Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A New Allergy Treatment?

It turns out that one of man’s best friends, second only to dogs – the adorable and cuddly hookworm – may actually offer relief to some serious allergy sufferers.

Who knew?

A fine English gentleman by the name of Dr. David Pritchard knew. He’s been performing experiments on himself and others involving self-infestation by hookworms.

Sound appetizing? Why don’t you go grab yourself a ham sandwich and a cup of split pea soup, and then sit down and read this article.

Not to ruin the surprise, but it turns out you can actually get hookworms into your own body by wrapping a bandage covered in hookworm larvae around your arm, or leg, or heck, any old patch of bare skin.

The funny little critters simply burrow their way right on into your body, and eventually make their way to your small intestines. It’s here that they get comfy and feed off your blood.


But what they also seem to do is suppress their host’s immune system, thus making the host’s allergies less severe. The mechanism is a mystery, but the studies show a clear effect.

I count myself among the lucky few to not suffer from seasonal allergies of any kind. I’m a tad bit allergic to cats, but that’s about it – certainly not worth defiling my pristine intestines with worms.

This face is worth a thousand hookworms.

But Jaimi, sweet Jaimi , now she’s very allergic to many things - most notably dogs of all shapes and sizes. She loves dogs, but it really offends the dogs when she can’t pet them – because her eyes will swell shut and her nose will flow like the Mississippi.

I’d say she’s the perfect candidate for hookworm treatment. Sure, with hookworms you have to worry about malnutrition and anemia - and the knowledge that you have tiny worms living in your gut. But isn’t that well worth the love of a wet-nosed, fuzzy little puppy?

I think so.

But I’m not the one who’d be getting hookworms.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Dennis said...

I think I would rather take a whole package of Claritan rather than let little hookworms burrow into me.

Plus, I wonder how they know where to go in the body?

That is sort of creepy and should be examined as well.

The Mill said...

I'm not sure what kind of side effects a massive dose of Claritin may cause.

It might be worse than hookworms.

Come on, they're just friendly little worms that attach themselves to your intestines. Why are people so racist against hookworms?