This method of treatment may be half a century old, but is still capable of inducing people to wrinkle their noses or laugh uncontrollably!
Fecal therapy has been in existence for fifty years now and is usually employed as a last resort in cases of recurrent gastrointestinal (GI) infection. During this procedure, fecal matter from another person is transplanted into the gut of the sick person to restore balance of the gut flora. The method used is usually enema, which can cause discomfort, but is essentially a simple procedure.
AdvertisementThis scatological treatment is considerably medieval but it has managed to catch the interest of certain modern day doctors due to its promising results.
Randomized trials carried out by Dutch scientists have proved that patients with serious, recurrent GI infections caused by the bacteria C. difficile have indeed become much better when donor feces was transplanted into their intestines. These patients fared so much better than the ones who were administered anti bacterial therapy that the study was halted much earlier than expected!
There is some aesthetic factor involved in this treatment but otherwise it is being seriously considered for three different reasons-- the increase in C.difficile infections due to rampant use of antibiotics, the increase in understanding of the role of bacteria in maintaining our body health and the experience of doctors who have carried out this procedure on their patients.
In a couple of years, it is hoped that an oral capsule would replace the squirmy procedures that are currently being used.