Medical treatment for intestines not for the squeamish
A hospital in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, is taking a new approach to the treatment of intestinal disorders that could make some people squeamish: using fecal bacteria.
“Fecal bacteria, which is purified and extracted from human stool, could be helpful in restoring natural and healthy digestion. It is being increasingly used as an effective method to treat digestive diseases, such as inflamed ulcers,” said Zhou Yongjian, a physician with the Guangzhou First People’s Hospital.
The hospital has been encouraging people, those aged 12 to 18 in particular, to donate stool for the research.
“We need to conduct more clinical research into transplanting fecal bacteria, which has been identified globally as an emerging technology in the treatment of digestive diseases,” Zhou said. “When the intestinal flora (bacteria that aids digestion) has been damaged and germs attach to the body, and if nothing else works, a bacterial treatment should provide a remedy.”
According to Zhou, a number of physicians in the United States, Canada and Australia have successfully employed the method.
The hospital has so far attracted 50 potential young donors, of whom only two were qualified. The hospital will provide a free medical examination worth of 4,000 yuan ($600) and 200 yuan in subsidies for each donor.
A number of patients with digestive problems have been successfully treated with the new technology since the hospital began clinical research last year.
“It was very helpful. My digestion is now in good condition,” said a female patient surnamed Li, 40, who had chronic inflammation for three years before she was treated in August.