Although we are each one body, we are actually a whole eco-system. Within our bodies there Trillions (with a ‘T’) of microorganisms. Bacteria, parasites and yeast all live throughout our bodies and interact with each other.
Put that thought into your head the next time you spot an attractive person and realize what makes them up!
Healthy bodies have a lot of beneficial microorganisms that inhibit the growth of the bad microorganisms. If we lose the good critters, the bad critters grow unchecked and start causing problems. Things that harm the good microorganisms include toxins, antibiotics (they wipe out the good AND the bad – possibly the ugly too), poor eating habits, or catching some kind of virus or parasite.
One of the Nastiest Smelling Bacterias
One classic ‘bad critter’ problem amongst elderly people with poor gut bacteria is Clostridium Difficile or C Diff. C Diff is a bacteria infection in your gut that causes a ton of REALLY bad smelling diarrhea. When someone contracts it in one of our assisted living homes – you definitely know about it. The C Diff smell is something to behold!
The classic treatment for C. Diff (and C Diff smell) is with antibiotics. The trouble with antibiotics is that they wipe out the good bacteria as well. Then if the C. Diff bacteria can find a way to sneak back in, they don’t have those good critters to keep it in check. You can learn more about C Diff on one of our other blog posts.
Once someone has C. Diff and use antibiotics to treat it, the chances of reoccurrence are pretty high. According to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy:
“(C. diff.) can also be difficult to completely cure. As a result, recurrent infections have become a growing challenge. At least 20 percent of patients who get an initial CDI have a recurrent infection within eight weeks, with the risk of RCDI (Recurrent C. Diff Infections) being as high as 50 percent to 60 percent after three or more infections.”
The way to really beat that C Diff smell is to have a bunch of healthy gut flora that keeps the C. Diff infection in place. Many people have C. Diff and don’t even know it. The bad bacteria can’t reach a level where it starts causing problems.
Fighting C Diff Smell and C Diff with…Poop?
How to get the health guy flora? Well the medical profession has come up with quite a novel way to ‘insert’ the good bacteria into your gut.
Yes, you read that correctly. They take healthy ‘poop’ from someone else and insert it like a colonoscopy into your gut. Medical professionals have been using this procedure since the 1950’s!
Grossed out yet? Like I said – fight C Diff smell with another smell.
It gets better. Now they have been able to put the ‘good gut bacteria’ into pill form.
Yup – ‘Poop pills.’
Before you dismiss either the colonoscopy transplant of the poop pill, consider this. Both treatments have shown a 90% effectiveness rate in clinical trials. For those who suffer with multiple bouts of C. Diff (and those who have to deal with C Diff smell), these treatments may just be what the Doctor ordered!
What will they come up with next?