Possible New Hair Loss Treatment You Have to Read to Believe
During a hair transplant, hair from the patient is removed from one area of the body so it can be transplanted into the balding area of the scalp. The hair is usually removed from the donor area of the scalp (the back and sides of the head) and transplanted into the targeted area. Like any other medical procedure, the methods used to perform a hair transplant are constantly evolving as new techniques are invented and perfected. There is a new method of treating hair loss that is being studied and discussed and it involves transplanting samples of pop from the bowel of a patient.
Poop There it is – New Hair Transplant Method Explained
According to the American College of Gastroenterology Case Reports Journal, a 20-year-old man saw hair regrowth after undergoing a faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). During this procedure, the sample of poop is inserted through tubes that go directly into the colon or down the nose and into the stomach of the patient.
While this is the current way to perform this technique, it is hoped that the sample can one day be taken as a pill in order to be a less invasive technique. The idea behind this hair restoration method is that the gut bacteria, present in the poop, will boost the immune system of the patient.
It is believed that FMT will benefit patients that suffer from Alopecia Areata (AA) which is an autoimmune disease. The immune system of a person creates antibodies and white blood cells to protect the body against viruses and bacteria that it views as being foreign objects. If a person has an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakes parts of the body as being foreign objects. In Alopecia Areata, the white blood cells gather around the hair follicles, which are viewed as being foreign objects, which can cause the hair of a person to fall out and create bald patches on the scalp.
FMT Study Explained
A faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is normally used to treat stomach conditions. However, it has also been shown to be a possible hair loss treatment in certain case studies.
At Columbia University in Manhattan, a clinical trial was started in 2020 involving 40 patients suffering from alopecia. The purpose of the study is to determine if FMT will cause the regrowth of hair. The patients in the study will be monitored and followed until December 2023 so it is not likely that FMT will be a widely available procedure in the next several years.
Research has shown a “close link” between Alopecia Areata and the makeup of the gut of person that contain bacteria that numbers in the trillions. The bacteria in the gut works to keep the body healthy but they can be destroyed by antibiotics. If the bacteria in the gut are not in proper balance, it can cause health problems in patients.
In a scientific paper written in October 2019, Wen-Rui Xie and other research colleagues at Guangdong Pharmaceutical University; wrote “There is an intriguing link between alopecia areata and gut dysbiosis.” Widespread efficacy of FMT provides a clue that FMT might also serve as a potential therapy for alopecia areata via the restoration of gut microbiota balance.”
FMT and Hair Regrowth
In the past, FMT has been shown to help in the treatment of a wide range of stomach issues, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), that are related to issues with the gut. During a faecal transplant, “good bugs” that are taken from the stool of the donor are infused into the patient so they can begin to populate. During the treatment of patients that suffer from stomach issues, scientists first learned that FMTs might be able to be used as a hair loss treatment.
Wen-Rui Xie wrote about the story of an 86-year-old man that enjoyed hair regrowth after undergoing an FMT to treat diarrhea that persisted for six months. The patient had six rounds of Faecal Microbiota Transplantation in 2017. It was discovered during a four week follow-up appointment that the patient had new hair. In addition to having new hair, some of the white hair on his scalp (from the aging process) had turned back to black hair.
At Brown University, another team of doctors reported on two cases of hair regrowth found in patients that had FMTs performed because of stomach conditions. A 20-year-old man suffering from Crohn’s disease and alopecia showed a “significant improvement in his hair loss” after having FMT performed. The team of doctors also reported that the condition of the patient improved from 95%-99% hair loss to 25%-49% hair loss.
FMT Hair Loss Treatment – Is it Widely Available
While the cases discussed above show that FMT holds great promise as a treatment for hair loss, it is too soon to tell when (and if) it will be widely available as a mainstream hair restoration treatment. Further studies will need to be conducted before the use of poop samples is used by doctors across the country to treat hair loss.