home

How could we improve it?

close
chevron
This article contains false or inaccurate information.
chevron

Please tell us what was incorrect.

wanring-icon
Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
chevron
This article doesn't provide enough info.
chevron

Please tell us what was missing.

wanring-icon
Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
chevron
Hmm... I have a question.
chevron

We’re unable to offer personal health advice, diagnosis, or treatment, but we welcome your feedback! Just type it in the box below.

wanring-icon
If you're facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.

Or copy link

New

Poop Transplants: Do They Really Work?

Poop Transplants: Do They Really Work?

Do poop transplants save lives? The process of poop transplant or fecal transplantation involves the transplantation of feces from a healthy donor into an individual. FMT is used to rid the body of Clostridium difficile infection, as well as to treat the gut after antibiotic treatment so that the bacteria are balanced again. Patients with gastrointestinal infections and other conditions may benefit from fecal transplants.

Fecal transplant is also known as poop transplant, bacteriotherapy, or fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). Using fecal transplantation to treat Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) was introduced in the 4th century. However, it was only during the ’80s when research and experimentation were held.

Poop transplants save lives. Besides using it for CDI, more studies are being conducted to find out if it is effective against other diseases as well.

Uses

Patients with recurrent CDI are eligible recipients of a fecal transplant. CDI can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and sometimes fever. CDI is usually treated with antibiotics but prolonged use of antibiotics can result in making the condition much worse.

The gut is often stripped of both good and bad bacteria once antibiotics are given. When this happens, the body has a difficult time keeping C. difficile away. This is why fecal transplant is highly recommended for CDI treatment: it is fairly safe and effective in restoring gut bacteria.

People over 65 and/or with chronic illnesses may be more likely to be infected with more severe infections.

Benefits

Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of people dying of C. difficile infections especially among patients over the age of 65.

CDI is primarily treated with antibiotics but antibiotic treatment has been proven ineffective especially in patients with weak immune systems. It has been observed that about 30% of patients receiving antibiotic treatment for CDI often experience symptoms again weeks after their treatment.Antibiotic treatment is costly and can be detrimental to gut bacteria if used for a long time which is why FMT is a cost-efficient way of treating persistent CDI.

According to studies, a vast majority of patients with CDI have improved their condition with FMT. Indeed, poop transplants save lives. Approximately 70% of those undergoing fecal transplants begin experiencing improvements within a few days following the procedure.

Risk

FMT is a promising form of treatment and has been proven effective against C. difficile infection. However, fecal transplant is fairly new and more studies need to be made to make this procedure less risky.

The biggest risk of fecal transplantation is the potential transmission of pathogenic bacteria that may cause more harm to the patient.

Recently, the FDA issued a warning against the use of fecal transplants, which prompted the improvement in the screening of fecal donors.

Fecal transplant can be compared to blood transfusion where there’s a chance of acquiring harmful bacteria and viruses from the donor if the specimen is not screened and examined carefully.

Poop transplants save lives and as technology improves and more research is being conducted, screening for donors has become safer and will continue to improve in the succeeding years.

How It’s Done

FMT is commonly delivered via a colonoscopy, poop pills, or through the nose (Nasoenteric tube). The method of delivery depends on the condition of the patient and the assessment of the healthcare provider. As a whole, the FMT procedure is quite safe. Poop transplants save lives.

The treatment may cause mild discomforts such as mild bloating, gas, and low-grade fevers. But other than that, there are no adverse effects to FMT treatment.

Routine laboratory tests are performed on the donor’s blood and an in-depth medical history is gathered, as well as screening for microbial organisms in the donor’s stool.

The donor should not have consumed antibiotics for the past two to three days. Blood and stool samples will be examined for signs of infection.

Treatment for Other Diseases

More studies are being conducted to prove that poop transplants save lives. In addition to treating CDI, FMT may help treat other conditions as well.

FMT is also being investigated as a treatment for several metabolic abnormalities, like type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, high blood sugar and abnormal cholesterol levels.

Additionally, studies will be conducted to find out if FMT can be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), obesity, liver disease, and neuro-cognitive disorders.

Effectivity

With an 80% to 90% cure rate, FMT is an effective treatment for recurrent CDI. Poop transplants save lives. It is possible, however, that some patients will require more than one treatment with FMT.

A patient is considered cured if they make it to eight weeks post-FMT without experiencing any issues or the recurrence of diarrhea. The chances of someone failing the first FMT cannot be accurately predicted. Antibiotics should be avoided for at least eight weeks following FMT.

Key Takeaways

Fecal transplantation is the process of transplanting feces from a healthy donor into a patient. FMT is used to treat the infection of Clostridium difficile in the body.

In fecal transplants, the most important risk to consider is the transmission of pathogenic bacteria that can cause serious health problems. More research is being conducted to find out whether poop transplants save lives. Besides CDI, FMT may aid in treating other conditions, as well.

Learn more about other Medical Procedures here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Fecal Transplantation (Bacteriotherapy)

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gastroenterology_hepatology/clinical_services/advanced_endoscopy/fecal_transplantation.html

June 16, 2021

 

You Won’t Believe How This Works: Fecal Transplant

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/despite-the-ick-factor-fecal-procedure-works-wonders/

June 16, 2021

 

What is Fecal Microbiota Transplantation? 

https://www.openbiome.org/about-fmt

June 16, 2021

 

Stool transplants are now standard of care for recurrent C. difficile infections

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/stool-transplants-are-now-standard-of-care-for-recurrent-c-difficile-infections-2019050916576

June 16, 2021

 

Why did the FDA issue a fecal transplant warning?

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-did-the-fda-issue-a-fecal-transplant-warning

June 16, 2021

 

Fecal microbiota transplant

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007703.html

June 16, 2021

 

Fecal Transplant

https://www.mgmc.org/care/gi/fecal-transplant/

June 16, 2021

 

Stool Transplant Provides Bowel Disorder Relief

https://www.uofmhealth.org/conditions-treatments/digestive-and-liver-health/stool-transplant

June 16, 2021

 

Faecal microbiota transplant

https://www.whatisbiotechnology.org/index.php/science/summary/fmt/faecal-microbiota-transplantation-involves-the-infusion-of

June 16, 2021

 

Picture of the authorbadge
Written by Hazel Caingcoy Updated 3 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
x