Frozen 'Poop Pills' Could Save Your Life -- If You Can Get Them Down

stomach ache

I have a very important question for you. If you were suffering from a horrific case of diarrhea, would you be willing to eat poo to get better? It sounds insane, I know. Haven't we all been taught that eating the stuff will make you sick? Believe it or not, though, a bit o' stool could actually cure a severe intestinal infection -- and doctors have created an actual frozen poop pill that will help make (GULP!) the medicine go down.

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Doctors have been experimenting with using fecal transplants to cure illnesses for a few years. Simply put, a sample of a healthy person's stool is placed inside a sick person's digestive tract. The healthy bacteria in the stool helps fight off the infection. But it's a rather ... well, let's just say the procedure is a tad invasive. (Imagine a tube going down your nose and into your small intestines. I'll say no more.)

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As an alternative, doctors can put stool from a healthy relative into a capsule. It would be absolutely lovely if they could then tint that capsule so you could pretend it's something, anything else. Alas, only transparent, acid-resistant pills will do. But when you freeze them, they kind of frost over, so at least there's that.

If you can get over the ick factor, these are nothing short of a miracle.

These poop pills have a 90 percent success rate, people! Out of 32 patients who took them, 31 achieved a "clinical resolution of diarrhea." Sure, that's a mighty small sample. But it sure looks promising.

How strange that such a counter-intuitive cure is so effective. Isn't biology wacky sometimes? If this treatment takes off, I'm sure doctors will still use it sparingly. But when I remember how I felt the last time I had a stomach bug, I'm pretty darn sure I'd swallow just about anything to feel better. And considering severe diarrhea leads to 14,000 deaths in the US every year, I think it's a small pill to swallow in order to save your life.

How would you feel about taking a frozen poop pill -- or contributing to the creation of frozen poop pills?

 

Image © iStock.com/Piotr Marcinski

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