A new innovative treatment for Clostridium difficile may leave some with an icky feeling, but patients are reaping great benefits from it. Researchers have found that fecal transplants are effectively treating and curing cases of C. diff. The transplant procedure, while taboo, has been gaining popularity for reestablishing healthy levels of bacteria within the patient’s digestive tract. The transplant takes fecal matter from a volunteer donor, mixed with warm water, and then sent into the patient’s colon. The process utilizes either a colonoscope or enema delivery system
. Linked to approximately 14,000 deaths in the United States per year, C. Diff generally targets the elderly and those who take antibiotics regularly for other ailments. The presence of antibiotics disrupts the natural bacteria in the digestive tract, allowing regular occurring levels of C. diff to grow out of control and cause infections. Without this extreme treatment, many with severe C. diff will die. Painful and embarrassing, patients experience severe watery diarrhea regularly. Generally treated with intense antibiotics, the bug can reoccur or some severe cases may be immune to the use of antibiotics. In cases like these, fecal transplants have been used as a last resort, and many patients die as a result of uncontrolled C. diff. With the positive results the fecal transplants, more and more patients are opting for the radical option. The recent study released indicates almost 100% of patient trials were successful and out of the 46 severe cases treated in the trial, only 4 experienced recurrence. This is a significant difference from the 20%-30% of reoccurring cases when treated with the normal antibiotic regimen. The transplant patients also had developed no side effects or complications at the 3-month follow up period. 4 patients did die during the study, but all deaths were preexisting cancer related. Fecal transplants are treating and curing cases of C. diff, and patients are thriving again.