What is the C Diff ‘fecal transplant’ therapy?

April 25, 2011 · 53 comments

Because some people suffer chronic c difficile doctors are using a new therapy to dislodge the disruptive c diff from their intestine. Fecal matter from a family member is often sought so that the material entering their system is reflective of local stomach flora. This is then turned into a liquid slurry and inserted into the body to colonise the intestine. This therapy is sometimes known as Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT)

Time will tell whether this then introduces a new balance in the intestine and returns to the system bacteria depleted by antibiotic treatment, which in normal circumstances would combat the c diff anyway. It is by no means clear as yet exactly how the cure takes place in specific biological terms – but the general theory that recolonizing the colon with healthy bacteria will reverse the c difficile seems to be true. Some research indicates that the reintroduction of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes elements are part of the cure.

The fecal matter is inserted into the intestine in one of 3 ways. Via a duodenal tube, a rectal tube or colonoscopy. The colonoscopy is favoured as the whole of the colon can be recolonized and the extent of the infection can be clarified during the process. The cure may happen within hours or a few days.

This is a not a new therapy, but it has been a rare one until the recent mushrooming of c difficile infections. It has not gone to widespread clinical trials yet although some are planned, with one underway in Norway. There is extensive anecdotal evidence however and you can find several articles on our sister site (c-diff.net) by clicking here .

Success rates of 97% have been noted and those for whom it does not work are often those with severe colitis. Overall a cure rate of 89% in 275 cases from a round the world has been noted. Initial research also suggest that a small minority who have further c diff infections have been reinfected from another source

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Gilbert Gough November 26, 2011 at 11:03 am

Could you please inform me of a doctor in the Birmingham or Nashville area that will perform fecal transplants? My daughter is very ill with C diff and the usual medicines have not eliminated her problem. She has been dealing with C diff for four years. Thanks.

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Douglas Bevil January 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Gilbert, there is a Dr. in Athens, AL named Dr. Mohummad he is in the Athens Internal Med clinic. He has successfully completed a transplant with 100% success. Hope this helps. I am a cdiff sufferer and hope to take part in this procedure in the near future.

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E Mathewson February 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I have a friend who has had several bouts with c.diff over the past three years. Most recently after a surgery it has shown up again. Am in Northern Ohio. Have seen articles that a study was done by the University of Toledo Medical Center in conjunction with Case Western and others regarding FMT’s. The antibiotics are terrible and she would like to attempt the transplant. Any doctors in our area seem clueless when it comes to this. She is willing to travel but if being done in our area, could anyone relay information as to who and/or what facility to contact. Have tried directly and even spoke to some Doctors at UTMC…led nowhere… Any help or information would be greatly appreciated!

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gm March 26, 2012 at 10:58 am

Dr. Scott Rinesmith in Lima OH performed mine.

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edward macias February 8, 2012 at 12:18 am

could you please notify me of a doctor in fresno california who dose this transplant because my mother has it and it dosent seem to be going away at all. also dose this infection cause speach problems because when my mother came to she could not talk well and one doctor told us that there is different strains of c diff.

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admin February 8, 2012 at 7:47 am

http://www.med.umn.edu/gi/faculty/khoruts/home.htm

This is the web address for a leading fecal transplant doctor. He may be able to advise about a doctor closer to you

Dave
cdifficile.org

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david February 10, 2012 at 8:59 am

Does anyone know a doctor near Albany, New York who does these?

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admin February 10, 2012 at 9:15 am

Saint Clare’s Hospital in Denville, N.J

Dave
cdifficile.org

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Theresa Harrison February 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm

i was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer zollinger ellison syndrom, during acourse of treatment for sepsis .i caught that nasty bug c-diff tht was in 2009 i got it again in 2011 may or june i still have it i have gone through so many doses of flagal 7 day 10 days 14 days nothing just feeling worse i do not now if this c diff will speed up my cancer 2009 it was metasttic in my lver i am to high risk for surgeries everything i have read about zollinger is you have3 to 5 years after it in the liver just want to know does c diff speeds anything up

thank you

i am a patient digestive diease dr. maton

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admin February 27, 2012 at 2:59 am

We are not qualified to comment on the impact of c diff on your other condition. We would however suggest that there are meds other than flagyl. Dificid targets the c diff and is thought to be more effective in eliminating it

dave
cdifficile.org

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Theresa Harrison February 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm

i was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer zollinger ellison syndrom, during acourse of treatment for sepsis .i caught that nasty bug c-diff tht was in 2009 i got it again in 2011 may or june i still have it i have gone through so many doses of flagal 7 day 10 days 14 days nothing just feeling worse i do not now if this c diff will speed up my cancer 2009 it was metasttic in my lver i am to high risk for surgeries everything i have read about zollinger is you have3 to 5 years after it in the liver just want to know does c diff speeds anything up

thank you

i am a patient digestive diease dr. maton

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Nora Ramos September 25, 2012 at 3:30 am

Hello Theresa,
I was diagnosed in 1992 with ESRD & received dialysis on & off for ten years. In Dec. of 2003 I received my first kidney transplant. I was very weak & didn’t know if I’d make it through the surgery. But I thank the Lord first & I thank the Medical Staff for their medical expertise I made it through the nine hour transplant surgery. But about four years ago, I started to get very severe UTIs & then also c-diff. This past year I have been in the hospital every other month and had to stay for 4-8 days, due to the c-diff getting so bad. I just completed my one month home, but was saddened to wake up yesterday to feel the symptoms re-occur once again. But I wanted to tell you, that I will pray for you Theresa, that the Lord will give you the straight that you need as you go through these difficult days in your life. I am sorry that you have cancer. But please be encouraged the Lord has blessed us with men and women that have a love for the medical field and there are always new therapies coming out. Back in 1992 I had to have chemo for my lupus which was the main cause that attacked my kidneys in the first place. All I can remember was that i wanted to see the day that I did not have to visit that chemo department. I will pray for you, but if you would like to say a hello just to tell me how you are doing, I would sincerely appreatiate it. God bless you Theresa. Sincerely, Nora

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Michael McCann February 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm

It is entirely unnecessary to use fecal transplants to treat C difficile infections because some fecal organisms are unable to be identified, and their toxicity is unknown. There is a much better, more hygienic way, and with better results, namely the use of well known non-pathogenic organisms in proven probiotics. These are pure cultures of several combinations of Lactobacilli and Bifido-bifidum with cure rates of >95%, better than any fecal transplant or antibiotic therapy. Where probiotics excel compared to antibiotics is in relapse rates. Why would anyone want to use a fecal gammish or toxic drugs instead of these organisms, some of which have been around and used clinically for centuries? These commercial products are readily available without a prescription, and made by several different companies. I have used them for over 40 years. Michael L McCann MD FAAP

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Karen F. May 30, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I understand that this treatment doesn’t necessarily sound like the ‘be all, end all treatments’ however, I have had C Diff. for over 2 months now, and am on my 3rd course of antibiotics. If this is what it will take for me to get over this stuff, so be it. I have taken Probiotics since starting the first course of antibiotics, to no help. So, there are times when I see this procedure is called for.

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Maria Bruck June 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Dr McCann,
Thanks you for your comments on Fecal Transplants. You mention commercially available probiotics with certain combination of Lactobacillia and Bifido bifidum. Would you be willing to be specific as to the product or ration/ concentrations in a private email?
I have been dealing with my fathers reoccurring severe boughts of C. diff over the last 9 months with improvement only when on Vancomycin. At this point, Fidaxomycin also does not work.
Thank you,
Maria Bruck DVM

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John July 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Doing some research on C Diff since I picked it up after a hospital stay and a course of ABs known for C Diff association. C Diff symptoms and positive test showed up 10 days after original ABs were completed. Did 10 days of Flagyl, CDiff came back 3 days after completion. Just finished 2nd round of Flagyl for ~16 days along with more probiotics near the end (VSL#3, Saccharomyces boulardii, and a few others – about 500 billion CFUs/day total). Now I’m in day 3 after completing last round, continuing probiotics plus yogurt, kefir, and a few less exotic prebiotics such as wheat bran, whole wheat, and bananas. (get different opinions on lactose-intolerance induced by ABs and need to stay away from dairy).
As a scientist by occupation, I am intrigued (not best word) by the effectiveness of fecal microbiota transplant. From what I’ve read, it involves a relatively small amount – 1-2 CC3 / 15-30 grams of fecal matter and enema delivery seems to be as effective as colonoscopy, according to a clinic in Oregon’s website. SO, what makes this method of re-stocking beneficial gut flora so effective? Is it the direct application to the colon, even if only the lower part via an enema, thus bypassing the stomach and small intestine? And/or is it the strains of bacteria being introduced? Apparently from you post, your experience suggests success with selection of two specific bacteria? It wasn’t clear from your post when you referenced 95% cure rate, what regimen you were discussion or what “delivery method” (eg. oral supplements or enemas/colonoscopy placement) or done in conjunction with antibiotics, post ABs, during C Diff symptoms….?? Any additional info here would be welcome. AND, pursuant to your post above, why wouldn’t delivery of specific bacteria known to be the major tenants of the colon via enema be just as effective as finding and screening a donor of fecal matter?

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admin July 23, 2012 at 10:13 am

We are medical journalists so some of your questions are outside our area of expertise. We will however be updating this page soon with new information

Dave Roberts
cdifficile.org

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Sherrie Reed August 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I.m lookong for a facility/doctor in Southern California that does fecal transplants. Thanks.

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admin February 25, 2012 at 11:28 am

cdifficile.org has no reason to doubt the above but suggests that readers seek conformation of credentials and testimony from previous patients before undertaking this process with this practitioner.

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llhb February 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Dr. Kelly in Providence, RI, also does the transplants via colonoscopy. Having mine scheduled and hoping to be in the 90+% cured group!

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JoAnn June 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Hi

Did you have the transplant and did it work? My father is 85 and this c diff is slowly killing him, we are getting ready to see about a nursing home which is a last resort. I read online about the transplant at the lifespan (RI Hospital) website. Is that where you had it done and was it Dr. Kelly who did it??
Any info would be great as we are having no success with all the antibiotics and this has been going on for about 4 years. My father is all skin and bones, he is afraid to eat and drink, he is a prisoner in his own home and is slowly wasting away and it is heartbreaking to see someone go through this. Please reply with any info.
I will be calling RI Hospital tomorrow the 18th to see if I can get info and I will also look up Dr. Kelly and try to get an appointment asap.

JoAnn

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Anne March 7, 2012 at 11:20 am

I did my transplant at home, in my own bathroom, as my doctor recommended. The supplies cost $20. My husband was the donor and it took about 90 minutes from start to finish. I feel great and no relapse of C Diff.

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Rachel March 13, 2012 at 7:28 am

Anne can you please tell step by step how you did you at home transplant at home.. (like what supplies will I need) I have had c.diff for 3 months due to a operation.. I just want to get thus over with.. Thanks for Any help…

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Anne April 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I went to a local pharmacy and purchased an “urine hat.” You could probably also get one from your primary care physician. It is something that you put on the toliet to catch the fecal matter. Cost about $1. We discarded it after the procedure. After my husband collected the donor material in the urine hat, he mixed it with distilled water (the distilled water was purchased at the local supermarket cost about $2 ) to a consistency of milk. Make sure to take out any matter that will not dissolve into a liquid state. We just used a plastic spoon that was discarded after the procedure. After that he put the mixture in an enema bag that was also purchased at a local pharmacy. The enema bag cost about $17. I stood in the bathtub and inserted the tube that was hooked up to the enema bag into my rectum and when my husband held the enema bag above my head, the mixture went into my bowels. Make sure to hang on to the tube so that it does not slip out of the rectum. It was a very weird sensation, you can feel the matter running through your bowels, so be sure to use tepid distilled water, you don’t want it cold. I held in the mixture in for 30 minutes, which is a little uncomfortable to do, while I stood in the bathtub. After 30 minutes, I expelled the mixture in the toliet by the “traditional method.” I stayed home that day from work because I had several episodes of loose stools that day. I also cleaned the bathtub and the toliet with a bleach and water mixture when the procedure was over, so that no one else in my family would get the C Diff. The bleach and water mixture is 3 parts water to 1 part bleach. Here it is almost two months later and I am feeling great! No more C diff. I know the “ick factor” is very high on this procedure, but it was low cost and worked like a charm.

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Gary Kiedaisch March 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Looking for doctors in the Pittsburgh/Cleveland/Columbus area who perform the fecal implannt procedure . Thank you

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Mary March 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm

My daughter has struggled with an ongoing/recurring infection for the past two years. We are in northern California, near Sacramento. Does anyone know of a doctor or clinic in northern California that offers this therapy? Thanks for any help.

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John March 31, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I am looking for a doctor in Illinois who performs the procedure. Please let me know if you know of one.

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Craig May 10, 2012 at 7:28 pm

My 11 year old son has been battling with c diff for 4 months now. Vanco seemed to be working but the diarhea came back yesterday. I am really interested in the FMT procedure. We are also in northern Illinois and are trying to find a local(ish) doctor that performs this procedure. Any help would be appreciated.

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Suezynne May 28, 2012 at 1:11 am

My c-diff started with antibiotic use for a cat bite. I suffered 5 months of severe c-diff. It also caused me fuzzy vision, diminished vision (near and distance) and cracking/popping in my ears and they felt like they were blocked for months. I have C-diff back again after taking antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection my body could not kick on its own. My vision went from 20/20 to 20/60 in a matter of weeks and I am freaking out!!! I am wearing two pairs of glasses to read stuff and see the tv. I hope vision will return once I get a fecal transfer (I have seen an opthamologist and he and my Internist cannot find a reason for my vision changes). I’d like good directions on how to perform this myself as my gastro and other doctors do not want to do this procedure despite all I have gone through. I would also like the name of a doctor who performs this procedure in Colorado or Southern California. Thanks in advance!!!!

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Infection Watch May 30, 2012 at 11:54 am

Readers can reply to this question. Cdifficile.org is still researching this area of treatment with respect to self administration.

Dave
Cdifficile.org

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Em May 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Hello, I have a 3 year old that has been suffering with C Diff since he was 9 months old, he’s been treated with Flagyl, and Vanco, and now I’m planning to discuss Dificid with his doctor (THANKYOU for that info!).
However ultimately I would like to find a hospital that could do a Fecal Transplant and end this nightmare for him as a lifetime of those medicines is not healthy and may cause resistance. Do you know of any Hospitals or Docs in the Philadelphia area that would do this? I called St. Clares up in Dennville NJ, but they did not have any idea abou this, and all of the Gastroenterologists that I called from their site did not do it (or at least their secretaries did not know that they do it). They are 100 miles away but if i could find someone i would willingly travel that far. Thankyou for all of your help and for this website that is a lifeline for people like my son.

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Carleton Elliott June 1, 2012 at 1:05 am

I am looking for local doctor to perform FMT in Orange County California. Please let me know if you have any recommendations. Thanks Carleton

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Karen Fell June 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm

My mother who just turned 83 has had recurring c did foralmost a year. She takes probiotics faithfully. However it has not been successful. We live near Philadelphia. Does anyone know of a doctor near here who is doing these procedures.

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Juan June 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Do you know if any doctors perform the fecal transplant in Florida? My dad is currently suffering through C.Diff in the hospital. Some docs suggest removal of his colon to prevent recurrence- which sounds insane to me, especially with the success rates of fecal transplant. Please let me know if there are any doctors in the state of Florida that will do this procedure. Thanks!

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admin June 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm

We do not have access to information on Florida doctors willing to do this proceedure, If you use the search facility on our site and simply put in the word Florida that may turn up something

dave
cdifficile.org

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Dana June 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Em, there is a Dr. Lee at John’s Hopkins that does FMT. I will be calling them on Monday to start the process of getting one for my C – diff. Its called the integrative medicine and digestive center located in Lutherville, MD.

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Em June 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Dana, thank you, i will be calling them today as well. Good luck!

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Karen June 20, 2012 at 12:09 am

My Mother is 68 & has had about 6-7 bouts with c diff over past 2 yrs, several which have been life-threatening. Recently, she’s had a UTI & had to take antibiotics which have started it up again. She is still in hospital & willing to try FMT. She has wondered if it was successful & had to take antibiotics again in future, would she be as likely to get c diff again. I have seen the high cure rate but have you heard anyone talk about recurrence after having FMT procedure?

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admin June 20, 2012 at 11:32 am

The figure talked about re success rate is 97%. Those who suffer again may have been reinfected from another source but the FMT seems to deal with the issue for most people.

Dave
cdifficile.org

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Karen June 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Do you know of a doctor that performs FMT in Muscle Shoals or Florence, AL?
Thanks for your help.

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Lisa July 2, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Do you know of a doctor who performs FMT in south central Virginia… or northern NC?

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Lee July 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm

In Lima Ohio there is a Dr. By the name of Charles Brunelle that have been doing FT for 19 years… He is a wonderful man and owns his own practice with about 12 Dr.’s Under him… God bless you all and may Jesus take the this away from any body suffering from this.

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thelma July 8, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I am looking for a doctor in the CT area that will perform FMT…pleas help ..sick in CT….sick and tired of cdiff…help me!!!!

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Debbie July 17, 2012 at 12:15 am

Are there any doctors in the Charlotte, NC area that performs FMT? My 85 y.o. mother-in-law has been dealing with c-diff for about 2 years now and the Vancomycin is affecting her mind.

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Amber July 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Does the fecal transplant work for further PREVENTION of cdiff and similar symptoms, or just as a “cure”. It’s been 2 years since I’ve had it, but i still have diarrhea on a regular basis. My tests have come up negative, but I still seem to feel it.
If the fecal transplant can help adjust my system, I’d try it.

I’m also dizzy quite often ever since cdiff, and no one has an explanation for that either.

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admin July 19, 2012 at 6:52 am

Only a small number of people who have the fecal therapy seem to have another incident. There is some evidence that this is a fresh infection rather than a return of their previous one

Dave
cdifficile.org

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Stacey August 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm

My daughter has been suffering with IBS for 3years now. She had been on many rounds of antibiotics for MRSA. Shortly after she began to have an abnormal hunger pain, bloating and gas and now steady weight gain that won’t stop escalating. We have tried many different probiotics to no avail. We are in Northern California and would like to try the FMT. However, one of her problems resides in her stomach. I have read that the loss of certain bacteria in the stomach causes your ghrelin hormone to stay elevated, causing you to always be hungry. How can FMT help with this as the infusion in inserted into the rectum.

Thank you

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Alex Rich August 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

I just had fecal transplant in Missoula, MT at St. Patrick’s hospital. It’s only been a month so no bragging rights yet but I feel so much better after being on vancomycin for 2 years and four months. So much smarter to induce screened fecal matter into the small intestine so as to not miss any of those nasty C-diff spores. As I understand it, Duluth MN is the best place to get fecal transplant – they are having over 90% success. I was too sick to travel. All the mixtures of pro-biotics in the world did not help me. My stool is SO much better. Good luck everybody – this is such a terrible illness. Alex – Missoula, MT

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mary derkach August 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Can you tell me if anyone in the Pittsburgh area performs fecal transplants?
Thank you.

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Robert Northrup August 22, 2012 at 7:46 am

For Southern CA. Patients, Suggestion: Inquiry With Any of These Gastroenterologists Dr. Kun in Santa Monica near St. Johns Hospital, UCLA Gastroenterology Group At The Ronald Reagan/ UCLA Medical Center, or Yvette David, MD, Director of Abdominal Diseases, Healthcare Partners, Holy Cross Hospital, Mission Hills, CA. Their skills are excellent. It Is Up To You To Evaluate Their Style For Your Personality. Best Wishes.

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Sarah September 13, 2012 at 3:41 am

Hello! My father has had this issue for 20 months and no meds have helped. I would like him to see a doctor in Louisville regarding his c-diff issues. Any recommendations in Louisville, KY? Thank you!

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Dreika September 27, 2012 at 2:55 am

This is ammoral and disgusting. It should be banned. Right alongside the HPV vaccine, abortion, birth control, insulin therapy, antibiotics, stem cell research, all transplants, blood transfusions, antidepressants and antipsychotics, tubaligations,vasectomies,masectomies, hysterectomies ,chemotherapy! It doesn’t matter if it “saves lives” or makes thing more convienant. We all have to die someday, and using repulsive and ungodly means to “cure” things is not helping anyone. They live longer, die anyway, then have consequences.

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Marjorie October 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Does anyone know of a doctor near Chico or Sacramento in California who does fecal transplants?

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