Finally Gaining Weight

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.

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4 thoughts on “Finally Gaining Weight

  1. Thank you so much for your blog! Sometimes we have no idea that the things we do have such an immediate an important effect on others. I have been struggling with autoimmune disease for 8 years now and have so many of the same symptoms. I am so impressed and heartened by your tenacity and courage. I get so overwhelmed and obsessed by the cycle of looking for causes and cures and then jumping on the bandwagon of another therapy and then ultimately having to face the resulting roller coaster emotional ride of hope and despair.
    I am currently looking into HT and FT. It sounds like you have run across some great practitioners along the way. I moved to a small coastal NC town from the SF bay area 5 years ago and have not found someone I really feel is competent and available to work with. Would you be willing to share how you found someone to help with the HT and F? How did you find an FT donor and where did you get your hookworms from?
    I will join the Facebook group you suggested as I am still in the formative stages of my research into these therapies. Most of all, I am curious how you are doing as you haven’t posted in awhile. Hopefully that is because you are too busy climbing the Alps or traversing fjords or empire building with your new found health! Thanks again for taking the time to write your lovely and hopeful blog.

    Best,
    Amelia

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  2. Thank you for your very interesting review. My wife and I live in the UK and we are trying to find a reliable source of Necator Americanus, either in Europe or the US. Who would you recommend ?

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