This method of treatment may be half a century old, but is
still capable of inducing people to wrinkle their noses or laugh
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.
This scatological treatment is considerably medieval but it
has managed to catch the interest of certain modern day doctors due to its
Randomized trials carried out by Dutch scientists have
proved that patients with serious, recurrent GI infections caused by the
bacteria C. difficile
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
In a couple of years, it is hoped that an oral capsule
would replace the squirmy procedures that are currently being used.