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Monday, December 12, 2011

Fecal Transplants (Part II)

Last year I wrote this "Fecal Transplants, er, I mean Bacteriotherapy" on my then "personal blog".

It related to my dog, poor old Mugs.  And no, Mugs wasn't treated with Bacteriotherapy - at least not by me.  Mugs had his intestinal floral killed of by stupid, well-meaning veterinary idiots who over-prescribed antibiotics. 

We fixed Mugs digestive system with some probiotics.

But this started me to thinking...

(Gross Warning - the following is not suitable to be read while eating...)

Bacteriotherapy should be the "wonder treatment" of the 2010's for a couple of reasons.

First off, most people do no realize the importance of the bacteria that live in their guts.  Most adults have about 20 to 25 pounds of bacteria in their bodies - maybe a quarter to an eighth of their body weight.  Recent studies have shown that these bacteria are as varied as we are and that each person has unique bacterial elements to their gut flora.

We cannot live without these bacteria. 

They are symbiotic with our digestive system in that we cannot digest our food without them.

Unfortunately, antibiotics, which do not distinguish between "good" and "bad" bacteria kill off the good bacteria while killing off the bad (see "Antibiotics - Scourge on Humanity").  Like firing a shot gun into a crowd of people when we know someone in the crowd in a criminal - the blast kills off people indiscriminately - hopefully killing the bad.

Not exactly a good idea.

Good thing this is all governed by "medical science" and a "benevolent government."

Antibiotics were invented before people had any real understanding of how the human digestive system worked - particularly with respect to their bacterial components.  Then they over-prescribed them to the point of total lunacy.

Secondly, once you've damaged the good bacteria in your gut, things like Clostridium difficile, or C. diff can enter and take over.  This is basically "chronic diarrhea" (and possibly a route or stop along the way to far more serious bowel diseases).

Doctors, being stupid (actually insane may be more accurate - repeatedly performing the same activity over and over and expecting a different outcome), simply apply stronger and stronger antibiotics trying to kill the C. diff without concern for what else these treatments might do to your body.  Instead these compounds simply destroy more and more of the healthy bacteria and leave only the most antibiotic-resistant C. diff to reproduce.

So modern medicine is working hard at all levels to kill off your digestive bacteria. 

These articles (in Wired and Scientific American) paint the picture of the future of medicine as it relates to all this.

Doctors working hard to kill you with antibiotics.

Fortunately, a fecal transplant (transplanting the bacterial flora from a healthy person into someone who's intestinal flora have been destroyed) as a very high success rate (above 80% or more).  The details of how this is accomplished are available elsewhere.  These bacteria are designed to live in your gut and that's what they want to do.

Fecal transplants in humans date back to at least 1958 and are commonly used by vets.

All this also makes you wonder why fido might eat poop on occasion. 

Maybe he knows something about his digestive system we don't.

There are some problems with this treatment reaching main-stream medicine.

First and foremost, the FDA, NIH, and other government agencies who oversee our "healthcare" do not recognize feces as a medical "product" that can be used to treat people and so these treatments are only available from doctors whose bosses will "look the other way." 

The regulations only allow specific compounds to be medical treatments. 

Sadly feces do not qualify being a natural product.  Though I suppose, like vitamins, feces is a "natural" or organic product.

Next, because medicine assumes that symptoms must be "treated" rather than asking why things are broken in the first place it cannot deal with the model that your ill health is caused by their medications.  Hence there is resistance to this kind of therapy.  (See the history of treatment of ulcers as an example - though just killing off bacteria with antibiotics is not a good idea...)

In any case I believe that there are many people I personally know who suffer from a variety of digestive misery.

No one asks if they've had (or are having) lots of antibiotics as a cause.

No one asks if their digestive system has been "broken."

No one thinks to do anything but "treat the symptoms."

Since nothing about a fecal transplant is "patentable" no medical giant or big pharma is interested in working on this sort of treatment - there's only good health in it - not money.

Fortunately this is not rocket science and as I wrote in "Why is Science Professional" folks who face certain death (for example as the woman in the linked Wired article did) will probably figure out how to do this on their own (its a natural product and well, the equipment to perform this type of procedure is available in any drug store).

So we've created a society that makes poop a horrific evil - with hand santizers and endless childhood classes in "hand washing".

All in the hope of making a quick buck off of it.

Yet living as I do with many animals one learns that poop is simply part of life.  Its not like some of the better of us don't do it...

Personally I think this knowledge and treatment is something that would probably benefit millions of people.

No one wonders why animals don't suffer from all the problems people do - after all the live in the same environment - so maybe our problems are not environmental but in fact caused by us.

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