The article features an interview with Paul Feuerstadt, MD, FACG, AGAF, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine and attending gastroenterologist at PACT Gastroenterology Center. The article discusses the dangers associated with DIY fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), a practice where individuals attempt to perform fecal transplants at home, often guided by information found on the internet or YouTube.
- DIY FMT Appeal: People are drawn to DIY FMT due to the hope it offers for various conditions like leaky gut syndrome, refractory irritable bowel syndrome, and neurological diseases, for which there are no FDA-approved microbiota restoration products.
- Risks of Homebrew FMT: The primary concerns with DIY FMT include the risk of perforation, disease and pathogen transmission, and other side effects like distension, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, and chills. The lack of donor screening in DIY FMT poses significant risks, as donors might carry undetected autoimmune processes, malignancies, or infectious pathogens.
- Usage for Various Diseases: People are using homebrew FMT for diseases like ulcerative colitis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, driven by the hypothesis that gastrointestinal microbiota alterations contribute to these conditions.
Dr. Feuerstadt emphasizes the importance of understanding the source and accuracy of information used for DIY FMT. He advises against the practice, highlighting the need for a more scientific approach in defining and solving microbiota-related problems. He also stresses the importance of FDA-approved live biotherapeutic products, which ensure safety and a consistent effect, unlike the unpredictable outcomes of homebrew FMT.