We all know that regularly, uh, ejecting our feces is part of being healthy. But did you know that receiving a fecal transplant couldsave your life? Well, it can, according to a new study conducted in the Netherlands and published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. Before going further, let’s address the huge elephant in the bathroom. What the hell is fecal transplantation? Plainly speaking, it’s putting one person’s shit into the body of another person. In modern medicine, according to the New York Times,
It involves diluting stool with a liquid, like salt water, and then pumping it into the intestinal tract via an enema, a colonoscope or a tube run through the nose into the stomach or small intestine.
I know what you’re thinking. It sounds divine! But it can also save your life if you are suffering from an infection caused by a bacteria called Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile, for short. C. difficile infections are caused by antibiotics which kill off healthy gut bacteria, and leave people susceptible to the dangerous bacteria, which is extremely prevalent in hospitals. The treatment is usually more antibiotics, but sometimes those don’t work and patients relapse. The symptoms include severe diarrhea, vomiting and fever. The infection can be lethal and kills 14,000 people a year in the United States. Each year, over 300.000 hospital patients contract the bacteria and the number of cases in and out of hospitals could be as high as three million. More than $1 billion a year is spent on treatment costs.