Fecal Transplants for most people may initiate the “yuck factor”. However, to be quite honest my research has shown this procedure to have promising benefits.
A fecal transplant is when a doctor transplants feces from a healthy donor into another person to restore the balance of bacteria in their gut. Fecal transplants may help treat gastrointestinal infections and other conditions.
Fast fact: fecal transplantation is the insertion of stool from someone with a healthy system into the intestine of someone who is ill or unwell.
Doctors primarily use fecal transplants to treat C. difficile-associated disease (CDAD). In the United States, CDAD kills about 15,000 people. The overall cure rate was 90% among those who underwent multiple treatments.
Fecal transplants and Autism
Research has shown that many kids with autism have gastrointestinal problems, and some studies have found that those children also have worse autism-related symptoms. According to the studies performed by Krajmalnik-Brown, when you are able to treat those gastrointestinal problems, their behavior improves. At the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Sydney, researcher, Borody, has stated that fecal transplants is a world-first discovery. He continues to state that when we treated the gut bacteria in these children with autism during our clinical trial two years ago to reset their microbiome with FMT, positive results are still continuing to be improving two years from the original treatments.
Fecal transplants and Diabetes
A paper published in 2020 at the Chongqing Public Health Medical Center in China discovered growing evidence indicating that gut microbiota plays an indispensable role in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) progress via multiple mechanisms. The paper further concludes that despite the existence of multiple challenges and obstacles, appropriately administered FMT is believed to be a boon for individuals with T2DM.
Fecal transplants and Obesity
Certain microbes in our guts determine our ability to become and/or stay lean or not; by using FMT, we can manipulate our microbiome to look more like that of a thin person’s. By inserting the microbes more prominent in lean individuals’ guts into an obese gut, the microbes will encourage more effective weight loss.
The legitimacy of this practice has been demonstrated in a proof of concept mice study, along with anecdotal cases being reported. There are a handful of human studies underway exploring the connection between gut microbiota and obesity. I have read several clinical papers and the conclusion has been mixed. More research is needed.
Fecal transplants and Other Conditions
There are preliminary reports on the use of FMT therapy in a wide range of disorders including Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, myoclonus dystonia, multiple sclerosis, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, depression, fatty liver, hay fever, arthritis, asthma, eczema, anxiety and even cancer!
**In a paper published in 2019 concludes that the role of the intestinal microbiota and its relationship to carcinogenesis provide an unprecedented opportunity to explore new diagnostic and therapeutic applications for cancers. Strategically FMT is the most direct method to change the composition of gut microbiota. Case reports and series reveal the potential of FMT in alleviating various cancers linked to intestinal dysbiosis and cancer treatment-associated complications.
How much does a fecal transplant cost?
Fecal Microbiota Transplant procedures can cost between $600-$1000 depending on the treatment method, location, insurance coverage, and other factors. This price usually covers both the stool material used in FMT and the procedure, but in certain cases, the two are considered separate costs by insurance plans
Who does fecal microbiota transplantation?
Unfortunately at this time from my review of the literature indicates that the medical establishment will only approve FMT for Clostridioides difficile infection. If you want to determine if FMT can help with other conditions listed above you would need to be accepted as part of a clinical trial. You can search for trials at www.clinicaltrials.gov
Do It Yourself FMT
As disappointing as the above may be for those seriously interested in FMT for other conditions listed above, I read a paper from 2020 titled: Understanding the Scope of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Fecal Microbiota Transplant.
It is beyond the scope of this article to recommend anything other than what is presented to move forward with FMT.
Recommended further reading:
The Fecal Transplant Guidebook by Sky Curtis
Fecal Transplant by Diane York
References for this article: