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Trans*POO*sion
March 28, 2011 6:34 AM   Subscribe

Fecal transplants have been used with success to treat C.difficile infections, often acquired in hospital or nursing homes and notoriously difficult to treat. They have also shown some efficacy in treatment of ulcerative colitis (pdf).

Developed and championed by Prof. Thomas Borody of the Centre for Digestive Diseases (who also developed the first antibiotic treatment of ulcers caused by H.pylori), fecal transplants may sound gross, but there is a growing body of evidence that they are an effective means of regulating a patient’s gastrointestinal flora in order to cure conditions that antibiotics cannot rectify.
posted by ursus_comiter (97 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
That shit ain't right.
posted by stormpooper at 6:37 AM on March 28, 2011 [22 favorites]


))<>((
posted by condour75 at 6:44 AM on March 28, 2011 [19 favorites]


Fecal Transplants: I Shit You Not
posted by sutt at 6:46 AM on March 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


stop talking, stool pigeons!
posted by jonmc at 6:47 AM on March 28, 2011


That's certainly an interesting way to start my Monday morning.
posted by Doug Stewart at 6:47 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Worst part is asking your friends and colleagues if they want to be a donor.
posted by Stoatfarm at 6:49 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


You'd literally have to ask if they'd give a shit.
posted by jonmc at 6:50 AM on March 28, 2011 [31 favorites]




cure conditions that antibiotics cannot rectify

I see what you did there.
posted by mhoye at 6:50 AM on March 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


I had a faecal (I'm British) transplant once.

But that was just a game of strip poker that went awry.
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 6:52 AM on March 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


a post I can't wait to thread-shit in
posted by jannw at 6:53 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is certainly a medical breakthrough: the world is full of potential donors. Especially in politics.
posted by Skeptic at 6:55 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Honestly, this is what medical science is about. I hate reading articles that talk about New Miracle Cures! and then when you actually read the article, it explains that this astronomically expensive treatment "reduces symptoms by up to 7%" and may be ready for clinical trials by late 2014. This is a simple, cheap, 90% successful treatment that is being done now and is changing peoples lives. Way to go, poo doctors!
posted by Rock Steady at 6:55 AM on March 28, 2011 [25 favorites]


You'd literally have to ask if they'd give a shit.

I don't have to take this shit from you.
posted by bicyclefish at 6:55 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


You have to be shitting me.
posted by Decani at 6:57 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


same shit different day arse
posted by unSane at 6:59 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the wikipedia article:

The probiotic infusion can also be administered through a nasogastric tube...

Ugh. Brown nosers.
posted by logicpunk at 7:02 AM on March 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


The probiotic infusion can also be administered through a nasogastric tube...

This procedure is clearly nothing to be sniffed at.
posted by Decani at 7:07 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Going for my first endoscope this week to help diagnose mysterious, sever stomach pains (ulcer? gallstone? gastritis? h. pylori?).

Now I'll be thinking of this all week. Great. I was just getting used to the idea that maybe 30 years of swallowing watermelon Hubba Bubba is the cause of all this. But no, now I have to worry about poo treatments.

Like I said before, that shit ain't right.
posted by stormpooper at 7:07 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scoff if you will (and really, who wouldn't? Poop transplants?), but my Mom died last year, and a case of C.difficile was a big contributing factor. If this treatment was available where she was, she might still be around to bitch at me that I don't call enough.
posted by SPUTNIK at 7:07 AM on March 28, 2011 [16 favorites]


The sign at the probiotic burger joint says, "all employees may not wash their hands."
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:08 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


In Soviet Russia, you happen to shit.
posted by Skeptic at 7:10 AM on March 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well, I guess that a million flies really can't be wrong, after all...
posted by Skeptic at 7:13 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Awesome breakfast reading.
posted by empath at 7:17 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


This shit is GOOD, man.
posted by Skeptic at 7:24 AM on March 28, 2011


And people scoffed at '100% medically accurate'.
posted by emmtee at 7:24 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The jazz musicians were first, but now scientists are beginning to realize the awesome power of scat.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:25 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm wondering who will be the face of the "Please donate your fecal matter" campaign. I imagine Charlie Sheen for some reason...
posted by inturnaround at 7:31 AM on March 28, 2011


JOKE ABOUT POOP
posted by shakespeherian at 7:34 AM on March 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


oh god what

From the wiki article on c. difficile - a guide was released in 2010 for home fecal transplantation.

A DIY poop transplant kit. I just. I can't even.
posted by elizardbits at 7:34 AM on March 28, 2011


Forever.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:37 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


JOKE ABOUT POOP
posted by shakespeherian at 7:34 AM on March 28 [+] [!]


What an anally retentive comment.
posted by Skeptic at 7:38 AM on March 28, 2011


Okay poop is going in
posted by dirigibleman at 7:42 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


NOW I understand what those two girls were doing with that cup!
posted by etc. at 7:42 AM on March 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


sorry, but i think this is number two...
posted by sexyrobot at 8:07 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry to be a wet blanket, but would people mind terribly knocking off the immaturity? This treatment is saving lives. When one of you gets a case of ulcerative colitis, do you want to be too humiliated to give this therapy a try?
posted by Demogorgon at 8:09 AM on March 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


No need to get pissy about the jokes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:17 AM on March 28, 2011


Sorry to be a wet blanket, but would people mind terribly knocking off the immaturity

Dude, this is the Internet.

So, yes, we would mind.
posted by chillmost at 8:21 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


When one of you gets a case of ulcerative colitis, do you want to be too humiliated to give this therapy a try?

Of course not. But that line of reasoning applies to all sorts of procedures that aren't particularly pleasant to think think about (maggot therapy for instance)

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but would people mind terribly knocking off the immaturity?

Why is your blanket wet?
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 8:21 AM on March 28, 2011


Demogorgon:you are looking for the serious journal of serious medical discussions.

THIS .............. IS............................ METAFFIIIILLLTEEEERRRRRR!

• ass goblins
• ass kabobs
• ass monkeys
• black banana
• blind eels
• boulder
• chocolate channel chewie
• colon cannonballs
• corn eyed butt snake
• corn massacre
• crapsters
• creamy butt nuggets
• digested Crayola box
• Easter Bunny's present
• the fourth teletubby
• frightened turtle
• hardened fudge nuggets
• hell's candy
• Indian rug burns
• keester cakes
• Mississippi mud
• monglin cluster shit
• mudfat balls
• peanut butter poop
• potty animals
• product of Uranus
• sea pickle
• sewer serpents
• shitsicles
• space slug
• Super Shit Man
• tangy butt nuts
• that ain't chocolate puddin'!
• tom cruise missiles
• toxic turdeys
• turd tunnel tasty
• yellow submarine
• air out the anus
• ass sneezing
• bust a shit
• christen the comfort station
• cook some beans
• clean one's colon
• cut off a load
• drop a chalupa
• drop ass goblins
• drop some friends off at the lake
• empty the manure spreader
• take a plane crash - no survivors
• talk to a man about a horse
• blow mud
• booty hole burnout
• butt dribblets
• butt drool
• chocolate explosion
• G.I. shits
• human expresso machine
• Montezuma's revenge
• oohs and ahs
• screaming mimis
• supersonic sewer sauce
• boggy crapper
• toilet bowl stew
• cattle cookies
• chimp chunks
• cow farts
• dog logs
• doggy sausage
• elk duds
• kagatzka
• lawn sausage
• anal impaction

(from http://www.angelfire.com/nj3/weirdcrap/poop.html)
posted by lalochezia at 8:22 AM on March 28, 2011


Poop jokes are going to make people feel too humiliated to try a proven and effective therapy? Really? I had a lifetime of proctological humor fed to me and I was certainly not too humiliated to go into the practice of a strange old man who wanted nothing more than to put his metal implements in my butt. There's nothing wrong with making silly jokes. Hell, it makes it easier to deal with the reality of things.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:23 AM on March 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


A friend of mine has been considering this treatment for a while. She has a chronic case of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and there was suggestion that this kind of treatment may help her eat a bit more normally.
posted by mary8nne at 8:25 AM on March 28, 2011


hmm...well, since it doesn't seem to flush, i might as well mention that doctors refer to this procedure as a 'manhattan transfer' or (due to it's popularity there) a 'moscow milkshake'

also, if you're into this kind of thing, i highly recommend the david sedaris short story 'big boy'
posted by sexyrobot at 8:28 AM on March 28, 2011


You're right. Please, carry on. I'm not going to die on this heaping hill of shit.
posted by Demogorgon at 8:28 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


eat shit and die live
posted by unSane at 8:34 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Demogorgon, I think you're dealing with a combination of three-year-old potty humor that none of us ever really completely outgrow and "whistling past the graveyard."

Because at some level, my kneejerk reaction to the concept of a fecal transplant is "please, I hope to God that someone would just kill me and put me out of my misery instead because EEEEEUUUWWWWWW." Intellectually I know it could save my life, but still, EEEEUUUUWWWWW.

And the poo jokes are helping me cope with that inward revulsion, anyway.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:36 AM on March 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: thanks for ruining my breakfast.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:38 AM on March 28, 2011


Demogorgon, I think you're dealing with a combination of three-year-old potty humor that none of us ever really completely outgrow and "whistling past the graveyard."

Because at some level, my kneejerk reaction to the concept of a fecal transplant is "please, I hope to God that someone would just kill me and put me out of my misery instead because EEEEEUUUWWWWWW." Intellectually I know it could save my life, but still, EEEEUUUUWWWWW.

And the poo jokes are helping me cope with that inward revulsion, anyway.


I totally get that. I first heard about this procedure in an undergraduate microbiology course and was pretty fascinated by it. Unfortunately, the same attitude prevailed there as here and we never really got to learn more about how it works. I clicked through and expected to see a lot of poop jokes, it goes with the territory, but I didn't see that the post title and description were also framed in a jokey way. In which case, what's the point?
posted by Demogorgon at 8:46 AM on March 28, 2011


South Park already did this.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 8:47 AM on March 28, 2011


I had a case of c.diff last year (apparently it's becoming more common with people in their 20s? A friend of mine had it too, both after we were on antibiotics for dental treatment) that was cured with flagyl. Side effects of flagyl are pretty terrible though. Maybe eating shit would be better.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:48 AM on March 28, 2011


Also, believe it or not (I remembered this because I searched for c. diff on metafilter!), previously.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:50 AM on March 28, 2011


It is inherently funny (in a dark way) that the treatment for G.I. disorders that are already gross and unpleasant to think about is, itself, even grosser and more unpleasant than the thing it's treating. It's comedy gold. And the jokes would just make it more bearable to me, if I were a candidate for such a thing. Why pretend it's not ironic and disgusting? That doesn't mean it's not also an incredible, life-saving breakthrough.
posted by chowflap at 8:54 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe eating shit would be better.

I could be full of shit, but I think the procedure actually involves fecal enemas, not ingestion of feces.
posted by Demogorgon at 8:57 AM on March 28, 2011


The donor feces is filtered to remove some larger particles and then "simply goes through a blender"

Final Step: Throw that blender right the fuck away.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:57 AM on March 28, 2011 [26 favorites]


FTFA the shit can be introduce by enema, or via the nose or mouth. Really.
posted by unSane at 9:01 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know the movies where the innocent main character gets a transplanted heart, and it's the heart of murderer ...
posted by zippy at 9:11 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Note to self: avoid smoothies at clinic office party.
posted by zippy at 9:12 AM on March 28, 2011


Ok, stop me if you've heard this one:

Two gastroenterologists are at a bar. One says to the other, "may I push in your stool"?
posted by found missing at 9:16 AM on March 28, 2011 [13 favorites]


I thought Metafilter was done with Human Centipede posts.
posted by aught at 9:19 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ask not for whom the bowel's stool: this stool's for thee.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:20 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


back and forth forever
posted by palliser at 9:20 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The jokes are amusing, but C.Dificile kills a lot of people every year.

If you're wondering why this treatment is not a standard of care, considering how well it works, read the story of Barry Marshall, the doctor who discovered the primary cause of ulcers.

http://discovermagazine.com/2010/mar/07-dr-drank-broth-gave-ulcer-solved-medical-mystery
posted by 4midori at 9:35 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


My husband has all kinds of problems with his gut flora, and has been diagnosed as Celiac, as well as having a soy allergy, dairy allergy, and egg allergy. Very few places he can safely eat at without the risk of being in a lot of pain.

He's had to go on Flagyl, he's had every scope/flush/scan you can get, and he's careful; still there are days when something gets cross-contaminated or for some other reason makes his gut react. And there's always the possibility that this will worsen the older he gets (he's in his 30s).

It seriously impacts his quality of life, is what I'm saying. If discoveries like this might lead to help for him someday, he says bring 'em on. And we'll be making poop jokes the whole time.
posted by emjaybee at 9:37 AM on March 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


That shit ain't right.
posted by stormpooper


eponysterical? :)
posted by ninjew at 9:49 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Came for the poop jokes, left with a great story about the discovery of the cause of stomach ulcers, and a stronger understanding of how little microbes too small to see affect my health. I think I'm OK with the poop jokes.
posted by Mcable at 9:53 AM on March 28, 2011


Sooo the alternative treatment to Ulcerative Colitis is a colostomy, where they cut out your colon and you shit into a bag attached to your torso for the rest of your life. If given a choice between the two, I would be ALL OVER THAT SHIT TRANSPLANT, I am telling you that right now.
posted by kate blank at 10:00 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Of course not. But that line of reasoning applies to all sorts of procedures that aren't particularly pleasant to think think about (maggot therapy for instance)

Most medical procedures would be really weird to us if we weren't so used to them.
Hold on, we just need to stick this metal thing into you to suck some of your blood out. Then, depending on what we find, we might get some grinning butcher to cut you open with a knife, do a bit of looking around, do some clamping and shit inside you (maybe cut some bits out, if they feel it required). Also we could give you something we found growing in a filthy lab sink (it'll stop you getting sick!) after the cutting guy is finished with you.
posted by atrazine at 10:00 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry to be a wet blanket, but would people mind terribly knocking off the immaturity? This treatment is saving lives. When one of you gets a case of ulcerative colitis, do you want to be too humiliated to give this therapy a try?
posted by Demogorgon at 4:09 PM on March 28


Of course not. But you can be damned sure I'd be expecting me and my friends to be cracking jokes about it forever. Come on. This shit is funny.
posted by Decani at 10:09 AM on March 28, 2011




The jokes are amusing, but C.Dificile kills a lot of people every year.

Seriously, though, I had bright orange diarrhea for three weeks and was in and out of the emergency room a few times. I would like to be able to treat the subject with levity.


Bright orange liquid shits!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:16 AM on March 28, 2011


I'll tell you where you can stick this treatment!
posted by orme at 10:19 AM on March 28, 2011


Great post. The procedure reminds me of the early days of vaccines.


Final Step: Throw that blender right the fuck away.

Nah. I've worked with feces in the lab. Easily cleaned.

And laugh if you must, but don't fool yourself that all the laughter has no effect. I know some of you have scoffed at that idea, but there's a taboo even among medical professionals. People's discomfort with feces transcends rationality and while most people don't go as far as accepting the premise of the untouchables in India, the irrationality is the same.
posted by zennie at 10:35 AM on March 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Of course not. But you can be damned sure I'd be expecting me and my friends to be cracking jokes about it forever. Come on. This shit is funny. yt

I don't want or expect people to stop making jokes altogether. I wouldn't even hold myself to that standard, let alone presume to take up the task of getting the whole world to stop making poop jokes forever just because there is a medical application for poop. As mentioned previously, I can even see how making light of the situation can actually help people accept an otherwise squeamish procedure.
I just think the science behind this is a great model for how intestinal flora works, and it's hard to talk about that if you have to read fifty comments that basically say nothing more than "POOP HAHAHAHA," to read a legitimate response to the article, or hear about someone's experience or expertise with the technique. Others have suggested reading the journal articles for a more scientific treatment of the topic, so that's what I'm gonna do!

Yeah, I get it, this is the internet and we're talking about people eating poop; shame on me for expecting it to be anything other than a huge gag.
posted by Demogorgon at 10:43 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great post. The procedure reminds me of the early days of vaccines.

lol pus from cows *udderly* disgusting!1!!
posted by benzenedream at 10:53 AM on March 28, 2011


Metafilter: FULL OF THE CURE!
posted by stenseng at 11:02 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I get it, this is the internet and we're talking about people eating poop; shame on me for expecting it to be anything other than a huge gag.
We all see what you did there.
posted by unSane at 11:07 AM on March 28, 2011


Well the Inuit use fermented meat to add bacteria, and other cultures past and present have happily consumed raw meat that's been allowed to age, but that's just weird and disgusting.

I'll keep sterilising my kitchen and transplanting other people's shit into my body thank you very much.
posted by Not Supplied at 11:09 AM on March 28, 2011


I once ate some fermented raw octopus in a sushi restaurant in Madrid. I'll eat most anything and it sounded like the kind of thing I would enjoy. However it was *by far* the most disgusting thing I have ever put in my mouth. I got through about a third of a bowl of it before I could go no further.

In retrospect, I would rather eat someone else's poo than have to consume *that* shit again.
posted by unSane at 11:16 AM on March 28, 2011


I initially read the post a Facial Transplants. I'm really glad I don't need either treatment, I'm even happier that I took a second look and won't have to worry about mistaking one for the other.
posted by VTX at 11:24 AM on March 28, 2011




I went to a talk recently where cooking was described in terms technology as 'an external stomach.'

Doing unusual things with our digestive systems goes back a long way.
posted by zippy at 11:42 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


"more inside".
posted by sneebler at 12:01 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


PhoBWanKenobi:Side effects of flagyl are pretty terrible though. Maybe eating shit would be better.

I've only had Flagyl once. Sweet Jesus, I've never felt so sick in all of my life. I couldn't eat normally for weeks.
posted by echolalia67 at 12:09 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a sufferer of ulcerative colitis, I gotta say... whatever works. This shit can't be any worse than that other shit.
posted by grubi at 12:20 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry to be a wet blanket, but would people mind terribly knocking off the immaturity? This treatment is saving lives. When one of you gets a case of ulcerative colitis, do you want to be too humiliated to give this therapy a try?

Joking about things is actually a great way to create an atmosphere where something is normal and comfortable. By loudly acknowledging that it's a bit weird and goofy and chlidishly silly, we make it easier for people to actually go through with it. Instead of "oh god this is gross ew ew" it's a little more "guys check this out! Remember that ridiculous gross thing? Gonna save my fuckin' life!"

As a male who's not too far off from regular checks for colon cancer, I can tell you that the "lulz doctor with a glove" joking really does take a lot of the pressure off, and helps remind me that it's not that big a deal. I can easily imagine it being similar for someone for whom a fecal transplant is a life-saving procedure.

Also: lulz poop
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:59 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Joking is great if accompanied by discussion. Otherwise it's just point and laugh.
posted by zennie at 3:07 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll tell you where you can stick this treatment!

In the butt, right?

Yeah, I think it's totally the butt.
posted by Theodore Sign at 3:31 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: great if accompanied by discussion. Otherwise it's just point and laugh.
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:31 PM on March 28, 2011


hey, I hope this treatment saves lots of lives and prevents lots of misery (I have an aunt and a brother-in-law with Crohn's disease), but I could not resist (and my relatives would've laughed at it, too)).
posted by jonmc at 4:26 PM on March 28, 2011


How do they know what "healthy' poo is? do they test for certain bacteria cultures?
posted by annsunny at 4:28 PM on March 28, 2011


Not disapproving on the jokes at all, but perhaps as a counterpoint:

I have microscopic (lymphocytic to be precise) colitis, which is orders of magnitude better than ulcerative. I was diagnosed at around 25.

It took two years of testing to get diagnosed. My symptoms were originally horrible, crushing stomach pain in the mornings followed by diarrhoea, gas, bloating. As the months went by, this started to include fatigue and general weakness. I was also losing weight to the point where I'm 181cm tall and was down to 52kg (5 9", 115lb).

Eventually, I was diagnosed. I am now on a medication that would cost someone in the US $5 dollars a pill. I take six of those pills a day. Sideeffects include increased photosensitivity, and the slightly weird one of turning all my sweat ever so slightly yellow. The armpits of my white shirts look like I deodorise with tumeric.

But these pills have not "cured" me. All they do is allow me to eat a broader range of foods. I still can and do get symptoms of my colitis all the time. My particular weakness are fats and sugars, especially together, especially on an empty stomach.

I can remember the last time I had a danish; it was a cherry danish that I made myself (I make my own breads) four years ago. And it was worth the day off work I had to take, the cramping and malaise that followed. Goddamn I miss cherry danishes.

When I went to Vietnam for three weeks, I lost 5 kg. I never got food poisoning, per se - certainly no one else in the group was sick - but my fucked up immune system obviously didn't like the bacterial mix over there, and consequently my average digestive time was about 15 minutes after eating, or sometimes during eating. I spent the last week in bed in the hotel, too tired to go out for more than about an hour at a time. I really wanted to enjoy that trip; my partner is Vietnamese-Australian, and we were with her family. I managed to enjoy parts of it a lot.

At first, it's incredibly hard not eating things or saying no; I don't know how dieters do it. If I eat something "bad", I get almost immediate horrible pain, and the shits, as my immune system starts attacking parts of my own intestine. Dieters just get infinitesimally fatter. Also, the social pressure to eat is tremendous. Until I developed this condition I had no idea how much we use food as a social lubricant. People get offended when you say no to food. They won't believe you, will keep offering it to you, will get confused, then slightly hurt as you continue to say no. If they're drunk or drinking it's even worse. It's surprisingly awkward, especially if you actually want to eat the thing.

I mostly good now, with a few notable weaknesses (ice cream is my great weakness, and rich indian curries). I almost never drink alcohol anymore, save for a beer maybe four times a year, after a meal. Coconut milk never makes an appearance, nor does chocolate in any quantity. Nor dozens of other things.

Chronic pain changes you, too. I don't think it makes you "better" or "stronger", nor that it necesarily makes you weaker. It just changes you. Changes how you think about things, what and when you can think, how you prioritise, your willingness to take chances. A thousand other things. I think about what that person without the pain would be like sometimes, more curiously than with regret; I don't despise who I've become, though I do get tired sometimes.

And as your illness becomes a larger part of your life, it becomes wholly a part of your identity. You resent that, but can't resent it too much, because it is after all a part of you. So you get this weird love/hate thing going on. I am regularly anxious about whether I'm a hypochondriac, or whether other people think I am. The trendiness of self-diagnosing coeliac disease has not helped those anxieties. I also worry that I'm just weak, the pain isn't that bad, other people probably get pain like this all the time. It's not that bad, I shouldn't be whinging. It makes you question your reality a lot.

So, that's my little slice of colitis one-on-one. And mine is the good colitis. If eating someone else shit would make me better, I swear to you; you could put it a bowl and I would gulp that down with a spoon, like I used to - a long time ago - do with ice cream.
posted by smoke at 4:33 PM on March 28, 2011 [14 favorites]


Thanks for sharing, smoke, that was very evocative. Chronic health issues are a nightmare. I wish you well.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:44 PM on March 28, 2011


Throw that blender right the fuck away.

So that answers the question: will it blend?
posted by chillmost at 1:04 AM on March 29, 2011


I'm in the lobby waiting for my GI, in the middle of a super-fun UC flare. Can't WAIT to ask about this. My secret goal is always to get doctors laughing. MOAR POOP JOKES PLZ!
posted by mimi at 8:09 AM on March 29, 2011


The use of human fecal flora to treat gastrointestinal (GI) disorders is not a novel concept, having been practiced periodically for more than 40 years.1 Bacteriotherapy utilizing human feces has been reported to achieve success where antibiotics have failed. While the best known application of bacteriotherapy is in the treatment of unresponsive Clostridium difficile diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis, 1-10 significant clinical improvements have also been reported in other GI conditions including constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).3,6,11-14

Although the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis (UC) is unclear, one hypothesis attributes the etiology and persistence of the inflammatory process to the intestinal flora.15,16 Perhaps a viral, bacterial or chemical trigger invokes an overly aggressive host immune response that is perpetuated by the resident flora long after the initial infection has resolved.17-19 Loss of tolerance to the normal luminal contents caused by abnormalities in mucosal permeability or a lack of regulatory cells/mediators is also thought to give rise to chronic inflammation in genetically susceptible individuals.20,21 Given the complex composition of the intestinal flora, it is also feasible that the chronic recurrent inflammation associated with UC is the result of a persistent infection with a specific, but as yet unidentified, pathogen.22,23
From the abstract of a 2003 paper by Dr. Borody.
posted by zennie at 8:23 AM on March 29, 2011


32-year-old suffering from chronic UC (albeit a fairly mild case) for over 20 years. I like the jokes and am hopeful about this new treatment.
posted by halfguard at 9:04 AM on March 30, 2011


Holy smokes, smoke. Thank you for sharing all of that.
Very small nitpick: it sounds like you are talking about sulfasalazine, which is generic in the US - mine is about $40 for a three-month supply. So in this one particular case, our healthcare system doesn't heap that much insult on top of illness.
My friend with IBS is very open about his disease, and as his friends, we don't question it when he says that a particular food will set off his hair-trigger digestive system. I would hope that yours would do the same, but maybe the food culture here is just that different.

And we need more jokes! C'mon people, this shit is hilarious!
posted by marakesh at 11:54 AM on March 31, 2011


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