Fecal Transplants – Eat Shit for Life

If you are suffering from a bacterial infection, it makes sense that you would look to antibiotics, prescribed medicines, a healthy diet and rest in order to achieve better health and recover completely. At least, that seems to be the way a usual doctor’s visit goes.

What you might not expect, however, is that a little known, but steadily-growing alternative treatment – fecal (faecal) transplant could be the simplest cure of all. In case you’re reading that again, yes – it really does read fecal transplant, a yes, it means what you think it does!

Amazingly, healthy fecal matter implanted in an unhealthy person can wipe out dangerous and even life-threatening bacterial infections, but the procedure is not getting the recognition that it deserves. Even if you are squeamish, reading more about fecal bacteriotherapy is a fascinating glimpse into a field of medicine that doesn’t get much time in the spotlight.

How Does Fecal Bacteriotherapy Work?

One of the most interesting things about fecal transplants is how relatively simple of a procedure it really is. Just like the name suggests, fecal matter from a healthy individual is placed into the body of an unhealthy individual. This fecal matter is usually diluted to a specific concentration and then implanted in the unhealthy patient through a procedure almost identical to a colonoscopy. Other means of transplanting the fecal matter can sometimes also include a tube through the nasal passage.

Because of how quick and nearly pain-free the treatment is, patients are in and out of the hospital in a few hours, and it is almost always an outpatient therapy where no real downtime or recovery is required. In fact, many people are back at work the day following the procedure.

What are the Medical Benefits of a Fecal Transplant?

For many patients with bacterial infections or digestive problems, antibiotics only further upset the system and can lead to problems like weight loss, diarrhoea and anaemia. The fecal matter used in the transplant is full of healthy bacteria, and that bacterium is able to quickly take over in the colon. In many cases, having healthy bacteria in the colon is enough to wipe out any infection and reduce or completely eliminate symptoms in just a few days or weeks.

What Infections Can It Cure?

Obviously, a fecal transplant won’t work for just any kind of infection. It has had the most success with a specific bacterial infection called Clostridium difficile, or C. diff. It has also proved successful, although slightly less so, in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis.

Gastroenterologists around the world are interested to learn how fecal transplants might be able to improve the digestive health of less ailing patients. There is the potential for this procedure to help reduce rates of obesity and even eliminate constipation for some patients.

Who is a Candidate for the Treatment?

Currently, there are thousands of people who might be the perfect candidate for the procedure. If you are suffering from Clostridium difficile and you have not has success with prescribed antibiotics, then a fecal transplant might be a simple way to end your symptoms of bacterial infection once and for all.

Other individuals with intestinal infections, especially those who are suffering from diarrhoea or constipation, might want to uncover if this treatment could benefit their health.

Overcoming the Stigma

Unfortunately, Fecal bacteriotherapy objections are subject to the obvious perception behind the, er, matter! The complications aren’t actually connected to the success of the procedure, and more than 90 percent of patients are able to completely recover. Instead, the problems revolve around the regulations of the treatment and the fact that fecal matter is, well, icky. Patients are wary of treatments that involve ingesting faeces, and it is nearly impossible to regulate the stool needed for the transplant. Since this is also a relatively new treatment, not all health insurance providers will cover the costs.

It might sound like a weird treatment from a science fiction novel, but fecal transplants have the potential to save the thousands of people around the world who die from C. diff infections each year. Doctors are investigating the procedure, and it will almost certainly be a common medical procedure in the next decade.