Pills made from poop save lives

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first_img Share Sharing is caring! Tweet HealthLifestyle Pills made from poop save lives by: – October 12, 2013 35 Views   no discussionscenter_img Swallowing capsules containing healthy people’s poop can cure serious gut infections and provides an alternative to faecal transplants and enemasCALGARY, Canada – If the idea of consuming someone else’s poop makes you sick, you may be a little flushed about a new treatment involving the ingestion of the brown stuff, even though the process can cure a serious illness said to claim some 14,000 lives annually in the United States alone. Scientists have found a way to put healthy people’s poop into pills that can cure dangerous gut infections – a less invasive way to do existing “faecal transplants.” Canadian researchers tested this new treatment on 27 patients and cured them all after strong antibiotics failed to help.Half a million Americans get Clostridium difficile, or C-diff, infections each year and about 14,000 die. The germ causes nausea, cramping and diarrhoea so bad it is often disabling.A very potent and expensive antibiotic can kill C-diff, but also destroys good bacteria that live in the gut, leaving it more susceptible to future infections.Studies have shown that faecal transplants – giving infected people stool from a healthy donor – can restore that balance. But they’re given through expensive, invasive procedures like colonoscopies or throat tubes. Doctors have also tried giving the stool through enemas, but the treatment doesn’t always work.Dr Thomas Louie, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary, devised a better way – a one-time treatment custom-made for each patient.Donor stool, usually from a relative, is processed in the lab to take out food and extract the bacteria and clean it. It is packed into triple-coated gel capsules so they won’t dissolve until they reach the intestines.“There’s no stool left – just stool bugs. These people are not eating poop and there are no smelly burps because the contents aren’t released until they’re well past the stomach,” Dr Louie said.Days before starting the treatment, patients are given an antibiotic to kill the C-diff. On the morning of the treatment, they have an enema so “the new bacteria coming in have a clean slate,” Louie said.It takes 24 to 34 capsules to fit the bacteria needed for a treatment, and patients down them in one sitting. The pills make their way to the colon and seed it with the normal variety of bacteria.Louie described 27 patients treated this way at ID Week, an infectious diseases conference in San Francisco. All had suffered at least four C-diff infections and relapses, but none had a recurrence after taking the poop pills.Dr Curtis Donskey of the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Centre, who has done faecal transplants through colonoscopies, praised the work.“The approach that Dr Louie has is completely novel – no one else has done this,” he said. “I am optimistic that this type of preparation will make these procedures much easier for patients and for physicians.”At present, the treatment must be made fresh for each patient so the pills don’t start to dissolve at room temperature, because their water content would break down the gel coating.Doctors in Minnesota are testing freezing stool, which doesn’t kill the bacteria, so it could be stored and shipped anywhere a patient needed it.“You could have a universal donor in Minnesota provide a transplant for someone in Florida. That’s where we’re heading,” Donskey said. Associated PressRead more: http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/news/1032232.html#ixzz2hWVw5JaS Share Sharelast_img

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