Would You Take A Poop Pill?

Suzanne Robertson
The procedure has a 90% success rate. But the squeamish might not be on board.

Poop: It can make the cutest of babies and the most loveable of pets seem pretty gross. And tummy issues can make any adult miserable - or even lead to death. 

However, there's a new cure in town and it's not for the squeamish. 

Fecal transplants have been in the news over the past few years as method for fighting cases of Clostridium difficile, a bacterial infection that is notoriously resistant to antibiotics. The U.S. spends $3.2 billion annually to treat the infection and 14,000 in America die from it annually. 

The way doctors get feces inside a patient is unpleasant to say the least. Donated fecal matter is put into the stomach through a tube that has been placed up a patient’s nose and down the throat. 

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital sought to replace the tube with a pill which could be swallowed with a sip of water. Unfortunately, for the pill to survive stomach in order to dissolve correctly the fecal matter must be in a translucent capsule. So the patient taking the pill is able to see what’s inside: brown poo-colored stuff that’s already been inside of someone else.  So far, the reviews from the public seem to be summed up in one word: "gross". 

The "ewww" factor is outweighed by the positive. Patients were symptom free almost instantly following ingestion of the pill.  Redditors are weighing in with personal experiences regarding fecal matter transplants. 

Overall, the researchers reported, the frozen poop pills are a success. 
Diarrhea stopped in 90% of the patients with minimal side effects. 

Though the researchers described the results as preliminary, they said they could help make fecal transplants “accessible to a wider population of patients, in addition to potentially making the procedure safer.”