Alternative Treatment Options
Are there any Alternative Treatment Options for IBD, IBS, UC, and Crohn’s?
So, why isn’t your Doctor sharing this information with you?
As we have addressed before ( in prior Updates), many of the treatments currently used for IBD, UC, and Crohn’s also come with many side effects, some just annoying (like hair loss, decreased libido, joint pains), some quite serious (serious allergic reactions, threats to your kidney and liver functions, just to name a few), and others increasing your cancer risk, and others still actually life threatening.
Currently there are 2 Alternatives Treatments Options used in IBD, UC, and Crohn’s which have some great success stories associated with them. We’ve discussed each of these Alternative Treatment Options in our Updates.
FMT – (Also called FT) – stands for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
For those of you who haven’t heard of this before, there is a “yuck” factor you have to get over. Has been used successfully for C. Diff cases. Pioneered by the Australian doctor, Dr. Thomas Borody, who has written a number of papers on it,
The process includes screening potential fecal donors for pathogens and viruses, taking antibiotics as part of the “prep”, and then doing the FMT via colonoscopy – which ensures adequate spraying of fecal materials throughout the small and large intestines, as well as the colon.
Published in Gastroenterology & Hepatology,
Fecal Transplantation for the Treatment of Clostridm difficile Infection
Here are some Excerpts from the article, but click here to read the full article
“…G&H Why is fecal transplantation being used as a treatment for C. difficile infection?
LJB Fecal transplantation is being tried as a treatment for C. difficile infection because, conceptually, it makes sense. Physicians are beginning to recognize that one of the reasons why C. difficile infection may occur and recur is because antibiotics perturb patients’ intestinal microflora, now called the microbiome. When the microbiome is altered unfavorably, patients are in a state of dysbiosis, and the community of living organisms in the intestine will no longer be able to protect the host against C. difficile infection. By reintroducing a healthy diversity of bacteria, fecal transplantation can re-establish colonization resistance to prevent C. difficile from gaining a foothold and becoming a dominant organism in the environment of the gut.
G&H Which patients are the best candidates for fecal transplantation?
LJB The patients who most frequently receive this treatment are those who have had at least 3 recurrences ofC. difficile infection and have failed all the conventional therapies, including a pulsed, tapered regimen of vancomycin.
That said, I think the treatment spectrum should be widened to include any patients who are severely ill because of C. difficile infection, even if the current infection is their first episode. Some of these severely ill patients could develop fulminant colitis, require colectomy, or even die; such complications likely could be prevented if physicians performed fecal transplantation earlier in these patients.
The third group of patients in whom fecal transplantation might be considered, although this indication is much more debatable, is any patient with C. difficile infection, regardless of the number of recurrences or the severity of the infection. In a presentation at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), a group of researchers (including myself) reported on 77 patients from 5 geographically disparate medical centers who had undergone fecal transplantation at least 3 months previously. These patients had suffered from C. difficile infection for a minimum of 3 months, with the average duration of symptoms being 11 months, and they had failed an average of 5 prior conventional treatments. When asked about their attitudes toward fecal transplantation as a treatment option, 97% said they would elect to undergo fecal transplantation again if they experienced another recurrence of C. difficile infection, and 53% of patients said they would prefer fecal transplantation as their first-line treatment, rather than antibiotic therapy.
G&H In which patients is fecal transplantation contraindicated?
LJB At present, I do not think there are any patients in whom fecal transplantation is contraindicated. I have performed several fecal transplantations in immunocompromised patients without adverse effects. Fecal transplantation therapy is a safe, highly effective, and simple technique that has very few downsides….”
For info on clinical trials on FMT, click here
As per Alliance for Natural Health ( click here to see the article in full) please go to last paragraph in the article: “…In another attempt to regulate the human body, FDA tried to claim human excrement as a drug. No, we’re not kidding. There’s a medical procedure to treat gut infections by implanting the intestine with healthy bacteria from healthy family member-donors’ fecal matter. FDA said the stools were unregulated drugs, and would require investigational new drug applications and would have to be taken through the extraordinarily expensive approval process before doctors could continue to perform the procedure. In June, as a direct result of embarrassing publicity, the FDA said they won’t enforce the new requirement after all…”
In NCBI’s Article, “Temporal Bacterial Community Dynamics Vary Among Ulcerative Colitis Patients After Fecal Microbiota Transplantation”, reached the following
“…CONCLUSIONS:This study highlights the value of characterizing temporally resolved microbiota dynamics for a better understanding of FMT efficacy and provides potentially useful diagnostic indicators for monitoring FMT success in the treatment of ulcerative colitis…”
My Comments on FMT:
Although some people do FMT at home, via multiple enemas ( these are homemade with a recipe of fecal material usually donated by a healthy relative, probiotics, and saline solution blended in a mixer, and then inserted in an enema bottle) over a period of several weeks or months, this “at home FMT” has a very low success rate because FMT needs to reach all areas of the small and large intestine as well as the colon and this can only be done via colonoscopy.
I must also tell you, that I have heard of many stories with high failure rate and also increased severity of flaring as a result of at-home FMT.
From my understanding of the research results I’ve read so far on FMT via colonoscopy has a very high success rate for C. Diff, and a decent success rate for UC, however unfortunately, for UC patients the relief brought by FMT isn’t permanent. I have heard of results lasting for 6 months to 1 year.
If you’re contemplating doing FMT, please make sure your donor has been properly screened, and if you can afford it, do it via colonoscopy. Make sure you get answers to all the important questions.