Doctors are worried as people inject themselves with poo at home

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So far, 2018 is shaping up to be the year of the weird health trend.

First, a doctor actually had to warn women about the dangers of cleansing their vaginas with cucumbers.

Then came concern about ozone gas, vinegar to tighten it.

Now, people are blending human poo and injecting it into themselves with enemas, in an attempt to give themselves ‘faecal transplants.’

There’s even a website called PowerofPoop which helps connect people to potential stool donors, for a small fee.

Unsurprisingly, doctors are now warning that these so-called DIY faecal treatments could put participants at risk of HIV and hepatitis as well as conditions ranging from Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, obesity and sleep disorders.

You may be wondering why on earth anyone would voluntarily choose to do this, but apparently there is a degree of science behind the trend.

According to the National Health Survey, the BBC did report that faecal transplants have been used in medical settings to tackle deadly bacteria, such as Clostridium difficile.

But undergoing a faecal transplant in a controlled medical environment by trained professionals is one thing, following a YouTube video at home is quite something else.

And now, experts are concerned that at-home procedures which don’t involve screening, could mean problematic microbes, including those linked to Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s, could be transferred to recipients.

“Given that we know that these are things that in mice, at least, can be transmitted by the microbiome, it is not cause for panic yet, but it is certainly cause for concern that the same might be true in humans,” Rob Knight, professor of paediatrics, computer science and engineering at the University of California San Diego said.

At the moment, faeces donors are screened in clinical settings for conditions including infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis.

But if you’re doing it yourself in your bathroom, the process is obviously far less stringent, and far more risky.

There are some unexpected dangers associated with the process too. Doctors cite a case study from 2015 in which a woman undergoing a faecal transplant for a C. difficile infection ended up becoming obese after receiving a stool sample from her healthy but overweight daughter.

 

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