It may sound strange, but pills made from fecal matter are said to be curing infections in some patients according to new research.
Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, is a potentially life-threatening infection caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It is getting lots of attention because the transplant material is extracted from fecal matter from a donor.
"It pretty much looks like peanut butter, and so they put it inside these capsules and these people swallow usually anywhere between twenty six to thirty six pills." Said Vilma Vega, M.D. of Infectious Disease Associates. "What fecal transplant actually does is it takes fecal material from a good normal donor and actually implants this inside the gut of a person who is ill so it helps replenish the good bacteria.
FMT or Fecal Microbiota Transplant was mostly performed by a gastroenterologist during a colonoscopy. Now pills, or a nasal gastric tube can place bacteria taken from donor feces into your colon.
"Somebody that's got C-Diff may have abdominal pain they may have watery diarrhea, they may have cramping potentially a fever nausea and vomiting, weakness if they've had it for quite a while." Said Marilee Arnold of Doctors Hospital of Sarasota. She urges those with symptoms to get medical attention because for her father it was too late.
She said, "He was diagnosed with C. diff, they anticipated it was because he had been on so many antibiotics and when you are on antibiotics they can kill off all the bacteria in your intestines."
Her father underwent chemotherapy which weakened his immune system causing an infection in his colon. those on certain medications or resistant to antibiotics are also prone to C. diff. Arnold explained, "We all have a little bit of good bacteria in our intestines and when you're on strong antibiotics it kills the good bacteria, and the bad bacteria grows."
The pills used in FMT are not FDA approved in the U.S., But the nasal gastric tube procedure is currently performed right here on the Suncoast.