(please share this story with anyone who is weirded out by worms!!)
Join in the conversation today on the show:
My show notes are below, but basically this man was given treatment for having ulcers in his colon, with bleeding stools(!!). The treatment made him worse, actually, and he was facing having to spend the rest of his life with his colon running to a bag outside of his body!!
Needless to say, he chose a different option and started investigating on his own. His solution took him to Thailand, he got well, and got to keep his colon attached to his anus where it belongs.
Despite this, the medical community was expressed their indignant harrumphing that he went "off-grid" to find a solution that worked. Okay, it involved feces, and eating worms. Weird, yes. Nasty, way yes. But this man solved his own problems by doing his own research. Sometimes you have to be your own doctor.
Several scientific studies have posted that Accutane is a possible trigger of Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative colitis in some individuals.
One day in 2004, a 29-year-old man with a terrible stomach problem stepped off a plane from the United States in Thailand. He wasn't there for the sights, or the food, or the beaches. He had traveled thousands of miles for worms -- parasitic worms whose eggs he intended to swallow by the thousands.
"You'll be on your own," the man remembers the doctor telling him.
Indeed, he was on his own, standing in the office of a Thai doctor, asking her to pick the worm eggs out of an 11-year-old girl's stool.
The man -- who wants to protect his privacy, and be referred to only as "the patient" -- was 28 when he started having bloody bowel movements. Soon, he was having 10 to 15 bloody bowel movements a day.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, nothing helped except high doses of steroids, which because of severe side effects, he could take only for limited periods of time. Soon, the patient became so sick he had to quit his job.
His gastroenterologist wanted to admit him to the hospital for an intravenous round of cyclosporine, a potentially helpful yet dangerous medicine that depresses the body's immune system and can
If the cyclosporine didn't work -- and there was a 50 percent chance it wouldn't -- the doctor said his last hope was to remove his colon entirely, an extreme measure that would cause him to have to have a attached to him for the rest of his life to collect his stool.
He contacted parasitologists, gastroenterologists, and all the docs who could help him, and they all turned him down – not because they didn’t think it would work!! They did it because of liability!!
He contacted researchers in various developing countries to ask if they could help him get his hands on some eggs. The researcher in Thailand was particularly helpful, and he got on a plane to visit with her.
After he arrived, the doctor in Thailand extracted roundworm eggs from the stool of an 11-year-old infected girl. She gave the trichuris trichiura eggs to the patient, but he now faced another hurdle. The eggs needed to be cleaned in case the girl had hepatitis or some other infectious disease, and the eggs needed to mature for them to be helpful. It was up to him to clean the eggs and grow them in a process called "embryonation."
"There wasn't much guidance on how to do it, since most people are trying to destroy these worms, not grow them," he says.
But he managed to do it and ingested first a dose of 500 eggs and then another of 1,000. The worms could live in his intestinal track for many years.
Three months later he had fewer bloody bowel movements, and soon, none at all. His bowel movements were normal. He felt fine.
From time to time, when his ulcerative colitis would flare up again, he'd extract eggs from his own stool, and clean, embryonate and ingest them. Again, his symptoms would go away.
Colonoscopy showed no presence of ulcers when the worms were present, and no presence of worms, when the ulcers were there.
Charges of irresponsibility
Hanauer, chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at the University of Chicago, warned against making too many conclusions from one man's positive experience with worms.
He says New York University was "irresponsible" for putting out a press release about the study, and criticized media outlets such as CNN for reporting on it.
"It's ridiculous and incredibly inappropriate," he says. "You're driving people to go on the internet and buy these worms, and these are potentially pathogenic organisms. These eggs can invade the systems of people who are immune suppressed and cause infections."
He says he knows he took a risk by ingesting the eggs from a young girl in Thailand, but for him it was a better option than treatment with drugs that have potentially dangerous side effects, or the removal of his colon.
"Sometimes you really do have to take matters into your own hands," he says.
For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.