- Everything here is of speculatory nature based on my very intense and close observation of my body plus endless readings in the scientific literature throughout the past five years. It is here to allow other people to be able to do their own speculation so that we could eventually find out the root cause to all of this.
- If you were inpatient to read the whole thing, you can directly skip to the “Helicobacter Pylori and Rope Worms” section.
- I will be using the terms rope worms/mucoid plaque interchangeably. Using “rope worms” does not indicate that I believe this is a parasitic worm, nor it suggests the opposite. Nevertheless, I have a tendency and reasons (mentioned throughout the post) to think that they are not parasites by themselves, so yes, I am more on the “mucoid plaque” side.
- If you just want to know the “conclusion” of the whole thing, you can skip to the conclusion section at the end.
The mucoid plaque, or more commonly referred to as the rope worm, has seen an increased interest over the past few years. More so since Alex Volinsky, a professor in the mechanical engineering department of the university of south Florida has released a paper on arxiv.org describing the various “stages” of those rope worms.
It has been merely a year since I’ve been able to recognize those entities as “rope worms”, although I was noticing them since about two years before that. After finding out about them, I kind of freaked out and wanted to get them out of me as quickly as possible, not because I was scared of the idea of having a “parasite” inside of me, but because I haven’t been feeling well for the past few years and I was convinced that those things were responsible for it.
Before figuring out that I had those rope worms, I have gone through many different diets, let is be vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free or fructose-free. I tried drinking green spinach smoothies three times a day, exercising and meditating, and spent over one and half thousand euros on various supplements. In spite all of this, I could only notice temporary, short-lived improvements now and then. My health was ever degrading and I lost a lot of weight and wasn’t able to enjoy food anymore, had a general feeling of unhappiness and low energy, constant bloating and could barely concentrate on anything and it felt like I was always deficient in some nutrients from fat to zink. Doctors always though it was psychological and stress-related, as my blood tests were always “in Ordnung” as they say in German, my family though I needed to get myself a girlfriend. Nobody believed me when I told them that I know that there is more to this than it just being mental.
Rope worms initial treatment
As soon as I knew about it, I wanted –like anybody else would– to know how to get rid of those rope worms. One can find an endless list of supplements/method on various forums, many of which intersect with those intended for getting rid of “Candida“. However, two of those techniques/methods, namely coffee enema and Psyllium husk with Betonite clay were almost always showing up in most protocols. Another common substance which people were promoting, was Pure Gum Spirits of Turpentine.
As I was doing an exchange semester in Spain at the time and sharing a flat with many people, there was little possibility for me to do a coffee enema without drawing attention to it, so I could only do it once and it was on Christmas evening, as it was the only day in five months where everyone was at their family’s home. Because of that, I felt tempted to try out the Turpentine remedy, so I went and bought it (from the well-known US supplier). However, I have only tried it once as well, since I was worried about damaging my kidneys and did not notice much, so I decided to stick to the enemas.
I would spend the following months trying to find the chance to do a coffee enema. Even though I returned to Germany (by the end of January, 2018), I still shared the bathroom with others (but I had my own sink), so it was still uncomfortable. And the idea of having to do this on daily basis was repelling to me. Nevertheless, I was expelling some mucoid plaque now and then without doing/taking anything special.
I have to add, that my health has been rapidly degrading over the last couple months in Spain before coming back to Germany, so the time from February to the end of March 2018, was on of the worst in my entire life. Doctors still though I was fine and all blood tests were “great”. This has pushed me to book an “emergency” flight to my home country (which has warm climate) in the middle of the university semester, as my father is a doctor working in a hospital and could get me more thoroughly examined there and I reached a point at which I cared about nothing other than my health…
At the hospital there, I got consultations from doctors with various specialties, including a psychological consultation, where I got Sertraline, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, prescribed to me to treat my –as called by the doctor– “transmutationary” symptoms, in the sense that my body was turning psychological distress into physical symptoms. And because I was so desperate, I agreed to give it a try.
Helicobacter Pylori and Rope Worms – A Strong Relationship
Fast forward to me being diagnosed with a slight infection with H. pylori following a gastroscopy and beginning with the triple therapy (amoxicillin, clarithromycin and omeprazole).
One the second day of the antibiotic treatment, I felt insanely good, it was the best state of mind I have experienced in the past six years. My digestion was working again, the bloating was mostly gone, I could feel hungry and enjoy my food again. I could even taste my food much better, and I found out that I have forgotten how much of the food tasted years ago. To sum it up, up to 90% of my ill-symptoms disappeared overnight.
By the time I started the triple therapy, I have been taking Sertraline 25mg for only two weeks already without noticing much, other than a weird feeling of emptiness in my mind. At first I believed it must be the antibiotics interacting with the Sertraline and causing this sudden good feeling, as they do indeed interact. Therefore, I decided to stop taking Sertraline until I finish the antibiotic therapy over the period of two weeks, and I can report to you that it has been over seven months and I did not have to take Sertraline again 🙂
After the triple therapy, I started expelling more mucoid plaque, also larger in size. This especially occurred following longer fasting periods between meals, which meant going to the bathroom twice to trice a day. This was rather exhausting, but I was happy about it. This happened knowing that I wasn’t taking any special herbs or something, just supplementing with vitamins and trace minerals and eating a typical diet containing sugar, meat, dairy and lots of wheat (I know many of you wouldn’t like to hear this :D). So at the time, I was left with the following facts:
- I had an active, slight H. pylori infection, confirmed through histological tests
- Apparently the infection was affecting my digestion to a very large degree, despite its low intensity.
- Ropes were automatically being expelled on almost daily basis, especially during the first six to seven weeks.
Anybody in my shoes would be tempted to think that H. pylori is the ultimate cause of ropes. However, I was kind of doubtful about this, as no doctor, including my father, nor internet website/forum/resource could explain what happened to me, i.e. explain why antibiotics had such an antidepressant effect on me. So I had to figure out myself, as I was very eager to find out the cause, due to this ruining most of my youthful years.
MTHFR, Methylation and Rope Worms – A Stronger Relationship?
Another fast forward is to the moment of me reading about the MTHFR gene mutation/variation. I have encountered it before about three years ago but did not give it much though, as my health issues were not that bad at the time. However, this time I found that having some sort of the MTHFR mutation could very well explain why the h. pylori was causing me so much trouble; as people with the mutation are supposed to have impaired detoxification pathways, which makes them more sensitive to toxins in general (as bacteria produce them as well). Plus many infection-fighting mechanisms are said to be compromised due to the insufficient methylation.
The main revelations happened as I was reading about ways to improve methylation to cope with the MTHFR mutation, and specifically the consumption of raw garlic, green tea and cocoa (I know the following might sound very specific, but please keep reading) and here is why:
- Chocolate: to me, eating/drinking it has always felt like consuming an energy drink and all of my friends find it very funny, because at parties I mostly drink cocoa to get in the party mood. Although I know it contains caffeine, I do not notice such an effect from drinking coffee or black tea, both of which contain much more caffeine per serving. And even a small amount of chocolate is enough for preventing me from being able to sleep (well). Another very important symptom which I have always noticed throughout the years but could never explain, was the urge to go to the bathroom shortly after consuming chocolate, this urge has later turned out to be due to the expulsion of some (rather small) rope worms. Other people dealing with mucoid plaque have also reported the same thing, so it is not just a personal symptom.
- Green tea: I used to always drink black tea in the morning, however, with time I switched to green tea (gun powder variety), as I always had this sensation that green tea made my mind (very noticeably) clearer and pushed it in the positive direction and was sure that it was not about the caffeine either.
- Whenever I ate raw garlic, the usual puffiness/inflammation (I used to be puffy most of the time) in my face and around my eyes reduces drastically and it would almost instantly cause my bowels to unsettle, and sometimes mucoid plaque would get expelled as well.
A quick, side note on Glutathione and coffee enemas: I later came across studies stating that raw garlic contains organosulfur compounds that modulate Glutathione within the human body. This, along with the widespread fact/claim that coffee enemas increase Glutathione production (as mentioned in various websites), is another evidence in favor of rope worms being an indirect cause of a long-term impairment in the detoxification system, part of which is the one responsible for Glutathione production. So it seemed that anything which increases Glutathione, whether directly as in the case of raw garlic, or indirectly by increasing methylation would result in the expulsion of rope worms.
So the theory of MTHFR being the root cause of rope worms sounded a very reasonable explanation, as it offers a solution/justification for many other puzzling matters:
- Amalgam fillings and root canals: many of the people who suffer from mucoid plaque happen to also have amalgam fillings and/or root canals, both of which pose a burden on the detoxification system of the body, whether due to the leaching mercury or to the toxins supposedly getting produced by the anaerobic bacteria living there. One prominent example of the amalgam case is the youtuber Josh Macin, whos channel is called “The Detox Dudes”. He was very close to suicide due to his amalgam fillings. He also happened to have lots of rope worms, to which a big part of his Youtube channel is dedicated. And no I am by no means advertising/affiliated for/by him). As for the root canal case, I have recently watched a newly released documentary titled “Root Cause”, where the film producer speaks of his own experience with depression and other problems being caused by his single root canal, during the movie –which is available on Vimeo– also mentions coffee enemas and shows some pictures of the mucoid plaque.
- Going vegan: many of the people following various protocols to expel rope worms, or other issues such as Candida, report feeling better when switching to a vegan diet. One major contributor to this could be the fact that a vegan diet is more likely to contain much higher amounts of natural folate than a typical diet does, and it is known that people with some varieties of the MTHFR mutation have a reduced capability of metabolizing folate from foods.
- Lyme disease: some people claiming to suffer from Lyme disease feel a lot better using antibiotics, which could be giving them a temporary relieve from their various infections and therefor improving there methylation capacity. However their symptoms come back shortly after stopping the treatment.
- As rope worms seem to affect a large number of people around the world, so is the MTHFR mutation, I have read that almost 50% of the Europeans have some kind of variation in this gene. However, the degree to which an individual is affected by it is very, wait for it, individual :).
To sum it up, this is what I have concluded about rope worms/mucoid plaque as a result of the close, years-long observation of my own body, combined with information from the world of the internet:
- They are probably not parasites themselves, as it is not typical for parasites to make themselves as noticeable.
- They are very likely a result of an impaired detoxification system of the body.
- This impairment is likely to be a result of the expression of the MTHFR mutation/variation.
- Helicobacter pylori could largely contribute to their formation.
So, given the above conclusions, one could form the following hypotheses as to what is causing those rope worms:
- MTHFR Mutation.
- MTHFR Mutation + chronic infections, such as h. pylori/root canals.
- A sneaky strain of h. pylori by itself affecting the digestive system.
- Another, yet to be discovered organism X, which is very likely to be a bacteria as it seems to respond to antibiotics at times.
I have started looking for ways and supplements to improve my methylation and started taking them about two weeks ago and I am already noticing some improvements and will be posting an update, as soon as I have something interesting enough to say.
I hope this post can help some people do their own discoveries and would appreciate your thoughts about the ideas/hypotheses discussed in here.
I will try to find the time to support my post with the appropriate references soon.