man on toilet with a help sign, poop pills

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?”

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  1. DS

    I was diagnosed with C-Diff over a year ago. I have had 2 fecal transplants by a GI in Port Charlotte, Fl and neither have helped. My husband and I have been doing the transplants at home using his feces and following strict instructions thru enemas 2 times a week and more at times. I am continuously sick, can’t work or enjoy life. I feel so exhausted all the time. I have no idea how I received this terrible illness.
    Is there any hope that I will ever live a normal life again? Is there anything I can do? I have always been healthy, worked out and stayed on the go now I can’t even get out of my house. How can this happen?
    I own my own company and worry all the time on how I will continue to make a living if I can’t get this under control.
    Looking for any advice on how to survive this or where to go from here. I am desperate!!

  2. CD

    I also ended up with C Diff after taking clindamycin prescribed by dentist. I got very sick soon after finishing the prescription and because of the warning on the prescription I feared I had C Diff. My dr tested and confirmed and prescribed Flagyl. After taking for two days I was feeling even worse so I stopped taking Flagyl. I felt better but within 2 days the symptoms from C Diff were back and even worse. I went to a naturopath dr and she started me on mix of Berberine, l glutamine and probiotics and special diet. Within a few days I was feeling much better.
    She said it will take at least month of restricted diet (no sugar, caffeine, alcohol etc that make the c Diff worse) and probiotics to build back more normal balance but I’m so thankful to know there’s a cure that does not involve more antibiotics and more side effects!

  3. Dave

    A senior female friend, at my suggestion, tried probiotics for recurrent diarrhea and finally began to get some control of her problem. I also reminded her about the stool transplant concept as well as a new prescription which can put a new set of ‘BUGS’ into her intestines.
    Are probiotics actually helpful for this bowel distress or was my friend’s improvement just , happily, helpful?
    I would like to know the Graedon’s take on this and other gut flora treatments.
    People’s Pharmacy response: Probiotics can be helpful, though they are not always adequate. It makes sense to get a strain that has been shown to be useful for the specific problem.

  4. JF

    Don’t understand Drs’ reluctance to try a researched non-pharmaceutical approach. Glad you found a better-informed doctor.

  5. Sunny

    Update on my comments: I had the FMT procedure…. 3 transplants in 3 days. Cdiff test was finally negative. It seems to have worked. Only more time will tell. I was also taking large doses of VSL#3 (probiotic) plus Culturelle & Florastor to replace the “good” bacteria. I am now dealing with serious gut damage from the effects of the Cdiff pathogens and the impact of 4 months of antibiotics. It may take 6 months or more to replace the villi that have been destroyed.

  6. CJoy V.

    Sunny, my thoughts are that taking daily high doses of Human Strain Probiotics would in essence do the same. Have you tried that yet?

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