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Episode 61 — Clostridium Difficile

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Are you ready to ingest this episode? Pump up the bacteria and get ready to learn about fecal transplants and everything else about C. diff from our giggly pal Emily Rittershaus. Kyle's stomach issues don't hold a candle to Clostridium difficile which Tig is intimately acquainted with. Just, please wash your hands after you listen, okay?

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Paper-Pew. Good one. Thank you for clarifying that PB will continue even though Tig is moving. Hooray.

 

Kyle just needs to start an amazing podcast on the side called "Kyle's Embarrassing Stories". So funny. David and Tig laughing uncontrollably at Kyle's several episodes of repeating into his girlfriend's couch was contagious. So great.

 

Donate to Clown Service, y'all. Help a sista out.

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It is great hearing Tig just lose it when laughing like that. I like Emily as a guest. She knows her stuff but also seems so very geniune.

 

Did anyone else get a cold chill at the end with Tig talking about New York? She said she would be back in '5-6 months'? I'm very, very scared.

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I won't go into it, but I can relate to Kyle's embarrassing story. I had something similar to Kyle's bro.

 

p.s. I love you guys.

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I feel I should say, for the record, that I have been listening since the first episode. I look forward to every other Friday for payday, every birthday so I can have sex with my wife, and every Tuesday for Professor Blastoff. Keep doing what you're doing.

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I was just thinking about something today. I have totally forgotten what the point of Kyle's farting story was. Can anyone remind me? Also, am I the only one that has now tried to cut one with one cheek raised now?

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I was just thinking about something today. I have totally forgotten what the point of Kyle's farting story was. Can anyone remind me? Also, am I the only one that has now tried to cut one with one cheek raised now?

 

Days before recording, Kyle told Tig he had an embarrassing story to tell and she told him to tell it on the podcast.

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I figured I'd mention that in the ad for Comedy Bang Bang on IFC, David emphatically says it's on at 10 o'clock central time. It's actually on at 9pm central & mountain, 10pm eastern & pacific.

 

Well, that's been correction.

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Well, I thought the episode was good overall, and while I believe Emily knows her stuff, I disagree with her assertion that it's not necessary to wash your hands. I was a little unclear on her logic, since proper hand washing can prevent the spread of illnesses and infections caused by bacteria and viruses. If you don't wash, you're leaving yourself open to things like eye infections, diarrhea, colds and influenza. It's also strange that she said that it's ok not to wash your hands very often, even though washing your hands carries no risk and infinite reward, but she felt that fecal transplant is something that should be done more regularly, even in those who don't have recurrent C. difficile. From what I've found, the procedure is still difficult to perform and hasn't had any long term study done, so it's still inconclusive what potential risks really exist. So why discourage doing something that has only proven benefits (hand washing), while encouraging something that is more difficult to undertake and has potential risk associated with it (fecal transplant)? I'm not saying she was recommending one over the other, just that her logic seems inconsistent.

 

I also understand Emily's got a lot of training in the field of microbiology, but my mom was a microbiologist for about 40 years, running the lab at a hospital, and she has always advocated proper hand washing and cleaning, so I trust her opinion a bit more than a twenty-something doctoral candidate (no offense). And if I've learned anything from this podcast, specifically from Kyle, it's always listen to MOTHER!

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Brendan, there is no inconsistency. The point is people are much too germaphobic nowadays. Greater than 99% of bacteria and microbes are harmless to humans (and usually they are beneficial). That is why not washing your hands is not harmful and a fecal transplant is not harmful. Growth of beneficial bacteria on your body (hands, intestines) makes it harder for the minority of harmful bacteria to grow. This is part of the hypothesis to explain why third world countries have lower rates of asthma and allergies compared to first world countries like the US -- there is less 'hygiene' where people don't have access to limitless water and therefore there is greater exposure to the microbial world.

 

If you mother was a microbiologist who works in a hospital, then, yes, she should advocate for washing hands. Everyone who is in a hospital should wash their hands often because that is how you stop spread of hospital-acquired illnesses like C. difficile. If you don't work/live/visit hospitals or live with an immunosupressed person, then in all honesty, it is perfectly fine to not wash your hands constantly. I'm not an obsessive hand washer or hand sanitizer user and I can't remember the last time I was sick.

 

And fecal transplants are an incredibly easy procedure. You could do it yourself at home if you wanted. Of course, you'd want to make sure your donor was completely healthy and had no bowel problems. And fecal transplants have been a common procedure in veterinary care (they call it "transfaunation") for decades, and it is a very successful treatment for a number of bowel issues in horses and cattle.

 

The bottom line is, people shouldn't be so afraid of microbes. Check out Carl Zimmer's recent microbiome/fecal transplant piece for the New York Times for his informative take on the subject: http://www.nytimes.c...?pagewanted=all

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