Are You Ready for a Fecal Transplant?
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Are You Ready for a Fecal Transplant?

If you can get pass the "ick" factor, a Fecal Matter Transplant is a proven cure for chronic diarrhea caused by a C. diffi infection.

My first response upon stumbling across the research being conducted on using a fecal transplant as a viable treatment for the intestinal infection caused by Closridium difficile (C. diff)was, “How gross.” Could any medical treatment be any more disgusting? No matter how offensive or distasteful the idea of a fecal matter transplant may be; it actually cure's diarrhea, which can be pretty gross and repulsive in its own right. Doctor Lawrence Brandt, MD, emeritus, chief of gastroenterology at Montefiore Medical Center told Kathleen Doheny of WebMD’s Health News, “Fecal transplantation is a highly effective, well tolerated and safe form of therapy for this traditionally difficult infection.” Doctor Brandt’s researchers found that 91 percent of the 77 test patients that received fecal transplants were cured of their diarrhea, some as soon as three days after the first treatment.

Fecal Microbiota Therapy (FMT)

Every year, roughly 500,000 people in the United States alone are infected with this potentially life-threatening disease. The C. diff infection usually occurs after taking antibiotics for an extended period of time. Doctors believe that prolonged use of antibiotic upsets the balance of the “good” and “bad” bacterium in a person’s gut. Microbiota Therapy is the removal of fecal matter from people with healthy guts and injecting it into the colons of people infected with C. diff.

The study group

Doctor Brandt’s study group had located 77 C. diff patients—56 women and 21 men. The average age of these patients was 65 years of age. The patients had the C. diff infections an average of eleven months before undergoing the FMT treatment. Many had lost as much as 20 pounds, were exhibiting chronic fatigue, and were having more than six bouts of diarrhea every day. Most of the patients had undergone six or more treatments with antibiotics with no relief before receiving the FMT therapy.

Each of the patients in the study had undergone FMT at least three months before the study began. The group followed these patients for anywhere from three months to over five years with the average follow-up period months.

After the Fecal Transplantation, which was done by colonoscopy, the patients were asked a series of questions to determine the success or failure of the treatment.

  • At the three months mark, 70 of the 77 patients, 91 percent of the patients in the study, reported no diarrhea and considered the treatment a complete success.
  • Another four members of the study group recovered after an additional course of antibiotics.
  • Another two study patients recovered after additional antibiotics and another fecal transplant, bringing the total success rate to 76 out of the 77 patients or a 98.7 percent success rate.

Not a new procedure

The first successful treatment by Fecal Matter Transplant was done back in 1958 with the transplantation being done by enema.

The first procedure done by colonoscopy was reported in 2000.

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Comments (5)

Now that's a new one on me! Very interesting

I am sure its all very scientific but still... ewwwww

Something new to me, interesting.

A big OMG! Never in my mind this idea occurred to me..

Well, I guess it's another advancement in medical technology but I didn't think anything could be grosser than a colonoscopy!