Fecal microbiota transplantation has a high yuck factor, but researchers continue to demonstrate that it is an effective way to treat a potentially deadly intestinal infection caused by overgrowth of a bacteria called Clostridium difficile or C. diff. In this procedure, stool from a healthy person is introduced into the digestive tract of the infected individual. The healthy microbes set up shop, and the uncontrollable diarrhea caused by C. diff frequently goes away.
Researchers have been concerned, however, that this procedure might be too risky for patients with compromised immune systems. A small study involving 66 patients was reassuring. The cure rate was over 75%, and more than half these people had no recurrences after three months. The investigators concluded that this was in fact a safe procedure, even for immunocompromised patients.
[American College of Gastroenterology 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting, San Diego, CA]
Sunny commented on our website:
“I had C.diff in 2008 and it took many rounds of Flagyl & Vancomycin to defeat it. I had a pacemaker replaced in June and learned they use IV antibiotics during the procedure. Two days later the diarrhea started and I have again been diagnosed with C.diff. Again I failed Flagyl, then Vancomycin, and became so dehydrated was hospitalized and given IV Vancomycin.
“Six weeks later I am still relapsing and all they can offer is more liquid Vancomycin. I have discovered a doctor nearby who does the fecal transplants and I will use my grandson as a donor. I am 74 and the disease is wearing me down plus the effect of the antibiotic use for 6 weeks running is not good for me either.
“I am developing yeast infection in my mouth (thrush) and am rinsing with coconut oil to keep it at bay.
“Why would I want to keep taking antibiotics when a simple enema can help restore the good bacteria I need to survive this? I have congestive heart failure and renal insufficiency, yet, my infectious disease doc tells me, ‘Oh, you can’t even consider a transplant! There is a protocol to follow…. stronger & stronger antibiotics for months ahead.’
“Does this even make sense to anyone?”