I have to admit a hookworm sounds extremely disgusting, I think it is probably like an epidural. You reach the point where you are bad enough and the hookworms sound better than the alternative.

    • Anne, I love how you compared it to an epidural. You are right… the pain will sometimes get to such a point that you would rather they cut off your HEAD than you keep going with the pain! And you always have that backup medication to get rid of them. I think the hardest part for me would be feeling the itching as they go into my skin, and then the coughing, knowing what was happening.

  • I don’t know…they’re WORMS!!! Eeeew eeew eeeew.

    I do have MS but I don’t know if I could bring myself try them. Maybe if there was a guarantee of improvement. But still…they’re WORMS!!!


    • Marie, Yup… WORMS. PARASITES. DOUBLE EW. I am so glad you commented about having MS and how you feel about the hookworms… you have a unique perspective! A friend of mine has MS – I will have to ask her about this too. She will probably just roll her eyes at me!

  • ScoMan

    I don’t think I could ever try hookworms. I’d just think about them inside me all the time.. that thought would be more unbearable than any pain.

    • ScoMan – I think the brain is a powerful thing. You are right… knowing there are little creatures in your intestines drinking your blood… that would be hard to swallow.

  • Like wow, that is really an interesting bit of trivia. I agree that it is okay to live with some bacteria so that your body can build defenses for bigger ones.

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  • I’m usually pretty pragmatic and I imagine that if it were the treatment recommended by my doctor I’d be ok with that. But as I have pernicious anemia I really can’t imagine it being recommended – the last thing I need is something sucking my blood!

    • Mimbles, then you absolutely do NOT want hookworms – they would such you dry! LOL!

  • That is pretty interesting. It would be also interesting to find out some more about if it really works. I think if I had all those diseases I would have to think about trying it AFTER talking to a doctor. But it would be really gross to have hookworms in your intestines. YUCK,

  • Jen

    Nice that today my ad runs on your site and you talk about worms.

    If I had a disease like you mentioned above, I would definitely consider it. If the itching and coughing only lasted while they got settled I could get through that. Also, if I knew the worms would cure the disease I would certainly try it. I have stopped using antibacterial soap a long time ago because of the problems it causes regarding antibiotics so this wouldn’t be such a difficult decision.

  • sure, sign me up!! 😀

    • Carma… you have no fear – you are a ROCK STAR!

  • Ewwwwww what a nice looking parasite. I do have to give props for the distinguished eyebrows this thing is displaying.

    • Man Over Board, You like my super amazing Photoshop skillz? LOL!

  • You hooked me with this post. Sorry, that was really bad!

    But not as bad as infecting myself with hookworms. I just don’t think I could do it. I have bad allergies, but nothing like you describe.

    I think for people with more serious conditions any type of remedy or cure is worth looking into though.

    PS. I just had this discussion with a friend about two weeks ago who told me about hookworms and allergies. I must have missed the program.

  • While I am totally grossed out over the idea of hookworms, I do think the medical benefits you mentioned are absolutely AMAZING!

    • meleah rebeccah, They have actually researched this and found some incredible things that resulted in having hook worms!

  • YUM! Another white meat. A Lot of people seem grossed out by the idea of having these little critters inside of them, but I’m pretty sure we have little micro sized creepy crawlers on us and in us anyway. I would definitely try this out if I had MS or really bad asthma – definitely! I keep singing that worm song in my head now:

    The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out

    The Worms Crawl In,
    The Worms Crawl Out,
    Into your stomach,
    And out your mouth.

    They eat your intestines,
    They scramble your heart.
    Now you feel like
    You’re all apart.

    This is how
    It is to die
    You end up looking
    Like apple pie!

    • @Sheila Sultani, Oh Sheila how I love you so… you put the worm song in!!! My friend down the street used to sing that to my YOUNG kids all the time… her lyrics were a little different –

      From your head down to your feet.

      They put you in a big black box,

      And cover you up with dirt and rocks.

      All goes well for about a week,

      Then your coffin begins to leak.

      The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,

      The worms play pinochle on your snout.

      They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,

      They eat the jelly between your toes.

      A big green worm with rolling eyes,

      Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes.

      Your stomach turns a slimy green,

      And pus pours out like whipping cream.

      You spread it on a slice of bread,

      And that’s what you eat when you are dead.

      I love how old songs get so many different versions… I hear my kids saying and singing things that I used to say when I was young, but their version is always different… neat!

  • Wow I totally disqusted now and kinda have the creepy crawlies. Those hooke worms are nasty little buggers.

    • Shanna, Hope you were able to stomach food after reading this! 😉

  • I think I am going to have a phobea now about bandaids!!!

    • Ruth, Oh Ruth, thanks for putting THAT in my head! Oh wait, I put that in YOUR head and then you left a comment. My bad. Now I will think about that the next time I need a bandaid!

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  • Cassandra

    I would love to try this! I’m fascinated by parasites anyway and if they’re gonna help me with asthma and allergies then hell yeah I’ll try it. Especially if they’re that easy to get rid of. I was wondering if you could post where you found some of this information? I’ve heard/read about this before, but only in articles never in actual papers.

    • I first heard about it on NPR. I’ve probably only seen the sites you have seen online. I just went to NPR and did several searches to find the story, but couldn’t find it posted. The interview with the man who purposely got hookworms was fascinating!

  • M G

    I am not sure what all the fuss is about. You have billions of bacteria in your gut and you wouldn’t survive very long if they suddenly died. These organisms, worms if you please, are technically helminths are just a type of a beneficial organism. They are microscopic, so there is really no yuck factor – you don’t actually *see* any worms at all. Yet, you feel better and your Crohn’s or MS is in remission. I don’t see why everyone wouldn’t do it.
    Full disclosure, I started the helminthic therapy a month ago and now I am a proud owner of 35 hookworm. For more details go to http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/helminthictherapy/

    • How is your worm therapy doing???

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