Just when you thought things couldn't get an weirder:
"Some people with potentially lethal gut infections find that the only effective treatment is an orally-administered fecal transplant. The treatment is gaining acceptance among physicians."
Olga Khazan pens a pretty interesting piece and in parts, resorts to what one has to do, I guess, and that's just toss your hands up and laugh. First, some of the serious.
By the time patients arrive at the office of Bruce Hirsch, an infectious disease specialist at North Shore University Hospital in Long Island, they’re desperate. Many have diarrhea that strikes up to 20 times a day. They eagerly pay $1,200 out of pocket for the only thing that might make their lives normal again.
Hirsch offers them an orange pill, which they swallow. Underneath the pill’s outer shell are several smaller gel capsules. Inside the smallest capsule is a glycerin-suspended clump of bacteria that’s been extracted from human feces.
“It’s like a Russian doll,” Hirsch told me. “With a surprise in the middle.”
Hirsch is one of just a few dozen specialists in the country who perform fecal transplants—procedures used primarily to treat people who have severe gut infections caused by an overgrowth of a bacteria called Clostridium difficile.