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Maggots, Worms: Scary Medicine Goes Mainstream

Offbeat treatments, both old and new, are 'eeek-ing' their way into more common practice.

Worm Eggs Ease Stomach Problems continued...

In one recent study, seven people with IBD swallowed a solution containing thousands of eggs of Trichuris suis, which is known as a "whipworm." Every two weeks, they got doses of the solution -- with great results, reports lead researcher Robert W. Summers, MD, a gastroenterologist with the University of Iowa College of Medicine.

Some of the patients have been taking the worm egg solution "for years now and are doing well," Summers says.

He says he believes the worm eggs secrete a substance that calms the overactive immune system response that causes IBD and other autoimmune disorders like lupus, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis.

If it makes you queasy, try to get past it. "These worms have been around for 3 million years," says Summers. "And one-third of the world's population is walking around with them in their digestive tracts today and apparently having no problems."

Read on for the complete story on whipworms and IBD.

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