I have a habit of talking about gross medical stuff over meals. To an extent, this is hereditary—my dad’s family raised dogs and he worked in a vet’s office for a long time, so “animal stuff” often came up at dinner whenever my grandparents came to visit. It never occurred to me until much later in life that there could be anything inappropriate about discussing a French poodle’s explosive diarrhea over spaghetti.

Of course, appropriateness depends a lot upon the comfort level of your dining companions. Whenever my friend Liz and I get together, she totally outdoes me with her nursing horror stories. It takes a certain kind of person to deal with pediatrics. I sometimes feel bad for anyone seated next to us, but hey, their fault for eves-dropping.

Fortunately for me, Chris’ family engages in a similar kind of behavior. They even have a term for it: Rash Chat. I still laugh when I think about some of the gems Chris’ godfather, who is an infectious disease specialist, shared with us this summer when we went to South Carolina. There were also a few hair-curling ones that have probably prevented me from ever being able to take a bug bite at face value.

As you can imagine would occur in the home of a dietitian-in-training and a pre-med student,  there’s a lot of rash chat.

This morning—and this is totally my fault—we got on the topic of fecal bacteriotherapy (aka fecal transplantation) over breakfast. I had been reading about a study that looked at the impact of this process on insulin resistance, and as Chris chomped his granola and I ate my oatmeal, I filled him in on how the process works and what it’s used to treat.

Usually, it involves an enema made with bacterial flora from a healthy donor and can be combined with or replaced by naso-gastric delivery of the “probiotic infusion” straight to the small intestine. Other methods are also being developed to improve efficiency. Though it’s most often used to treat GI conditions like ulcerative colitis, it may be useful in addressing other health issues.

I guess the idea of using healthy gut bacteria to fight infections in an unhealthy gut makes sense, but even I think it’s a little gross. Imagine asking your friends to donate! I suppose it’s easier than asking for your buddy’s kidney, but still.

I promise, if you come to my home for dinner sometime, I will not talk about fecal transplants or other such procedures. Unless, of course, you want me to.

And on that note, I’m off to class. Enjoy your day.

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