New direction for this blog

I have not had an editorial position for this blog, until now. No consistent direction or unifying theme for what to say except in general terms to speak about helminthic therapy and anything that might, however distantly, relate to the health of those who approach us for hookworm, or for whipworm.

Often I have been embarrassingly guilty of writing self-indulgent garbage I should have known was of interest only to me. Things that in retrospect should not have been of interest to me.  I apologise, it won’t happen again.

I have decided that I am going to concentrate on science for a while, what it is, how it is practiced, how it is funded, who decides what gets funded, what is published and how, and perhaps how elements of that might be improved. Science has not always been like this, or even been at all.

Continue reading “New direction for this blog”

Things I would do if I was still sick

Or that you can, or that you can use to try and stay healthy.

If I suffered from any nasty immunological disorder, or any involving chronic inflammation this is what I would do:

1. I would not rely on experts, so-called, who have managed to create a situation where all these diseases are out-of-control and increasing. Clearly “modern medicine” not only does not have the answers for these conditions, it is clear that it is part of the problem. Having said that if you are currently reliant on some modern drug to function you are going to have to continue to rely on it until you can get things under control such that it is possible to discontinue its use.

2. I would systematically make my life as close in its daily routine to that of a hunter-gatherer. This sounds wildly impractical, but if you understand what is important about each difference between modern living and the stone age in terms of health it is very easy.

So what does that mean in terms of practical advice?

These are the changes I would make to my life knowing what I know now, and to a large extent have. The more severe your disorder the more disciplined you need to be with each of these changes:

1. Eliminate carbohydrates, both simple and complex, from your diet, as close to entirely as possible. Eat vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, and flesh of one kind or another. No grains or their products, ever. No sugar, no rice, no bread, no crackers, no cereal, no pizza crust, no pastry, no cake, no pie, you get it. Never eat prepared food, prepare it yourself from fresh ingredients, preferably organic or grown yourself. If you cannot pronounce it, from the label, and have no idea what it is, why the hell are you eating it? If you garden you win thrice, see below.

2. Make your meals smaller and more frequent. No large set meals, snack all day. Subject yourself to periods where you don’t eat at all. Episodic hunger is good. But drink a lot of water. If that does not suit take a very small one early in the day and a large one late.

3. Expose yourself to sunlight, and drop the sunblock. Yes it may increase your odds of developing skin cancer, but be smart about it. When I lived in the tropics I stayed out of the sun from 11 am to 3 or 4 pm, and never burned although I went shirtless most of the time and never wore sunblock. I am blue-eyed and had blond hair as a child. If you have to go out during those hours wear a hat and a long sleeved shirt. Our skin can produce 20,000 IUs of Vitamin D, the right kind, in a few hours of shirtless exposure to sunlight. The RDA is 200 or so IUs? Really? If we evolved to produce that much vitamin D there is a reason for it, and lack of vitamin D is implicated in a host of immunological disorders. It also plays a central role in the immune system and the RDA is set with no real idea of how much is required. Again, if we evolved the capacity to produce that much there is a good reason for it.

4. Get in the dirt every day, ideally this would mean hikes in the woods, gardening, swimming in unpolluted rivers and lakes. You need to be exposed to the bacteria and other organisms in soil. Be smart, don’t rub dirt into cuts, by exposure I mean some should end up in your digestive tract, on your skin, in your lungs. Every day. Breathing dust is good, in moderation. If this is not practical eat some small amount of dirt from natural source every day. The practice is called Pica, and not just humans, but animals, have and do practice it, and have for millennia. Go to the woods, to areas you know they don’t spread fertiliser or herbicides. Mix it up. You can bring a week’s worth back with you, just store it in an open container and don’t refrigerate it. Quantity is not important, frequency is. If you garden eat tomatoes or carrots with minimal washing out of the garden, for instance.

5. Exercise, a lot. It has an enormous impact on well being, stress, etc., and our forebears were nothing if not active. But again, be smart, walking is vastly underrated as an exercise, but requires more time to produce a given result than something more intensive. Be sure to mix it up, I am not advocating marathon running, which is a modern abomination guaranteed just about to result in damage and injury. Combine walking, running, swimming, climbing, weight lifting, dancing, wrestling, boxing, etc., and do things you enjoy. Be active for 1 hour a day at least, and mix it up. You are not competing, you are doing it for pleasure, I hope. You can make all this stuff more time efficient by combining things whenever possible, so running or walking barefoot in the woods would deal with both exercise and exposure to dirt at the same time.

6. Simplify your life, we are not meant to live in large complex societies, or deal with all these modern distractions and contrivances. The result is stress, implicated in about every immunological disorder there is. Turn off the TV, close the laptop, bring your point of view down to the level of someone living in a social group of a few hundred people, tops, and a geographical limit of fifty miles, and unplug. The world will manage to continue to screw itself up without your active participation, don’t worry about it. Why the hell is the world so upset and angry anyway? Do you really need your share of that action?

7. Stop replacing your skin’s oils and biome with artificial substitutes on a daily basis, or ever. You can shower every day, but don’t use soap or shampoo. Think about it, you strip your skin and hair’s surface of naturally occurring oils, and by extension organisms, every day, and then immediately replace those lost oils with artificial substitutes. Stop using soap and shampoo, and the things that follow their use, and I guarantee you that within a few weeks you will wonder why you ever used either of those things. I still brush my teeth and recommend you do to. No, I don’t have an odour. My skin and hair are in the best shape of my life.

8. Repopulate your intestinal tract with the organisms your modern life, either by lack of exposure or by use of antibiotics, etc., has denied it and that you have evolved to live cooperatively with. See eating dirt above. We used to live in close contact with the soil and the organisms it contains, it was in our food, on our skin, we breathed in dust every day. Food preservation was largely fermentation or drying. Eat natural yoghurt’s, seek out odd fermented foods, if necessary acquire intestinal worms, helminths, for the most important class of organisms for your immune system, helminths or worms.

9. Stop using caffeine, doing so induces a stress response, see above.

10. Lose weight if you are obese, it is implicated in a lot of diseases involving inflammation and even autoimmunity.

11. Avoid antibiotics except when your life is at risk, or there is risk of organ damage or disfigurement.

If you do all those things, if you are sick with a so-called “modern disease”, things will almost certainly radically improve.

This is not a quick fix, you have spent years screwing your body up, you can expect things to improve in a time frame of months and years, and that the changes will be slow but ongoing for a very, very long time.

I originally posted this to a different blog which I am now consolidating here. It was first published in 2010 I think. There is a follow up post coming soon from the same site.

The Story of Autoimmune Therapies Since November, 2009. Part 1

I have read a lot of quite strong worded, and very definite, comments about me or Autoimmune Therapies, often by people who have never met me. I have to admit that I avoid public forums on the subject of helminthic therapy because of this, and because I see a very loud minority expressing viewpoints which do not vary with contradictory information from good sources (not just me). I still find it disturbing to read people, as one for instance, doubting that we were visited by the FDA, that I went to Africa, etc., while saying these were just publicity stunts by me. Most of these people have never met me, and it is this group that seems to hold the strongest opinions. I find this odd.

Because I do not inhabit these forums, nor provide corrective replies, I am growing concerned that some people may give them credence just because I never bother replying.

So, over the next few months, as I get time, I will tell the story, with the help of Marc and Michelle, who were there from very early on, of Autoimmune Therapies.

Also, the story which is probably the best known, my account of going to Africa on Kuro5hin.org, was written without an understanding of how their system worked. Having started writing it on a whim, I stopped at some time in the middle of the night, when I woke up late the next day I found the article locked and being voted on for publication. I had intended to correct various bits by referring back to the basic science again, and was far from finished writing it.

So hopefully this will fulfil the objectives of providing my side of our story, as well as bits of Marc’s and Michelle’s, and a corrective to the incomplete version published on K5.

I am going to break the story up into these parts, with these titles:

Part 2. Developing asthma, going through the medical mill, and learning their might be hope after all.

Part 3. Researching hookworm and other helminths, trying desperately to obtain them from a source that did not require me to travel.

Part 4. Going to Cameroon to obtain hookworm, unfortunately the wrong type.

Part 5. Meeting Garin and my further attempts to obtain the correct species of hookworm.

Part 6. The start of Autoimmune Therapies, and providing therapy from Mexico.

Part 7. The decision to ship from Santa Cruz, CA in the USA to everyone using FedEx.

Part 8. The FDA visit, and the immediate aftermath.

Part 9. Two years, just about, of profound depression and drift.

Part 10. Contact by an inspirational client and the beginning of the end of depression. Contact by the MHRA, what it meant for us and for Helminthic Therapy, current plans and projects.

Part 11. The future, as I see it.

I should have part 2 up and done by January 15th, don’t hesitate to hassle me if it does not show up by that date. I am insanely busy, my work days typically never end before 2 am, and often not before 6 or 7 am. I am gripped by the kind work aholicism which has always possessed me when I am working on something I love.

Yes, I wake up late.

Jasper Lawrence
© 2011