Hookworm working, feeling great!

Today I’m 10 1/2 weeks into a 75 hookworm dose. As far as I know, I had no worms remaining when I did that top off, because stool tests for ova were negative at the time, but I have had blood work done recently suggesting the new dose is alive and well. My EOS level is quite high, which is consistent with a parasitic infection.

I should add that for nearly everyone providers won’t allow a dose of 75 at once, but in my case I’ve demonstrated a very high tolerance, and have some health issues that make hosting for longer periods difficult, so my provider was willing to make a rare exception.

How am I feeling? Fantastic. Today Spring has sprung, the air is so loaded with pollen you can see it blowing in the wind. This year I can smell all sorts of flowers and other plants in the breeze, which is a nice change of pace. In previous allergy seasons when I was not hosting hookworm I was stuck inside, huddled in a dark room next to an air purifier, and shoveling down vitamin C, the only antihistamine I could tolerate. So the scent of Spring is a wonderful, new thing.

It’s a joy to have no asthma, no sinus trouble, and my mood is also really balanced. I have more energy, no more insomnia, my skin is clearing up (less rosacea), constipation (one of many side effects of levaquin) is gone, and I’m starting to gain some healthy weight: 6 ft tall, and 160 lbs. After being underweight for the last 10 years, this is a major milestone. I now weigh what I did before I got sick with ulcerative colitis. On the IBD front, I have not had a flare in a year or more, and the last one was brief, and quite mild.

Besides the hookworm protocol, I am drinking home-brewed kefir daily, and eating raw, organic sauerkraut a few days a week. I have adopted a lower-fat “mediterranean paleo” diet, designed to keep my lipid profile optimized. This seems to be encouraging good gut flora diversity, too.

Apologies for not updating this blog sooner. I’ve been busy working, holding down more than one job, and at times working 12 days straight. Anyone who has followed my blog from the start knows how incredible this is. I feel “normal” again, but in some ways I feel better than I have in about 15 years. Seriously!

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Histamines and Helminths

Here’s a bit of a recap after some observation: due to its impact on my adrenals in the past, and other wide ranging side effects, I have chosen to avoid taking prednisone, or limit its use as much as possible, during the side effects phase of HT. In its place, I’m using benadryl to cope with the worst attacks, but otherwise am relying on fairly large doses of vitamin C (up to 10K mg per episode), which I’ve found to be a safe and very effective antihistamine. Guess what? In my opinion, vitamin C is actually more effective than prednisone for “worm flu”. Here’s why:

When I have an allergic response to the HT, it is transitory, almost as if the attack is triggered by one or more of the helminths moving from one “site” to another in my gut. I can think of no other reason why I’ve had a total of 6 such episodes in the last 50 days, at fairly random intervals. Several days ago I was convinced Lamb was the trigger, now I wonder if it may just be the HT on its own. Whatever the cause, vitamin C acts quickly and has no lingering effects, so it is tailor made to address the 2 or 3 hour bouts I’ve had with allergic response to helminths.

Secondly, and I can only suggest this based on an intuition, the effectiveness of HT may very well be built up over time, as our bodies react. In other words, mounting an immune response may be what provokes the immune-modulatory action from the helminths, so by blunting this, for an extended duration with a drug like prednisone, do we ultimately reduce the benefits of the helminthic therapy? I can’t say for sure, but this is yet another reason I’m using the more benign vitamin C to deal with acute worm flu. Perhaps it will allow a more open “conversation” between worm and host.

I’m also drinking plenty of water, to flush my body of histamines. Here are some clues: since eating foods with high levels of histidine (which converts to histamine) seems to make me feel worse, I’m guessing my histamine levels are high, overall, and most likely due to the HT itself. Since too much water without electrolytes can be unhealthy, I make a point of adding a potassium/magnesium/calcium formula a few times daily, to fortify these fluids.

The results? Well, today I had the least amount of GI disturbance since the side effects began, which felt like a fantastic achievement, but suffered a smaller scale 2 hour allergic reaction this afternoon. I’ll call this yet another example of nonlinear progress.

Day 28 — Tug-O-Worm.

I hadn’t planned to post again until events warranted it, but since things are changing rapidly, here goes.

Today, like yesterday, I woke up feeling fairly good and as the afternoon approached had another reaction. It was a bit more muted this time, eventually coming on strong, then suddenly it would reverse and I would feel incredibly good. This push and pull continued for a while: body and mind, oscillating between harmony and dischord. Sleepy and relaxed, breathing freely, then I’d get hit with a stuffy nose and general unease.

At times the troughs were bad enough I decided to take more vitamin C, but there was no need for predinsone today, and for that I’m very thankful. My gut has been feeling really good most of the time, too, so if all goes according to plan, I hope to ditch the pills and lean on the worms, from here on out.

So what’s happening, why the back and forth? All I can think is the helminths are training my immune system to not harm them, by reacting when I react, and sending out the good vibes to calm everything down. It may sound a bit strange, but I’m really enjoying this process.

In moments I get glimpses of how I felt during the initial 5 day “bounce”, so maybe, just maybe, I can recapture that as my longer term benefit. Fingers crossed.