Fecal transplantation relieves diabetic neuralgia

Fecal transplantation may reduce neuralgia in diabetics. Image credit: Shutterstock/fizkes

Studies have found that fecal transplants can treat diabetes-related neuralgia, a complication that more than half of people with diabetes have, causing tingling and numbness. The study was published July 13 in Cell Metabolism.

Liping Zhao and colleagues at Rutgers University in New Jersey analyzed stool samples from 86 people, of whom 27 had diabetes-related neuralgia, 30 had diabetes without neuralgia, and the rest did not have diabetes.

Genetic sequencing revealed that people with diabetes-related neuralgia were more abundant in 13 types of bacteria than others. On average, these bacteria make up nearly 12 percent of the gut microbiome of people with neuralgia, and less than 2 percent in people without neuralgia, suggesting that changes in the gut microbiome may cause neuralgia in people with diabetes.

So the team transplanted stool samples from non-diabetic patients into a separate group of 22 diabetic neuralgia patients, and another 10 neuralgia patients as a control group that received placebo implantations of pumpkin and potato flour.

The researchers evaluated the participant samples 84 days before and after the experiment. On average, participants who received fecal transplants experienced about 35 percent reduction in neuralgia, while those who did not receive a transplant experienced only about 5 percent less. Additional genetic analysis found that these improvements were associated with a unique set of gut microbiota, which can reduce inflammation, which is responsible for chronic pain. One of them is Faecal bacillus przewalski, which has been found to be deficient in people with chronic fatigue syndrome.

There are currently no approved treatments for diabetes-related neuropathy, but these findings suggest that fecal transplantation is a viable option. Zhao Liping said the treatment could also relieve neuralgia in other conditions. However, this effect began to subside 3 months after transplantation.

Even so, Mindy Patterson of Texas Women’s University says it may help uncover other ways to reduce diabetes-related neuralgia, such as nutritional interventions to cultivate beneficial gut flora. “Diet is the number one factor that affects the gut microbiome,” she said. ”

She added that future research should consider diet and other lifestyle factors, such as physical activity, as these can also affect the gut microbiome, which this study did not do. (Source: China Science News Guo Yueying)

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