Fecal transplant for recurring C. difficile

I’m currently undergoing my third treatment for C. difficile. My gasteroenterologist has said that if this round doesn’t solve the problem, there are two more options to try. The first of these is hospitalization for ten to 14 days for IV administration of metronidazole concurrent with oral vancomycin, while the second is a fecal transplant administered via colonoscopy. He says that he’s performed three fecal transplants in the past and in each of these, the patients had almost instantaneous recovery, with no recurrences. He’s had many more patients undergo the dual antibiotic hospitalization route, with mixed success. Each of the three patients he’s given transplants to had previously gone that route, to no avail. I am leaning towards the fecal transplant, but am hoping to get anecdotal accounts from people who’ve undergone either of these procedures and learn of the successes or downfalls they’ve experienced. I am so ready to be done with this!

It’s a load of crap.

My sympathies. Dr. Nearly-Bunny had C. diff and it sucked massively.

That said, they have *got *to come up with a better name for the procedure than “fecal transplant”.

Good luck.

I had no idea what this was so I googled it. One of the first few links was for DIY fecal transplants. :eek:

I think I might need to be done with the internet for a while.

A friend of mine just got out of hospital where she got c-diff and she is still on antibiotics. No useful anecdotes, sorry…her doctor was not very helpful. But I suggested she start doing kefir/yoghurt with many different strains of probiotics/fermented foods generally.

Based on some half-assed (heh) googling, this seems in the can’t hurt/might help category. As do fecal transplants and I agree that there needs to be better terminology and public relations for [del]this shit [/del] this procedure.

Oh, don’t poo-poo it.
To be serious, though, I’ve read that these treatments can be effective, though I don’t have first-hand experience.

It seems like any easy choice to me, hospitalization with strong antibiotics or getting a little extra poop in my colon? I’ll take the poop. I’ve read quite a bit about fecal transplants and C. Diff seems to be one of the most successful uses for the treatment.

If it doesn’t work, you can still go to the hospital.

Ok, imagine yourself a year from now. You’re cured and feeling great. Which story would you rather tell:
[li]Yeah, I had to sit in the hospital on antibiotics. I ate a lot of yogurt.[/li][li]THEY CURED MY SHIT PROBLEM WITH MORE SHIT[/li][/ol]

the amount of antibiotics needed is a toil on your body. can not work in difficult cases.

some shit on the other hand (not really) does difficult cases and has high success.

I have a friend at church whose disabled son had a fecal transplant last year and she said it was essentially a miracle cure for him.

Are there any downsides to the fecal transplant asides from the possibility of it not working? Any potential side effects?

And yes, they probably should call it a “beneficial bacterial infusion” or something PR friendly like that.

Amberlei, have you looked into DIFICID?

I guess the biggest obstacle for the transplant, besides the ick factor, is that it’s considered experimental by my insurance company and thus not covered. I don’t really think it would cost any more than two weeks in the hospital though. I have an appointment tomorrow and will ask the doctor about the cost and about DIFICID.

Chiroptera, you might tell your friend to look into Align and Activia. My Dr. specifically recommended those as they contain Bifidobacterium, which is very susceptible to antibiotics. He also advised me to eat cottage cheese.

Thanks, everyone! I really do need to get this cleared up.

Ask your doctor and hospital to work with the insurance company. If there is a lot of evidence that nothing else is working, insurance companies can approve treatments. You have to nag the insurance company or shame them on social media (it works, seriously).

Or see if your doctor is doing any research and needs a subject…could get the treatment for free or much less $$ if you end up having to pay.

Re: Yogurt. FWIW, most Greek yogurts seem to contain Bifidobacteriam – Fage, Voskos Greek, Chobani, Stoneyfield Farms, and Oikos (my fave). So does Yoplait frozen yogurt (I love the honey and caramel swirl).

Good luck!

I don’t have any personal experience with fecal transplants, but, if I had recurrent C. diff. I would definitely opt for the fecal transplant. It has few, if any, side effects and a very encouraging success rate. High dose antibiotics, on the other hand, have lots of side effects, some very long term, and it frequently fails.

If insurance coverage is your concern, look into joining a research study. Here are the current studies listed at clinicaltrials.gov. I would expect the study procedures to be provided free of charge in all cases.

How do they transfer the feces? Do they do it rectally or orally? If orally, I really hope they have some kind of enteric coated capsules.

As far as probiotics, my understanding is florastoris a better one for c. diff as it has saccharomyces (and electrolytes, just like brawndo).



Likewise, I know nothing about it but what I’ve read from time to time, and by all accounts I’ve seen it seems to be a “miracle cure” for things like C-diff.

The reason antibiotics often don’t work? Well, duh! It’s antibiotics that often cause C-diff infestations in the first place! C-diff normally co-exists in your insides along with umpteen other kinds of bacteria. A course of antibiotics has the potential to kill off all the other gut bacteria, except C-diff which is sometimes resistant to antibiotics.

This leaves you with a C-diff near-monoculture in your gut. Without competition, the C-diff proliferates, to the point where the other bacteria don’t have much chance to grow back. Thus, the C-diff infestation becomes persistent and chronic.

A poop transplant is just, basically, an infusion of a culture of all those other kinds of bacteria, to give them all a fighting chance to re-establish your normal gut ecology.

That’s what I think I know about how C-diff infections work.

I’ve read that it’s done both ways. It can be done with a poop enema. But I think doing it orally is the preferred way, as it gets the stuff higher up in the intestines where it’s needed. It’s done with a feeding-tube sort of thing that they run up your nose and then down your throat into your stomach.

well…I really like the transpoosion term :). Having treated several women for recurrent c diff, and having two or three referred for fecal transplant, I’ve found the transplant successful 100% of the time (very low N) and threat of one about 80% (N also 3). We have metronidazole resistant c diff here, boo. Or poo.
Multiple sources of beneficial bacteria in fermented foods seems to really help. Kefir, Greek yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kim chi, maybe even sampling the wort.

It’s all a pain in the ass.

From wiki:

Anyone want the rest of this nacho cheese burrito? For some reason I can’t finish it.