Science is rapidly changing all the time as new discoveries are made, especially when it comes to how we treat various illnesses, and sometimes, the findings are downright bizarre. Case in point, a number of years ago, it was discovered that a procedure called a “fecal infusion” could help fight Clostrdium Difficile (AKA C. Diff), a bacterial infection which can seriously inflame the colon for patients with recurrent episodes.
With the discovery that healthy gut bacteria in the form of fecal matter (yes, poop!) could be introduced into a sick person’s colon, essentially eradicating the bacteria, some clinics have begun using the procedure to help treat other diseases. In fact, one Florida-based clinic is using fecal transfusions to fight a number of ailments — even though they aren’t quite regulated.
According to Buzzfeed, the clinic in question is offering poop infusions for everything from autism to obesity. Unfortunately for them, the Food and Drug Administration has banned this procedure for anything other than C. Diff, mostly because there are no clear study results beyond anecdotal evidence (like the claims that autism is affected by a lack of specific forms of gut bacteria). While Buzzfeed notes that the FDA has yet to actually shut down the Florida clinic, time may be short for it, and any others operating outside of official medical regulations.
In the meantime, drug companies are racing to try and find a pill-version of the isolated bacteria, which would effectively remove the use of using others people’s actual poop in medical procedures.
Sounds like a pretty (pun intended) crappy situation, indeed!
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(h/t Teen Vogue; photo via Sean Gallup/Getty)