When this happens regular functioning of the intestines is often compromised

When this happens regular functioning of the

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the healthy balance of microbial life in the gut. When this happens, regular functioning of the intestines is often compromised and problems like diarrhea, gas, and constipation can develop. In order to return the colon’s biome to a healthy balance, doctors may recommend a fecal transplant, which means taking a purified sample of feces and introducing it into the patient’s colon. This can be done in two ways: either through a capsule, which the patient can swallow, or with an enema. For an enema, doctors take a sample of stool from a healthy individual, mix it into a saline solution (salt water), and filter it to ensure the desired bacteria are present. The solution is then introduced into the colon using a retentive enema which is able to evenly spread the saline/fecal solution throughout the entire large intestine. A successful transplant will see the restoration of the proper balance of bacterial life in the patient’s colon and should yield results within hours to days. As gross as transplanting poop from one patient into another sounds, results have been incredibly effective at treating dangerous bacterial infections such as C. difficile as well as more complicated problems including Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Fecal transplants have even shown some promise in helping treat people with Multiple Sclerosis. Becoming a stool donor is a very rigorous process in which people are required to go through many blood and fecal tests in order to ensure that no unwanted pathogens be transplanted into another colon. If you wish to explore donating yourself, speak with a doctor at your local hospital to see if they have a program in place to support this.
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  • Spring '15
  • Bacteria, Foster & Neufeld

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