Fecal Transplant, The Return of Joy

For quite a while now I’ve battled with fatigue, insomnia, POTS (blood pressure spikes), racing heart, and anxiety/depression when my gut flora is particularly out of balance. Last January things worsened, especially weight loss, pain in my left descending colon, and extreme fatigue, so much so that I didn’t recognize the symptoms anymore as “my usual”. By early April, I was concerned I might be developing colon cancer, and thought maybe I’d mistaken its insidious symptoms for gut dysbiosis. I was frightened enough, and sick enough, to start making out my will.

Well, thankfully, it turns out I was wrong. Biopsy results from a colonscopy I had a few days ago came back and the preliminary results show no signs of malignancy. I do have inflammation in my colon consistent with colitis, but I’m not bleeding. Perhaps this is due to the anti-inflamatory capabilities of my Necator Americanus hookworm.

Getting the “all clear” was wonderful, but it has not made my health issues any better. I’ve been waking up in a sweat, feeling hot around my abdomen and lower back. It’s like a fever, localized to my gut. My nose is also stuffy, my ears are ringing, my mood is off, and I am quite tired. Too tired, in fact, to get out of bed much of the day.

Since I had some lead time while I waited for the colonoscopy, this gave me the opportunity to call my fecal transplant donor, who I worked with last October, and ask if we could do a round 2. He could tell right away how sick I was, and said “yes”. So we got started two days ago, on Wednesday the 18th of April.

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Immediately following the treatment, which I self-administered with an enema kit at home, I felt better. In mere minutes I was able to breathe freely, an hour later my mind was brighter, and I was laughing and smiling in a spontaneous way. Four hours later my entire body was more relaxed, the stuffiness in my ears was receding, my balance was better.

By the evening I was playing my guitar again, able to smell the distinct odor of wood and glue through the sound hole, and playing with a nuance I hadn’t felt in a few years. I was reconnecting with “joy”, and it’s incredible how essential healthy flora is to our vitality and to what extent it shapes our personalities, our skills.

At 9:30PM that evening I was yawning, and ready for bed. I hadn’t felt normal drowsiness since taking Levaquin in August of 2011, which is many months ago. I am waking now feeling refreshed and restored. Insomnia is a thing of the past.

Fecal transplant has affected my labs, also. Testosterone and leutinizing hormone levels have been low for a few years now (consistent with chronic infections), and after one FT treatment I’ve no doubt my T is higher. Let’s put it this way — every middle aged man seeing his doctor for Viagra might do a lot better with a fecal transplant. Seriously.

My donor left town for a few days and will be back late this weekend. In the time since, I’ve tried stool stored in the refrigerator, but it isn’t as good as fresh. I am relapsing some, with fatigue, stuffy nose, and tinnitus. I’m not sure if the ringing in my ears is from my colon, or somewhere else. I am hoping we can continue on for another 7 to 10 days, so I can regain my progress and lock in these benefits.

 

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If you or anyone you know have done FMT, I’d really appreciate hearing from you in the comments section below. This is life-saving medicine for so many. soย please spread the word about fecal transplant, on twitter and Facebook, anywhere you can.

 

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14 thoughts on “Fecal Transplant, The Return of Joy

  1. HOW EXACTLY does one insert/administer/implant the stool sample from donor? I was told to put it in a gel cap and insert [obviously rectally]–but how far UP does one need to go? THANKS if you can help with this! ~PLE

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  2. my techique is evolving. at first i was blending the stool with distilled water and pouring the mix into an anal syringe (basically just a rubber bulb with a plastic tip).

    now, since i’ve realized most of the bacteria die when exposed to air, i’m adding the stool whole to distilled water, inside a plastic squeeze bottle, and stirring it without exposing it to the air. as long as the mixture gets inside you, the good bugs will travel where they need to go, all the way to the furthest reaches of the colon.

    there’s no need to mix a lot of solution, either. only 2oz of stool and 3 or 4oz of distilled water is quite enough. less is more, since too much will make your body want to expel the contents, as with any enema.

    it’s also best to use fresh stool, instead of refrigerated or frozen, simply because you want to preserve as much of the biome as possible, intact. the more fragile bacteria are just as important as the hardy ones.

    if you’re interested in learning more about FT, request to join the bacteriotherapy forum on FB:

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002233592851

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  3. Dude, you have no idea how pleased I am to find your blog today. Am signed up for FT in Jan at a clinic. I was hoping to find some info on how ft can improve mood/anxiety as I struggle with this alongside ulcerative colitis. I know there are no guarantees but I think positive thinking is part of the treatment so its good to know it could help my mind as well as my Gut.

    Hope everything works out for you!

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    • thanks, very much, mike! things are going really well for me lately. i’ve been so busy working lately (something i couldn’t have done even a year ago) i haven’t had the time to update my blog, but i’m getting to the heart of the problem, dealing with the dysbiosis with herbal anti-microbials and anti-fungals. i plan to really sterilize my small intestine, to heal the SIBO, then do FT again to make sure i’ve got a full range of healthy flora in my colon. so far so good. i haven’t felt this good in years.

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      • Hello TC. I am also glad to run across your blog. I am very desperate and all the doctors I’ve been to were not able to help me.my symptoms started 4 years ago when I was put on amoxicillin for a full year. I had insomnia, anxiety, and uncoordination. I thought the symptoms would get better after I came off, but oh boy was I wrong. I went from bring a completely calm, easy going person to full out extravert, ADHD type of person. The docs said I was depressed, had anxiety, and put so much thought into the effects of anti biotics.whenever I take probiotics, I get fever and a sense of rotation when I’m laying in bed. I feel a bit better with probiotics and light low carb meals.

        I asked my doctor if it could be related to my intestinal flora imbalance and she gave me diflucan to try and asked me how I felt. I was on diflucan for 4 days and I’ve never felt that good in years. My mood was spot on, I could think clearly, my energy was fine, and my mood was aligned. After a heavy meal, I didn’t feel as tired and it didn’t ruin my whole day. When I explained these to her, she said I had a placebo effect and I put too much thought into it.

        I am very desperate at the moment and I will be seeing a homeopathic doctor. I want to, and I wish everyday that I could recover and feel the way I felt when I was on the diflucan. It was very natural and like you described it, my mood was spot on.

        I’m crying as I’m typing this, I hope you read my message and give me some insight.if all else fails, I will try the bacterial implant.

        Thank you for Sharing this.

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      • kart10, i’m sorry to hear of your struggle, but just know you’re not alone. there are so many of us who have had our health destroyed by antibiotics, and most conventional drs haven’t caught up yet with the severity or the widespread nature of this problem. the good news is we’re figuring out ways to heal our bodies. it takes time and diligence, but it can be done!

        regarding your own situation, first off, why on earth were you only on diflucan for 4 days? if it helped you that much, why not take it for a longer period? your dr. attributing your improvement to a placebo effect also strikes me as odd, since antifungals can offer relief almost immediately.

        it sounds to me like you’ve got a systemic yeast overgrowth. what type of diet are you on? i had been eating almost zero carb (meat and veggies only) for a few years, and while it helped i some ways, ultimately, this in fact made me much worse. a few weeks ago, i read paul jaminet’s site, “perfect health diet”. he advocates eating very small amounts of carbs, like white rice, to keep our bodies out of ketosis, which is a fat-burning mode. it turns out candida loves ketones, and when we eat very low carb, ketones are throughout our bodies. that’s when yeast can move out of the gut and go systemic.

        about 12 days ago i started to eat small amounts of manuka honey. i found i tolerated that, so next i tried white rice. only 1/4 cup (uncooked) at first. i’ve recently tried potatoes, just one small russet, and small yams. in my own experience, it’s important to take an antifungal of some sort, or these added carbs will cause difficulties of their own. too much too soon caused me to have chest and sinus congestion. i am taking nystatin pills now, 3X per day, and may need to stay on this medication for a few months. i’m also taking kolorex, which is a brand of active horopito, from new zealand. olive leaf and candex are other low toxicity antifungals i sometimes take in combination.

        things like diflucan and herbals like oregano oil can burden the liver and kidneys, so i am cautious with those. with yeast overgrowth it’s best to go slowly and just never let up. rebuilding the gut flora is also important. i’m taking prescript assist soil based organisms, bacillus coagulans probiotic and also biokult, a brand developed by natasha campbell mcbride, who created the GAPS diet.

        i cannot preach moderation enough. if a little white rice helps, a lot makes things worse. the idea is to have just enough glucose in your system to stay out of ketosis, which is probably around 110 grams of carbohydrate per day for most people. again, see paul jaminet’s perfect health diet site.

        what’s next? my plan is to do fecal transplants again after the yeast is under control, but for now i’m just happy to enjoy the progress i’m making with the anti-candida protocol. please understand, i’m not a dr, and i’m not suggesting you follow the protocol that’s been working for me without consulting your own physician. and please try not to get discouraged. we need good brain chemistry to heal, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ emotional trauma can alter gut bacteria, so when we are sick and feeling isolated this just makes matters worse. try to find friends who won’t judge you due to ill health, and spend time with them enjoying life. we spend a lot of time reading about how to cure ourselves, when we are ill, but it’s also essential to forget about that stuff for a little while each day.

        take care, and keep us posted on how you’re doing. ๐Ÿ™‚

        T.C.

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      • Tc,
        I have no physical symptoms other than the psychological symptoms and all the bloodwork came normal which is the reason why my doc is doubting me.

        I intend to open a blog as well and publish all of my results. I’m very confident that the antibiotics screwed me up and the diflucan got rid off all of my symptoms. I will be in touch.

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  4. Glad to hear of your progress , my life was derailed a few years ago after taking cipro for several month courses, I developed complete dysbosis , candida overgrowth , psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. I have been following the same protocols (candida diet , GAPS, probiotics, home fermentation, etc) but know that some sort of fecal transplant must be necessary to replace species that don’t come in a bottle. My two questions to you are who do you see about a possible fecal transplant( naturopathic dr, gi dr?) and what and where do you obtain soil base probiotics? Dr art ayers has a great website “cooling inflammation” that ultimately suggests that antibiotics have a permanent ravaging effect on the gut flora, and without fecal transplant and or literally eating dirt/soil , the chance for Full remission is impossible. Thank you and look forward to your response. Be well

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    • hi, tyler — an important caveat — i’m not giving medical advice, and nothing on my site should be taken as such. that said, i’m sorry to hear of your plight, which sounds very similar to my own. ayers is probably right, in that FMT (fecal microbiota transplant) is probably the only way to truly restore gut health, but one must make sure their donor is suitable, since even a “healthy” individual may harbor unseen anomalies in their own gut that could switch on genetic issues in the recipient.

      little is known yet about how certain bacteria can switch on and off gene expression, but suffices to say flora not native to one’s gut could either promote or discourage undesirable effects.

      my FMT was self-directed, using a healthy, tested donor. although my GI dr. supported the idea, they could not do it via their practice as it’s not approved yet for UC/dysbiosis, etc.

      i’m taking prescript assist soil-based probiotics, but not on a regular basis at this time. at most, maybe one pill every two weeks or so. i do use this probiotic for UC flares, but luckily those are virtually gone for me now! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Hello everyone,

    A word of caution; please be careful with Soil Based Organisms. Since I took Primal Defence last February, my health has gone down the toilet. For about 3 weeks I thought I was cured, and then everything got WAY worse than before. They can act exactly like antibiotics in your system. I have taken antibiotics before, but bacillus subtilis has almost ruined my life. I have never thought about suicide as much as I do these days. I am now trying to figure out how to recover from them. If you already have a compromised flora, from my research, I would stay away. It is the biggest mistake of my life.

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  6. Hi Terry,

    The link you posted for the bacteriotherapy forum goes to your facebook page. Is that the right link? And where do I join the group then?

    Thanks,
    Gail

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