How to Treat Autoimmune Conditions with Helminthic Therapy

If someone gave you a bottle of liquified parasites, would you take them? After learning about the benefits of taking helminths—particularly if you’re trying to manage autism or an autoimmune condition—you might just change your mind!

What is the human microbiome

Our bodies are alive with trillions of living organisms. It’s like our own little ecosystem. In a nutshell, this is called the human microbiome. Most people have heard about the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ microbes that live in our gut. This is an example of what our microbiome is made up of. Every person has a different microbiome. Your microbiome is based on lots of factors, including what you eat, where you live, the water you drink, and the medicines you take, to name a few

Modern life has affected our microbiome

Through changes in lifestyle and hygiene over hundreds of years—and even the way we process our food—our microbiome has also changed. Not always for the better.

The microbes that live in our body all have a different job to do. When these microbes are doing their jobs properly, we live in a state of good health.

Our modern lifestyles mean that sometimes our microbes can’t do their jobs properly. We might have too many opportunistic microbes, not enough of the good ones we need, or both! When we have too much or too little of the microbes we need, it affects our health.

When your health takes a tumble, it can be a sign that your microbiome is out of whack. This is where microbiome restoration through Helminth Therapy comes in.

What are probiomics?

Everyone has heard of probiotics. We all know that probiotics are made up of good bacteria to help you with your gut health. You might have heard it called healthy gut flora

So what are probiomics? Probiomics are not good bacteria, but good organisms. They are Hymenolepis diminuta cysticercoid (HDC) to be precise. We call them helminths, and they used to be part of our healthy gut fauna.

Why use helminths?

Over the last hundred years or so, helminths have disappeared from our western diets. They used to live in plants like the grains we eat. These little bundles of larval goodness were ground up along with the grains, and down the hatch they went. Then we got all germ-phobic, and these grain beetles were pretty much removed from our westernised food supply

How do helminths help with autoimmune symptoms?

Through centuries of evolution, helminths have become adept at avoiding detection by the human body.

Called a ‘talent’ by a group of Queensland medical researchers, one effect of helminths being able to avoid detection in the human body is to down regulate the immune response. This is potentially great news for people suffering from autoimmune conditions.

“helminthic therapy in animal models and human trials has provided convincing evidence that low-dose inoculation can treat a number of autoimmune diseases “

Queensland researchers, published in Frontiers in Immunology, 2017

Autoimmune conditions that helminths may help

Queensland researchers have identified several autoimmune conditions that may be helped by helminthic therapy. These are:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis)
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Psoriasis

Are helminths icky parasites?

If something is parasitic, it is harmful to us. Helminths are beneficial organisms. In biology, they are what we call mutualists. This means they exist within us, to our benefit and to theirs. They are a key part of restoring our human microbiome. They are a normal part of our healthy internal fauna, just as good bacteria are a normal part of our healthy internal flora. When we ingest them as part of helminth therapy, they go to work in our small intestine. (In case you’re wondering, they can’t reproduce, so you’re not going to get a full on infestation.)

How to take helminths

Helminths are easy to take, and they are best taken when you wake up, on an empty stomach. They do taste a bit salty! Each dose is in a 1ml vial, and it looks like clear liquid.

What to take them with

The prescribed dose should be taken with 10ml (two teaspoons) of an oil such as coconut, olive, or even fish oil. Any type of ingestible fat will do, even full-fat yoghurt or milk. Fat is required, as this stimulates the release of bile into the small intestine, and the bile activates the helminth. You can have a glass of water afterwards, but wait 30 minutes before you eat.

Helminth dosage

In order to get the dosage right for each individual, we start low and slow, and slowly titrate the dose up to achieve an optimal dose for you. Optimising your dose—and the interval between doses—is an ongoing process. By starting out with a low dose, you also reduce the likelihood of side effects in your first few weeks.

Frequency of dose

Some people may need to take a dose only every three weeks. Others may feel symptoms return more quickly, and may choose to take a dose weekly or fortnightly. It is a case of trial and error and working out what is right for you.

When will they start to take effect?

The rule of thumb is that it will take about three months to notice the positive effects of the helminths on your health. Some people may experience changes in a shorter time frame although this is not usual, and some may take longer. You need to give it a good three to six months to determine if helminths are working for you.

Side effects of helminths

Socio-medical studies on the effects of patients who have been self-dosing with helminths have been conducted. These studies were led by William Parker (Ph.D), a clinical immunologist and Associate Professor at the Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina. Dr Parker’s focus is on normalising the aberrant immune function so prevalent in western societies.

Mild side effects

The research team, led by Parker, reported that adverse side effects for adults were generally mild and brought about by taking a higher dose too soon. The most likely side effect was temporary diarrhoea

Helminth side effects in children

For children, the milder side effects observed included hyperactivity in children being treated for ADHD or Autism. These were transient and not a reason to discontinue treatment. Side effects in children that were reported as more severe, such as abdominal pain and worsening behaviour, affected only about 1% of the patients surveyed. These more troublesome side effects lasted between one to three weeks, before those patients returned to their original state.

Storing your helminths

Helminths will survive for about three weeks from the date of shipping. For this reason you only order what you need for your next dose. If you do not take your dose immediately, you should refrigerate the dose until you are ready to take it. However, you must take your dose within three weeks from the time we sent it to you, or your dose may not be effective.

Dr Sid Baker, MD

I highly recommend that you watch the godfather of integrated medicine—Dr Sid Baker—on YouTube and listen to him talk about Helminthic Therapy, autoimmune diseases, and autism. You can listen to one really amazing and informative podcast (or read the transcript) here.

Contact Denise Hales for a consultation

The evidence for the use of helminthic therapy to treat autoimmune-disease symptoms is becoming quite compelling. Denise Hales is the only licensed importer of helminths in Australia.

If you have autoimmune disease, food allergies or intolerances, or a child on the autism spectrum, book a consultation with our senior naturopath Denise. Call the clinic on 1300 03 03 25 or book online anytime.