Sometimes the problems with your stomach have nothing to do with that third serving of ice cream, two-day hangover, or spicy ramen.
Sometimes an issue with your gut goes much, much deeper than that.
Faecal microorganism transplants, more commonly known as FMT or poo transplants, are now being used to help a range of gut conditions.
Faecal microorganism transplants, more commonly known as poo transplants or FMT, are now being used to help certain gut conditions
A poo transplant utilises the stool from a healthy donor and transfers it to the sick recipient with the hope that the donor bacteria will attach to the patient’s gut.
This new bacteria is then meant to help restore the balance of the gut so it can fight against infections like C. difficile or even Crohn’s disease.
Poo transplants have been approved for treating recurrent C. difficile, as the condition normally develops from the use of antibiotics.
It is especially common among hospital patients, whose immune systems are especially vulnerable to the bacteria.
C.diff symptoms include diarrheoa and stomach pain, and the infection can become fatal if the colon is severely damaged.
A poo transplant utilises the stool from a healthy donor and transfers it to the sick recipient to balance the system
Doctors told Sydney mum-of-three Kerryn Barnett that she may need to have her colon removed after her gastroparesis – a rare illness in which the stomach is paralysed and can’t absorb nutrients – had moved to her bowel.
The surgery would have been irreversible, permanently connecting her small intestine to her rectum.
But another specialist suggested a faecal microbiota transplant instead, which Kerryn, 38, underwent via a colonoscopy.
Mum-of-three Kerryn Barnett, 38, underwent a faecal microbiota transplant instead after a rare stomach illness had moved to her bowel
Doctors told Kerryn she needed to have her colon removed, an irreversible major surgery, so she jumped at the chance when one specialist recommended FMT instead
Half a kilo of healthy donor faecal matter was transferred to her bowel, followed by 10 days of enema treatments.
Afterwards, Kerryn’s life improved beyond measure.
‘You get to the point of being willing to try just about anything in the hope you can be here for longer,’ she told Daily Mail Australia in October.
‘There were so many periods of the last three years where I didn’t have any hope, but to go through this process and see the benefits and the outcome has just been huge.’
Half a kilo of healthy donor faecal matter was transferred to her bowel, followed by 10 days of enema treatments. Afterwards, Kerryn said her life was improved beyond measure
A new study, published this week in Cell Host & Microbe, recently examined the factors which help determine whether donor bacteria will attach – known as engraftment – to the recipient’s gut.
Researchers found that engraftment was more successful when donor bacteria was more abundant.
‘They also found that, if the recipient already had some of the strains found in the donor, the probability of those strains engrafting was higher,’ the study read.
The researchers hope the study will help build a foundation for developing a synthetic probiotic that can act as an alternative to ‘transferring raw fecal matter’ in the future.