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FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANT

WHY IS FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANT NOT AVAILABLE IN CANADA?

I have been hearing this question more frequently lately, and there’s no doubt that is because there is much press on FMT and a range of conditions that seem to be benefiting from the treatment. Recent media such as http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/poop-pills-can-treat-c-difficile-calgary-doctor-says-1.1895079 are increasing the public awareness of the subject.

When I’m asked what alternatives there may be, I have one immediate thought. Colon hydrotherapy. If there is any way to give your gut as chance, it is to reduce the amount of imbalanced flora that may be there. Using the healing power of water to encourage a clean bowel can provide a better platform for probiotics and food-based bacteria to recolonize the GI tract.

Currently FMT is only being provided for research purposes and only for c. difficile infections that are not responding to antibiotic therapy. Health Canada has released a guidance document restricting to these certain conditions. While we understand that a therapy of bacterial matter to patients who may have a taxed immune system is a definite risk, there is much research showing the good use of FMT.

A review article in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics titled faecal transplantation therapy for gastrointestinal disease, gives an overview of 22 studies on FMT. It shows good results for several maladies, and especially for chronic c. difficile infections. And hopefully, we will be able to provide this treatment to patients for a wider variety of conditions than is currently available.

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