Fecal Transplant: Understanding Why and How Stool is Transplanted to Treat Chronic Diarrhea
Fecal Microbiota Transplantation(FMT), commonly known as a fecal bacteriotherapy, is the process of replenishing the biome of the gut and lower intestines. The transplant is used to treat chronic diarrhea caused by an overpopulation of a certain type of bacteria commonly found in the gut. The bacteria in your gut are there to help in many ways. For example, the bacteria help with digestion, regulating blood sugar and are also linked to the production of chemicals in the brain. Disruption of the normal gut biome can be caused by genetics, or more commonly from the overuse of antibiotics that wipe out a good portion your gut biome.
When one type of commonly found gut bacteria overpopulates, it results in the disruption of the normal healthy bacteria in the colon. When using antibiotics to treat illnesses, good and bad bacteria in the gut are reduced, leaving the antibiotic resistant bacteria Clostridium difficile (C. diff) to flourish.
Dysbiosis, the disruption of the complex bacterial population in your intestines, can cause inflammation and altered intestinal homeostasis. Dysbiosis is linked to a variety of ailments, including obesity. Fecal transplants are still being studied to treat a variety of ailments, with some evidence indicating they can treat conditions as diverse as obesity and alopecia.
Bacteria known to disrupt the gut biome:
– E. Coli
– Clostridiodes difficile
How does it work?
If your doctor thinks a fecal transplant is a good option for you, the process involves several steps. First, your healthcare provider determines if you are suffering from an overpopulation of C. diff in your intestines and you have not responded to the conventional antibiotic treatments. A healthy donor must be found. The donor should be healthy without any history of parthenogenic disease such as HIV, Hepatitis, small pox or Ebola. The issues arise when the donor is not comprehensively screened for all known sequenced pathogens that can lead to further complications post fecal transplant.
What are The Benefits?
Out of the 500,000 people diagnosed with C. diff imbalance in the U.S, 15,000 die as a result of complications. This is after drug treatment and attempts to remove parts of the colon. In around 400-470 documented cases the bacterium from fecal transplant quickly becomes dominate in the patients gut. This phenomenon happens in nature as well. For example, transplanting healthy soil to non-healthy soil helps knock back crop diseases and makes soils more fertile.
When Should you be tested?
In some cases, it is difficult to determine which bacterium is causing your lower gastrointestinal illness. When it comes to a reoccurring infection, what happens in the biome of your gut can be complicated. The issues arise when the donor is not screened for all knowns sequenced pathogens. This can lead to further complications post fecal transplant. In cases such as these, Xplore-PATHO fecal collection kit can be of use. This collection kit can be used to determine if any known sequenced pathogen is within the sample, leading to a safe transplant.