Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Get Email Updates

Related Topics

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Fecal Transplantation Treats Severe Intestinal Infections

By Michele Blacksberg RN HERWriter
 
Rate This
Fecal Transplantation Treats Severe Intestinal Infections 2 5 4
severe intestinal infections may be treated with fecal transplantation
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Fecal transplantation is gaining notice as an acceptable method to treat intestinal infections that do not resolve with the usual rounds of antibiotics.

At first, it may seem like it would be the last choice one would consider. However for some, it has become the best choice, when faced with recurrent bouts of diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps and fevers.

Fecal transplantation has been used to treat infections caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile, also called C. difficile.

C. difficile bacteria can be found in soil and in human feces but for those who are in good health, it is kept at bay by all the healthy bacteria normally in the colon.

However, if someone is treated with antibiotics for an infection elsewhere in their body then the antibiotics can knock out the healthy protective bacteria and allow C. difficile to flourish.

A C. difficile infection can be quite severe.

Those who are elderly, are hospitalized, have had GI procedures, have other colon diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and those who have had previous C. difficile infections are particularly at risk, according the Mayoclinic.com.

The New York Times stated that more than 300,000 patients in hospitals get C. difficile and more resistant strains have developed in the last decade.

About 3 million people are infected each year by C. difficile, most without symptoms. But as many as 30,000 die each year from the bacteria, according to Reuters.

Ironically, current treatment involves giving the person additional antibiotics, either vancomycin or metronidazole.

Fecal transplantation has been around since 1958 when Dr. Ben Eiseman of the University of Colorado “published a report about using fecal enemas to cure four patients with life-threatening intestinal infections”.

Since then other doctors have given their patients fecal transplants when antibiotics have not worked, or for those who have had several bouts of C. difficile.

“Antibiotics typically only work in 15 to 26 percent of patients with C. diff. - and after repeated rounds of treatment, the drugs become less effective”.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

1679 Health

Changed

630 Lives

Saved

479 Lives
3 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Do your teens have their own cellphones?:
View Results