Woman undergoes bacteria transplant to fight an infection - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Woman undergoes bacteria transplant to fight an infection

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

What if we told you there are people in the valley who are purposely having the bacteria from feces injected into them as a way to get healthier. You might not believe it but this procedure is being performed to battle a growing epidemic.
 
Inside a lab, a white plastic tub contains human feces which is prepared meticulously for a transplant procedure some casually refer to as a poop transplant.

It sounds crazy, it sounds gross, but to a Sun City West woman it sounded like a live saver. "And the good news is I'm a new person because of the transplant," said Diane Seeger.

At 70, Diane Seeger  was living a miserable life due to clostridium difficile infection. Constant diarrhea caused by the infection, made hiking and other activities a challenge. The infection is found among those in healthcare environments, c-diff can be made worse by taking antibiotics.

"We don't know why people get it, they might pick it up from environmental surfaces, they could get it from food they could get it from other people involved in healthcare and bring it back into the home environment," said Dr. Robert Orenstein.

Initially there was an understandable reluctance to embrace the fecal transplant. "Though people look at it somewhat disgustingly and say you're taking poop from somebody whose well and putting it into someone whose not well, what you're really doing is you're taking bacteria, viruses other micro organisms that normally reside in a healthy gut and transplanting them into the gut of someone whose not healthy and miraculously without having to take medicine to prevent rejection these organisms take effect quite rapidly," explained Dr. Orenstein.

Diane Seeger  had her fecal microbiota transplant at The Mayo Clinic. It was a 45 minute outpatient procedure much like a colonoscopy. Seeger says she went home to sleep and the next day she woke up a new woman, the diarrhea was gone, her energy was back.

"She has never been as vivacious, she has never been as she exhausts me within a 48 hour period she became a brand new person," said Ron Seeger , Diane's husband.

Which is the most rewarding part of the program says fecal transplant coordinator, Sheryl Griesbach. Sheryl watches people who had been suffering from the c-diff infection improve virtually overnight. Even more profound than their loss of diarrhea is the gain of energy that is the most profound symptom for them

Griesbach coordinates donors for the transplant as well. They have to pass health standards, though the stool sample is treated before it is transplanted.

Patients like Diane Seeger are an enthusiastic believer. "It's a piece of cake and it's a blessing, I am very fortunate," said Diane.

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