Fact Sheet on the Offal Truth from the Annals of Modern Medicine
Fecal Microbiata Transplant, FMT, also known as stool transplant, is no joke. Finding a stool donor, however, who doesn't have parasitesor underlying infections, hasn't had antibiotics in 5 years, and who is willing to share bi-product with you...is another matter entirely.
The first fecal transplant was done by a Colorado doctor, Ben Eiseman, MD, in Denver General in 1958. He'd spent part of his youth as a ranch worker, cowboying, in Wyoming and other western states. Maybe it was in doing this work that he picked a fine disregard for sanitation. Coming up with this counter-intuitive idea took a mind especially open to information coming from neither his mother, nor, the medical establishment.
He was able to eradicate a certain kind of antibiotic resistant colititis, in 4 of his patients, with one treatment --it was this kind of colitis that swept down from Canadian hospitals in 2000. C difficile still kills 300 people a day in American hospitals.
Fecal transplants are one of the first new treatments to emerge from the burgeoning study of the "human microbiome," the collection of 100 trillion bacteria, fungi and other microscopic bugs that live in and on the human body. Without them, people could not survive.
As of May 2008 studies showed that FMT can have a positive effect on neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease. Indeed, while Dr. TJ Brody was experimenting with patients afflicted with Parkinson's, he realized that after fecal therapy the symptoms of Parkinson's in his patients began to decrease: some, to the point that other
neurologists could no longer detect Parkinson's. There are new studies which suggest that FMT could benefit ulcerative colitis,auto immune disorders, nuerological conditions, obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, Parkinsons and MS. The newest studies in MS are pointing to bacterial infections and/or Epstein-Barr virus as likely implicated in MS. So, gut flora may represent our immune system assets in battling a variety of illnesses.
A randomised study published in the New England Medical Journal in January 2013 reported a 94% cure rate of colitis caused by C. difficile, by administering fecal microbiota transplant compared to just 31% with vancomycin. The study was stopped prematurely as it was considered unethical not to offer the FMT to all participants of the study due to the outstanding results.
The Mayo Clinic in Arizona FMT team first performed a colonoscopic fecal transplant in 2011 for a patient with severe refractory C. difficile colitis, using donated stool from the patient's brother. "Unbelievably, the patient left the hospital 24 hours after the procedure, after having been bedridden for weeks," Dr. Orenstein says. "That opened my eyes to the possibilities for helping others."
Since then, Mayo Clinic in Arizona has performed 24 fecal microbiota transplants for CDI patients. In every case, the infection was completely eradicated - often within hours or days - Cheryl L. Griesbach, R.N., who was instrumental in developing Mayo's fecal transplant program, says the positive results have been overwhelming. "I've talked to every patient. After having been desperately ill and homebound, the dramatic change in their quality of life is truly phenomenal," she says.
Doctors realize that this new information fits in well with everything they've been learning about the harm done by antibiotic therapy. It is hard to ignore. There are 200 clinics performing FMT across the nation. Over time doctors know that technology will refine the delivery system for renewing intestinal flora--so that cultural norms can continue to be observed--but for now it is only the sickest and best informed that receive the treatment. For the rest of us? It is a waiting game.
Fecal Transplant has quickly become the preferred treatment for antibiotic resistant colitis--and it is going to become part of establishment medicine as soon as doctors stop laughing and pulling rabbit ears out of their pockets.
The procedure was performed in Grey's Anatomy. Season 5 episode 8 a woman receives a poop transplant from her husband.
There is some controversy about whether the donor poop should be a family member or not:
"This could be viewed as another form of recycling: one man's waste is another man's treasure," says James Versalovic, professor of pathology and immunology at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, which has begun its own fecal transplant program, called intestinal microbiome transplantation.
In Australia researchers analyzed the flora of patients receiving new flora: at 4, 8 and 24 weeks following infusions. They found the donor flora was stable over time.
Most of us are going to walk away from the Toronto doctor that says this can be done at home with a blender and two saline enemas.
In 376 studies not a single incidence of infection or illness has been recorded as caused by the procedure.