MAR 21, 2018 10:06 AM PDT

Could poop be the cure?

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Would you eat poop? Or get it injected up your colon? A process called a stool transplant, or Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), has been shown quite effective as a treatment for people suffering from Clostridium difficile infection, of C. diff. C. diff is an infection that is extremely common in North America and Europe due to the high prescription rate of antibiotics. C. diff often presents itself with constant diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other uncomfortable symptoms - it can even lead to death because it can cause people to become extremely dehydrated and lose too much weight. In fact, I've had C. diff, and when my doctor told me that the treatment for this infection was another round of antibiotics (isn't that how I got it in the first place?), I was dubious. But perhaps not as dubious as I would have been if she had told me that I should put someone else's poop up my colon.

However weird and gross it may sound, FMT has shown great success and the FDA even regulated human feces as an experimental drug back in 2013. So how does it work? Well, the idea behind it is that transplanting a healthy person's fecal bacteria into the colon of someone who has C. diff can introduce and restore colonic microflora in the recipient's body. This process actually happens during a colonoscopy, enema, orally in the form of a capsule containing freeze-dried material.

But the companies who deal in these poop cures don't take just anyone's poop - and because the process is selective, they pay! Forty bucks a pop! (Or should I say, a poop!). Want to learn more about how you could become a donor or hear from someone whose life was saved by this cure? Watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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