A woman suffering from a recurrent Clostridium difficile or C. difficile was recently successfully treated for infection with a stool transplant, but after the surgery she has gained considerable amount weight.
Stool transplant, known as fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) in technical term, is considered by the doctors as effective procedure for the treatment of recurrent C. difficile infections that can even turn fatal in some cases.
The C. difficile infection is considered to be a common reason for diarrhea related to antibiotic. With the overgrowth of the bacteria, dangerous toxins also begun to release that in turns attack the intestines’ lining, causing Clostridium difficile colitis.
An unnamed woman underwent a transplant of stool in 2011 for treating C. difficile infection. Before the procedure, her BMI was 26 and weighed 136 pounds. But she reported gaining an extra weight of around 34 pounds within 16 months of the surgery.
The stool was donated to a woman, whose identity is not disclosed, by her 16-year-old daughter, who was overweight at the time of donation.
Dr. Colleen Kelly, a gastroenterologist at the Warren Alpert Medical School of the Brown University, said that weight gain of about 5 to 10 pounds is normal for patients after an FMT procedure.
However, the weight gain of more than 30 pounds is worrisome.
According to the researchers, the woman weighed 177 pounds and her BMI was 34.5 within three years of the transplant. A person is considered obese when the BMI is 30 or more.
Kelly, who also prepared the case report, said, “We’re asking whether there was something in the fecal transplant, whether some of those ‘good’ bacteria we transferred may have had an impact on her metabolism in a negative way.”
According to Kelly, the woman was never had an overweight issue prior to the FMT surgery. It is the stool transplant, Kelly said, which may have caused her to gain weight among several other factors.
Kelly also suggested that the use of antibiotic for treating another infection, aging, stress due to the illness and other factors has likely resulted in the gain on weight.
But, the link between weight gain and fecal or stool transplant cannot be rejected outrightly as it is supported in animal studies.
Health experts say the people suffering from the overweight problem as not allowed from making any type of donation, including organ, blood, semen or stool donations. But, the recent case has posed some of the vital questions over accepting donations that whether the weight factor should be considered before indulging in such an exchange.
The case report was detailed in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases.