About RDS Probiotic Infusions
RDS Probiotic Infusions is a gastroenterology clinic in Tampa, Florida specializing in improvement of the gut microbiome, specifically with Fecal Microbiota Transplantations and Probiotic Infusions. These procedures are used for the treatment of drug resistant C. Diff., C. Diff-related Ulcerative Colitis, and other GI disorders and diseases.
RDS Probiotic Infusions has performed over 1000 bacterial transplants and probiotic infusions with excellent results. The success rate for the treating C. diff. with FMT is over 98%. Patients suffering from other GI disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, have also seen significant improvements in symptoms from the Probiotic Infusions. To view our patients' testimonials, please visit this page.
Bacterial Probiotic infusions are performed during a colonoscopy or enema style infusion or a combination of the two. We also offer FMT triple layered capsules which have a 90% success rate for C. Diff. patients who are unable to undergo the colonoscopic FMT procedure. Our donors are thoroughly tested on a regular basis. Patients may choose their own donor. To see more information about our donor testing, click here.
Disorders and Diseases
We primarily help patients battling the following conditions:
C. diff. is a species of Gram-positive bacteria that causes serious diarrhea and other intestinal diseases. C. diff. is the common name for Clostridium difficile, or “C. difficile.” This disease occurs when opposing bacteria in the gut flora are eliminated by antibiotics. When these bacteria are wiped out, it leads to the development of C. diff.
C. diff. is the most severe cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and can lead to pseudomebranous colitis. Pseudomebranous colitis is a serious inflammation of the colon. This often results from elimination of the regular gut flora by antibiotics.
C. diff bacteria are naturally found in the gut in a small percentage of the adult population. However, most people accidentally ingest C. diff. spores when they are patients in a hospital, nursing home, or similar facility. In fact, about 14,000 people die each year in America because of C. diff. contracted in a hospital.
We prepare our fecal specimens by hand using purified spring water. Our donors are carefully selected. We exclude donors with on any medications and must have no chronic medical problems. We even check for any family history of chronic diseases.
Ulcerative Colitis treatment is a significant focus of RDS Probiotic Infusions.
Ulcerative Colitis, also referred to as UC, or just “colitis,” is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes long-lasting inflammation in the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis is a type of colitis, a disease of the colon that includes ulcers. The primary symptom of ulcerative colitis is usually frequent diarrhea mixed with blood, with gradual onset.
Ulcerative colitis is similar to Crohn’s disease, which is another common form of inflammatory bowel disease. Like Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis can be debilitating and in some cases, can lead to life-threatening complications. Ulcerative colitis is an intermittent disease, with periods of severe symptoms, and periods that are almost completely symptom-free. In some cases, the symptoms of ulcerative colitis can diminish on their own; however, the majority of the time, Ulcerative Colitis treatment is necessary in order for the disease to go into remission.
For more information about ulcerative colitis treatment click here.
Irritable bowl syndrome
Irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large and small bowel. Symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas and irregular bowel pattern. IBS is a chronic disorder that needs long term management.
We offer several treatment options including antibiotic therapy followed by high dose proprietary probiotic infusions and capsules with the goal of improving bacterial diversity within the intestines. Colonoscopic probiotic infusions have been the most successful in improving the symptoms of IBS.
To learn more about any of these conditions and how our treatment options can help, please visit this page: Disorders and Diseases
What is FMT?
FMT for Treating Clostridium Difficile
FMT, also called fecal transplant, and known as a stool transplant is the process of transplanting fecal bacteria from a healthy individual into a recipient as a treatment for Clostridium difficile infection (C.diff). Clostridium difficile produces side effects that range from diarrhea to pseudomembranous colitis. Beginning in 2000, hypervirulent strains of C. Diff. have emerged, which seem to be linked to antibiotics that are commonly used in empiric treatments.
FMT is also referred to as fecal bacteriotherapy, fecal transfusion, fecal transplant, stool transplant, fecal enema and human probiotic infusion. FMT involves restoration of the colonic flora by introducing healthy bacterial flora through infusion of stool, obtained from a healthy human donor.
A recent study found that FMT is very successful. In a randomized, controlled trial, Infusion of feces from healthy donors was demonstrated to be highly effective in treating recurrent C. difficile, and more effective than vancomycin alone. FMT can also be used to treat other conditions.
The fecal transplant procedure involves one to multiple infusions of bacterial fecal flora originating from a healthy human donor. Most patients with C. diff recover clinically and the Clostridium difficile infection is eradicated after just one treatment. A close relative is often the easiest donor, as it is easier to have him or her tested and to obtain the fecal bacteria. However, there is no reason to expect this to affect the success of the procedure as genetic similarities or differences do not appear to play a role. In fact, in some situations, a close relative may be an asymptomatic carrier of C. difficile, which would prove problematic. Donors must be tested for a wide variety of bacterial and parasitic infections.
After donor testing is completed, the fecal transplant material is then prepared and administered in a clinical environment. The fecal microbiota infusions can be administered via various routes depending on suitability and ease, although enema infusion is possibly the simplest. There does not appear to be any significant difference in successes between the various routes. Repeat stool testing should be performed on patients to confirm eradication of the Clostridium difficile infection.
There are many benefits of FMT for the treatment of Clostridium difficile. These include the restoration of the colonic microbiota to its natural state by replacing missing Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes species, eradication of C. difficile, and resolution of clinical symptoms such as diarrhea, cramping and urgency. Antibiotic resistance in C.diff is uncommon. If there is a relapse, it is generally due to the presence of C. difficile spores.
FMT was once considered to be a “last resort therapy” by some medical professionals. This was due to its unusual nature and ‘invasiveness’ compared with antibiotics; perceived potential risk of infection transmission; and lack of Medicare coverage for donor stool. However, the recent position by specialists in infectious diseases and other societies is moving away from fecal transplant as a last-resort treatment and toward acceptance of FMT as standard therapy for relapsing C.diff.
Given that antibiotics are the original cause of C.diff, patients should avoid further antibiotic therapy. It has now been recommended that endoscopic Fecal Microbiota Transplantation be elevated to a primary treatment for patients with clinical deterioration and severe relapsing C. difficile. The earlier the infusion is initiated, the less likely the patient’s condition will deteriorate, thereby preventing the higher mortality rate associated with severely affected patients. FMT is being increasingly used in clinical practice and, since complications of FMT are rare, its use is likely to increase. A 2009 study discovered that fecal bacteriotherapy has the advantage of being an effective and simple procedure that is more cost-effective than continued antibiotic administration and reduces the occurrence of antibiotic resistance.
What are Probiotic Infusions?
Probiotic Infusions can be performed by colonoscopy, enema or triple layered oral capsules. Probiotic Infusions improve bacterial diversity in the gastrointestinal tract, which can help improve symptoms related to IBS and IBD. We have also seen a reduction in food sensitivities and chemical sensitivities after the Probiotic Infusion treatment.
Up to 6 trillion bacterial colonies are infused during a single colonoscopy. Reduced bacterial diversity has been associated with many diseases, including but not limited to Irritable Bowel Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.
The following is a sample of our past patients' testimonials, click to see our full testimonials page.
For information regarding treatment pricing, click here.
R. David Shepard, MD, head of RDS Probiotic Infusions and has been practicing in Tampa, Florida for over 25 years. He specializes in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
More information on Dr. Shepard can be found here.