"It is important to kill the worm before it reaches sexual maturity."

These people think you'd be better off with some parasitic worms. And they will sell them to you. Worm Therapy: Helminth-Induced Immune Modulation

My favorite bits from the FAQ:

I have heard bad things about medical treatments in Mexico.

Most of what has been reported in the American press is accurate if not prone to hyperbole.

Will I get worse before I get better?

It is not uncommon to experience what is known as the "worm flu".

How long do the worms last?

That depends on the worm you use. In the case of hookworm you can expect them to last between three to seven years. In the case of the tapeworm it is important to kill the worm before it reaches sexual maturity.

Is it safe?

We would like to take a moment to discuss hookworm specifically. This is an organism that uses a human host and though there are animal surrogates these surrogates run the risk of attenuating the organism or transmission of zoonotic disease. Thus, we use human hosts. This means that the organism that is crawling through your skin and into your bloodstream is only a few weeks removed from developing in the ovaries of its parent organism that feeds on the blood of another human. Moreover, some companies raise their hookworm from ova to the infective L3 stage using human feces. We do not. We can mitigate the risk of hookworm carrying fecal bacteria into your bloodstream and we can use hosts that are tested for blood born pathogens but there are mechanisms of vertical transovary transmission that may exist. This type of transmission of disease has not been reported in the literature and our human reservoirs undergo routine testing to mitigate the risk of co-infection. Bottom line: do your research.

Side Effects and Warnings for Beef Tapeworm

Common symptoms include loss of appetite or feeling of fullness, increased appetite, abdominal pain, weakness, headache, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting and spontaneous emergence of proglottids from the anal sphincter.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, and frankly, the entire poop tag.

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16 Responses:

  1. ydna says:

    Well, so much for BBQ tonight.

  2. substitute says:

    Spontaneous emergence of proglottids from the anal sphincter: least favorite Pink Floyd song.

    Man, and I thought taking Allí was a bad idea.

  3. chaobell says:

    spontaneous emergence of proglottids from the anal sphincter

    Or in layman's terms: YOU WILL BIRTH WORMS FROM YOUR ASS

  4. radparker says:

    My undercooked steak tastes funny.

  5. I now fear your poop tag.

  6. recursive says:

    I don't think I want to open this particular can of worms.

  7. It seems that the idea is to take advantage of the worm's natural defenses, which involve reducing immune system activity so that your body is less likely to succeed in killing it. This can be helpful in individuals with autoimmune disorders, whose immune system is attacking their own body. It's not very different from taking high-dose oral steroids to reduce inflammation, or from immune-modulating drugs used in rheumatoid arthritis and (possibly) MS. The idea is not unreasonable.

    Going to Mexico for an untested, poorly supported treatment that infects you with parasites is a different story. Especially since they're kind of lying about how easy it is to get rid of the parasites if you change your mind.

  8. "What do you do for a living?" "Oh, I'm a human worm reservoir."

    • lionsphil says:

      I doubt it's a full-time job; more of a home craft.

      That guy who works at your local fast food joint? He might moonshine as a human worm reservoir. Delicious.

  9. elementai says:

    But it works actually, although hook- and tapeworms are probably not as good as thrichinella.

  10. sparklydevil says:

    our human reservoirs

    i wonder what that pays? and do they offer health benefits?

  11. sclatter says:

    What the IgE system (the branch of the immune system that mediates allergies) is supposed to be doing is not totally understood, but it's suspected that it's supposed to be defending us against parasites like these worms.

    You've probably heard of the cleanliness hypothesis--we get so many allergies these days because our immune systems are bored because things are too clean. Some evidence supports this--kids who grow up on farms don't get as many allergies. Kids in developing nations don't get allergies. But research has shown allergies aren't really related to how many colds or flu episodes you have. It's not as simple as just getting some random bug to occupy your bored immune system.

    So some real researchers do think it's because we don't get parasites so much anymore. Getting infected with intestinal worms is a real, helpful treatment for the autoimmune disorder Crohn's disease. It's still gross.

    • violentbloom says:

      I didn't have allergies until I got the lyme. I had everything except giaria, an the parasites didn't help my allergies at all. Maybe it's a matter of not getting things that hide in your t-cells and freak your body out.

  12. httf says:

    I too, was not as disturbed as one might expect a sane, healthy person to be. I think the science is getting to me. I mean, when you've bred worms and played with them yourself... you sort of...

    Wow, there's something wrong with me.

    Edit: latemodel, make it stop!

  13. violentbloom says:

    That link doesn't seem to work...

    Also thanks jwz for not linking to my parasite poop posts. Not that there was anything to see anyway. It was so anti-climatic.