Dr. Mark Davis: When waste becomes the cure

By TEDxSalem Storyteller, August 20, 2015

Mark HeadshotThey say one’s trash is another’s treasure.

Dr. Mark Davis has built a medical career on this concept.

To many, poop means very little. It’s just waste, to be flushed away and rarely spoken of.

But for some people, it’s a significant health problem that severely impacts their quality of life. And the only solution is more poop.

Let me explain.

Davis, a Portland-based naturopathic physician, has dedicated his career to helping people with stomach conditions — especially those who have tried everything, to no avail.

At TEDxSalem on Oct. 3, Davis will speak about the work he is doing to improve the lives of those who have stubborn inflammatory bowel disease and infectious colitis.

Davis comes from a family of scientists and medical professionals, and he naturally formed an interest in a career in the field, as well.

But unlike conventional medicine, which he says is more focused on fixing broken bones and patching up bleeding parts, Davis was interested in a more holistic type of medicine.

When he discovered naturopathy, he knew it was right up his alley.

He got into gastrointestinal health because of the influence of his mentor, Dr. Steven Sandberg-Lewis, who is a gut health expert, Davis said.

Davis found that while many people suffering from bowel diseases found relief through diet, nutrients and herbs, there were some people for whom nothing seemed to work.

He did some digging into scientific literature, and he found an answer that has helped many people: fecal transplantation. In other words, he takes donated fecal matter from healthy people to transplant it in sick people’s intestines through an enema.

Today, he runs his own donor bank at his practice and continues to help people who have tried everything to relieve their bowel disease symptoms with no success.

You would have to attend TEDxSalem to learn more about fecal transplantation, what Davis has done to make the process more — well, appetizing — and the barriers the government has placed on people who would benefit from this treatment.

Tickets are available at tedxsalem2015.eventbrite.com.