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Parasites: Not all Bad. (Note the use of a period, rather than a question mark)

So, I saw this parasite doctor in California and he was telling me about all the parasites I definitely have and how they’re the root of all my remaining symptoms, and it really got me curious about the facts and the unknowns.

Specifically, I wonder whether parasites are like germs: super important (micro biome, anyone?), recently vilified (Antibacterial soap in every classroom and doctor’s office! Purell in every purse!), and disastrous when eradicated (MRSA, anyone?). You may recognize this as an offshoot of the “old friends” hypothesis: that we evolved in a codependent relationship with many other organisms, germ ones included, and to eradicate them cuz we think they’re gross is really, disastrously shortsighted.

Turns out, I am not the first to wonder this.

Chris Kresser goes into some detail here about unforeseen consequences of modern hygiene, including the fascinating story of helminths (a type of parasite) and their historical role in mediating inflammation– of particular interest to Autoimmune disease sufferers such as myself. (the link includes a transcript AND an mp3– I’m a transcript girl myself, but you do you)

And here he is interviewing Moises Velasquez-Manoff about it, who wrote this book called An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases about the whole thing.

Suffice to say, I’m definitely going for multiple opinions and doing much more research before embarking on a parasite protocol of any kind. But my interest, she is piqued.

Safety in numbers (of critters),