Tonight I got some good news on the bathroom scale — 158 lbs, up from 145 lbs just a few weeks ago. My appetite is pretty good, and I seem to be digesting my food a lot better. So far I’ve done a total of 9 fecal transplants and that may be where I stop for now, as my donor is going to be unavailable for a while. I had hoped to do 10 treatments, but this may be good enough.
It all started with a course of Levaquin last August — suddenly I had hard, dry stools. Even after a lot of FT, months later, I seem to have hit a wall in terms of the volume of my stool. I’m regular now, which is a nice change of pace, but my stools are smaller and harder than I had hoped. This is generally indicative of a low bacteria count. Bacteria help to hold water in stool, which makes them easier to pass.
My goal now is to create the healthiest ecology in my gut possible, with cultured vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi) and fermented beverages like kefir. I make my own, 32 oz at a time, in a mason jar atop my gas range. It stays a cozy 79 degrees there, most of the day, and I get great results with grains I purchased online.
There’s some debate about the effect of kefir on stool, with most saying the longer ferments cause constipation, while the shorter ones cause looser stools. A friend of mine noted the loose stools may be caused by an abundance of lactose in the shorter ferments. If so, this is not necessarily a good thing for those of us with carbohydrate intolerance. I’d rather ferment it a bit longer, consume less sugar, and get more beneficial bacteria in my brew.
So what else could bulk up my stool and increase the water content? Betaine HCL has been suggested as a more natural way to decrease transit time and maintain moisture. Same goes for soluble forms of fiber, like apple pectin. I cannot handle the sugar in apples, but I can take pectin capsules, and have been adding two per meal lately. Apple pectin can feed bacteria both good and bad, so it’s important to not take it in cases of dysbiosis. Once the flora present is a decent balance adding some fuel should be a step in the right direction. Especially since pectin holds water in stools and reduces friction against the gut lining.
I’m also back on a routine of taking 4K to 6K mg of vitamin C daily. Sometimes it’s buffered, other times I take it straight with food, to reduce the chance of stomach and bladder irritation. Magnesium is another helper, either the glycinate form or the oxide (less absorbed), if i want more of a laxative effect.
Fats also seem to be a universal “mover”, so i don’t shy away from saturated fats in animal protein, and also add liberal amounts of olive oil to the vegetables I steam. If cooking at higher heat, I use grapeseed oil. An added benefit here is higher calories, since I’m still trying to bulk up a bit. Slow and steady wins the race.