Sunday, April 13, 2014

First Response 4/12

This weeks topic of bacteria and parasite exposure in order to treat or prevent diseases both interested me as well as left me feeling doubtful. The data that was presented by Jabr article on stomach parasites as well as the Rook reading on bacteria exposure and it's effect on autoimmune function and development were both fairly strong points and made a lot of sense. I completely believe that a lack of exposure to traditionally prevalent bacterias and organisms in our environment is constricting our auto immune growth and our resistance to allergy and disease. However, Rook continually called on the boom in urbanization as well as the developed societies hygienic practices as being at fault for an increasing vulnerability to illness and allergy. He frames the cleanliness and the elimination of certain bacterias in a seemingly negative and harmful light to modern society, completely disregarding the amounts of serious illness that has receded in members of developed societies and cultures. The article completely failed to hit on the amount of trade off that is experienced between diseases that hit underdeveloped and less hygienic cultures with the disease vulnerability that is now being felt in more structured and hygienic societies. When actually looking into what we are gaining in terms of health and disease avoidance with a very clean urbanized society along with the increase in risk apparent with decreased exposure to traditional bacteria, the effects being felt by modern society must seem much less menacing than they are presented in Rook's article.

Similar sentiments remain with me after reading Jabr's article on the use of stomach parasites to treat the symptoms of bowel and colon diseases. The idea of infecting a patient with stomach worms to lessen painful symptoms of these illnesses is backed with strong biological and scientific support, with the increased production of mucus. Furthermore, the tested statistics of those with stomach illness infected with parasites against those not infected measuring experienced symptoms saw overwhelming support for the infection of worms to treat the negative effects of illnesses as being a successful treatment method. However, I remained skeptical of this theory due to the negative effects that are often associated with tapeworms and other parasites in the human body. In the Jabr article, many of the side effects that came with the infection of parasites in humans were comparable to the symptoms experienced by patients with serious stomach illnesses. I think that the idea of parasite treatment has great potential and is also very helpful in aiding our understanding of what fights the symptoms of those with stomach illness. However, I would need to see more data on parasites treating the symptoms successfully with only a negative downside experienced by patients before I would consider it a truly viable treatment option. I also believe that a less harmful cure must continually be strode for in the medical field.

1 comment:

  1. Respondent:
    While I agree that there could possibly be great uses for purposeful infections of certain bacteria and parasites, I would also agree that the entire idea makes me very uneasy and extremely suspect. I would want to wait for several more years of test before I would consider having any procedure like this performed on me. I understand the evidence states that it did relieve the symptoms colitis and other bowel-related ailments, but I also know that if taken too far and not regulated enough, this treatment could definitely make it worse. Most bowel-ailments are caused by some already existing irritation and inflammation, in some cases, an auto-immune factor. If the purposeful infection of parasites were to go awry, it could worsen the symptoms of the disease and make everything worse for the patient. I would only be comfortable with myself or family members experiencing this treatment after a longer period of extensive testing.