Monday, January 21, 2013

Modern Medical Advances – A Fecal Transplant is Shown to be Effective in Fighting Bacterial Disease

Yes, It is What It Sounds Like

It turns out that not all medical advances are the result of high cost research and result in high cost treatment.  Here’s one that is low tech and low cost, although this could really be a case where the cure may be worse than the disease.

Transplanting feces from a healthy person into the gut of one who is sick can quickly cure severe intestinal infections caused by a dangerous type of bacteria that antibiotics often cannot control.

A new study finds that such transplants cured 15 of 16 people who had recurring infections with Clostridium difficile bacteria, whereas antibiotics cured only 3 of 13 and 4 of 13 patients in two comparison groups. The treatment appears to work by restoring the gut’s normal balance of bacteria, which fight off C. difficile.

And how exactly is this done you may ask. 

It involves diluting stool with a liquid like salt water and then pumping it into the intestinal tract via an enema, a colonoscope or a tube run through the nose into the stomach or small intestine.

Gosh, how to choose between three such appealing options.  On a serious note though apparently over 15,000 people a year die from this Clostridium thing, which is mainly the result of treatment in health care facilities with strong antibiotics which destroy the natural bacteria in one's guts. 

Just another reason not to go to a hospital.

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