Experts warn against trend that sees people ingest others people's poo in hopes of curing illness
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Experts have warned of the risks of an unusual health trend which is sweeping the internet.
Now, you're probably aware that we have millions and millions of bacteria living in our guts.
Far from being the sort of bacteria which cause things like bubonic plague or cholera, these bacteria are an essential part of the way our body processes food.
Not only that, but the kind of bacteria which are found in any given person's digestive tract vary from person to person. While everyone is unique, there is also broad similarity in communities.
So for example if you go on holiday somewhere very far away, you might end up with some digestive distress.
This can be for a few different reasons, but one of them is that your gut bacteria don't match up to the bacteria found in the food in your new location.
And this where we come to the rather weird health trend which is sweeping the internet.
This health trend is called a 'faecal transplant', and yes, it is exactly what it sounds like.
Having a healthy gut microbiome is an important part of maintaining a healthy gut, so the trend is that if you ingest good gut bacteria, then that will help, somehow.
You while you might assume this is done with a suppository, that is wrong.
Yes, you quite literally eat s**t.
It's worth pointing out now, that faecal transplants - which are medically known as Faecal microbiota transplantations (FMT) - are actually a proper treatment for certain conditions.
Sometimes you might undergo treatment or get a condition which results in your bacterial microbiome being wiped out.
In cases like these, a faecal transplant from a screened, erm, 'donor', could help to restore your gut microbiome.
The danger which experts have warned against is when people carry out 'DIY' faecal transplants, as those carried out in hospital are done under controlled conditions.
Doing it at home is very dangerous and risks contracting a serious, even potentially life-threatening, infection.
Gastroenterologist dietician Julie Thompson told MailOnline: "It is always performed by an FMT specialist. FMT is so specialist that there are only two UK hospitals with a licensed stool bank.
"The poo donors undergo a rigorous screening process, with a full health questionnaire, blood and poo samples. The poo samples are strictly controlled."
She added: "I urge you, if you are struggling with digestive symptoms or a digestive condition, do not be tempted to do a DIY FMT. We would never recommend this. Guts UK are here to help, contact us or your GP."
It is also worth mentioning that the human body has evolved to maintain the gut bacteria all by itself.
Unless you have a medical condition, and as long as you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, your body shouldn't need any extra 'help' maintaining its gut microbiome.