Some stubborn inflammatory problems also call for more advanced tools.
These tools are not your mother’s, run-of-the-mill generic ideas, let’s take it to the next level.
Here are 4 unconventional ways people are fighting against inflammation:
1. Helminthic therapy
Autoimmune conditions, where the immune system attacks the body, have exploded to epidemic proportions over the last few decades, affecting an estimated 50 million Americans. To put that in perspective, there are around 14 million living Americans who have been diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.
Millions more have undiagnosed autoimmune spectrum problems, suffering with unexplained symptoms of inflammation. What was once a rarity is now commonplace.
In addition to the many functional medicine tools for autoimmune diseases such as food and natural medicines, there is one therapy you may not have heard about: helminth therapy.
Helminths (1) are parasitic worms such as hookworms, whipworms, and threadworms.
These creepy guys have evolved to live within humans and animals, and eat what their host eat. Yum.
Helminthic therapy, is the treatment of autoimmune diseases and other inflammatory conditions, by deliberately giving yourself parasites!
It may sound disgusting, but research suggested (2) a beneficial effect of helminth infections on autoimmune conditions such as inflammatory bowel conditions (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes and asthma.
How does it work? Well those parasites have evolved with humans, and they are remarkably savvy at surviving inside of you.
These sneaky bugs are able to go undetected and unharmed by turning off (3) inflammation (Th1 and Th17 cells) and increasing immune-balancing (regulatory T) cells! Human and animal studies have provided evidence of decreased Th1 and Th17 immune responses. Result: Less inflammation and symptoms.
Researchers believe this is one reason (4) why autoimmune diseases are exploding in industrialized nations while developing countries, where parasites are more common, have less cases of autoimmunity.
Your microbiome, the trillions of bacteria in your gut, is the foundation to your health. Where 80% of your immune system resides, the majority of chronic inflammatory problems are linked to microbiome problems.
Bacterial imbalances (dysbiosis) has been shown to be an underlying trigger to many inflammatory health problems.
Bacteriotherapy (5) is one way to reset balance to the microbiome.
Bacteriotherapy or fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is, you guessed it, a poop transplant!
Fecal transplants are more commonly known as a treatment for inflammatory gut problems such as c. difficile infections and colitis, case reports have also shown it to be helpful (6) for problems such as chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, obesity, metabolic disorders, allergies, and brain problems!
Fecal transplants are a promising way to reset unhealthy, damaged microbiomes to balance the immune system and therefore calm inflammation.