November 16, 2017 by John Crapper
Fecal transplants, and their effectiveness to treat serious illness, was personally brought to my attention recently. Over the entire time I’ve been married, which is now over 40 years, my wife’s long-term friend has been caring for a daughter who has suffered from severe juvenile diabetes. Over those years, I’ve vicariously traveled down her life’s journey filled with multiple life-threatening illnesses, the latest of which has been a serious bout with C-diff infection.
My wife loves to do research and she took it upon herself to investigate cutting edge treatments for this stubborn infection. The results of that research pointed to an experimental procedure called a fecal transplant.
After much discussion between friends, wife and daughter and the doctors treating her, it was decided to enroll the patient for an experimental fecal transplant. A healthy donor was identified and fecal material was inserted through the rectum in a similar fashion as an enema.
The results were stunningly dramatic and positive. The daughter recovered her ability to fight disease and infection and was able to eliminate her constant intake of various antibiotics, which had, up to that point, been a vain attempt to fight the C-diff infection. She now is C-diff free and enjoying the healthiest life she has enjoyed in years.
Fecal Microbiota Transplant
Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) is a procedure in which fecal matter, or stool, is collected from a tested donor, mixed with a saline or other solution, strained, and placed in a patient, by colonoscopy, endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or enema.
The purpose of fecal transplant is to replace good bacteria that has been killed or suppressed, usually by the use of antibiotics, causing bad bacteria, specifically Clostridium difficile, or C. diff., to over-populate the colon. This infection causes a condition called C. diff. colitis, resulting in often debilitating, sometimes fatal diarrhea.
Since then newer more “palatable” forms of doing fecal transplants have been developed.
Pills made from poop
cure serious gut infections.
Doctors have discovered that putting healthy people’s poop into pills can cure serious gut infections! Canadian researches tried this on 27 patients as a less yucky way to do “fecal transplants” and cured all of them.
It’s a gross topic but a serious problem. Half a million Americans get Clostridium difficile, or C-diff, infections each year, and about 14,000 die. The germ causes nausea, cramping and diarrhea so bad it is often disabling. A very potent and pricey antibiotic can kill C-diff but also destroys good bacteria that live in the gut, leaving it more susceptible to future infections
Dr. Thomas Louie, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary, devised a better way — a one-time treatment custom-made for each patient.
Donor stool, usually from a relative, is processed in the lab to take out food and extract the bacteria and clean it. It is packed into triple-coated gel capsules so they won’t dissolve until they reach the intestines.
Days before the treatment starts, patients take antibiotics to kill the C-diff. On the morning they are slated to take the pills they are given an enema so “the new bacteria coming in have a clean slate,” Louie said.
It takes 24 to 34 capsules to fit the bacteria needed for a treatment, and patients down them in one sitting. The pills make their way to the colon and seed it with the normal variety of bacteria.
The treatment now must be made fresh for each patient so the pills don’t start to dissolve at room temperature, because their water content would break down the gel coating. Minnesota doctors are testing freezing stool, which doesn’t kill the bacteria, so it could be stored and shipped anywhere a patient needed it.
Dr. Louie explained his findings at an infectious disease conference in San Francisco. All 27 patients had suffered at least four C-diff infections and relapses, but none had any recurrence of the disease after taking the poop pills.
Congratulations Dr. Louie for practicing medicine the Holy Shitters way! You are a real “Smart Shit”.
I’ve been following this project for quite some time. Having already watched this documentary I can attest to its educational value.
(The following is reprinted with permission.)
What the FLUSH?
Five years ago, 11 Billion gallons of raw sewage overflowed into New York’s waters as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Filmmaker Karina Mangu-Ward wondered if the unprecedented storm damage in her Brooklyn neighborhood, the drought out West, and the future of our food supply had a lot to do with how we flush. So she gave herself a challenge: follow one flush from beginning to end. FLUSH – The Documentary is the story of everything that happens next, and the cultural, political, and corporate forces shaping the way we deal with bodily waste in America today.