Teri Healed From Ulcerative Colitis UC with Home Fecal Transplant HFMT
Healed From Ulcerative Colitis
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Fecal Transplant ( FMT
)- my experience
After 3 1/2 years of ulcerative colitis, then doing a home Fecal Transplant
that has began healing my digestive system, I was encouraged to post this on the Internet, so others suffering from this horrible condition may also find healing.
About 6 months ago, I found some information online about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I read the book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" and then, the day after Mother's Day 2012, I gave up sugar, starch, yeast, lactose, and gluten hoping that would heal my UC. It gave me a great head start, but I don't believe I really began healing until I did a home fecal transplant.
I know my UC was brought on from Antibiotics
for a sinus infection in Feb 2009, as I started having more gurgling and gas for the months after that Antibiotic
(some sort of Z pack antibiotic). Then in April 2009 I had knee surgery for torn cartridge and the very next day I had explosive gas and diarrhea. I had never experienced that type of gas and diarrhea before.
I ended up at a GI who said I had UC. He said that no one knows the cause or the cure and that I would have to be on medication for the rest of my life. It has been an up and down roller coaster for 3 years, then I started the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) diet in May of 2012. Things got better for the first 3 months however, in August and September were absolutely horrible months with the 3-month flare. It is when a large number of bad bacteria begins to die off, which can make symptom worse. I felt as I had the flu for 8 days. During that time I almost lost my will to live - blood, mucus, gas, cramps, couldn't hardly leave home - it was awful. I was down to 95 lbs, from 116.
After that flare I started getting better little by little but still had good days and bad days. I was desperate to try anything that might help me. I was only eating eggs, squash, cooked green beans, bananas and meat.
By October, I became desperate. There was an article in our local paper about how someone was healed from c-diff by doing a stool transplant (fecal transplant), which gave her an infusion of stool from a donor with good bacteria to restore what had been killed off by the c-diff. She fully recovered.
I read this article below in early October and it made me very interested in trying it, as I was becoming desperate. If Antibiotic
created this issue causing colitis, by killing off the good bacteria, maybe transplanting bacteria back into my colon would work to start the healing process.
This article linked above is about a nurse who does her own home Fecal Transplant
and has recovered from chronic diarrhea.
About two weeks ago (mid-October), I did the same Fecal Transplant
that the nurse in this article did, with my husband being the donor and I feel I am suddenly healing faster. I am gaining weight again, no blood, no mucus. My energy is back. My ability to concentrate is beginning to come back. No cramps, no diarrhea. And solid, normal stools - the best part!
I am still following the SCD diet but I am able to eat more variety of those SCD foods that would have double me over a month ago.
I still have a bit of gas, but that may be because I am eating more fruits and vegetables that contain more fiber and my body is still adjusting.
For the last week or so I have been eating about 2 cups of 24-hour yogurt a day and there are no cramps, no blood.... it is amazing. I know how I felt before my 'experiment' - horrible.
My husband and I went on a bicycle ride today, which I couldn't do last month as I was too weak.
I feel this FT has really helped me, however it was really an unpleasant processes - I didn't use a blender like the nurse in the article, just a bottle and shook it up really good with a bit of filtered water, also adding some fiber emptied from fiber pills, then used a turkey baster for the transplant. But once the fiber has been added it got thick pretty quickly so I know I needed to move fast to get the transplant done.
If you look up Dr Borody Fecal Transplants online, there is a lot of information out there on the Internet about how this doctor in Australia uses a similar process with a very high success rate.
Some recommend taking Antibiotics
to kill off everything, then do a bowel prep first, but I didn't go that route. I am not sure I would want to kill off what I have worked so hard to gain back over the last few months. (I think I will be staying far away from any Antibiotics
unless it is life and death.) I felt I was desperate and need to do something to try to feel better.
I would be willing to do this again, if I had to, as I feel it has made a huge difference in how I feel and what I can eat. I am not saying I am totally healed at this point, as I am not sure yet, but I physically feel I am getting better and stronger each day - again still on the diet and really afraid to veer from the diet.
I would be interested to know if anyone else has tried this approach and if it worked for them.
Steps I took in doing a home fecal transplant:
I have to say it was really NOT fun, but I feel SO good now that I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had to. My husband might not feel the same way.
He collected about 2 tablespoons by going in a clean ice cream bucket and using a plastic spoon, put some stool into one of my old prescription bottles (from a 3 month supply). He was wishing the opening was larger. : )
Then he handed it off to me and I added about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of warm filtered water and I had already emptied about 4 or 5 psyllium fiber pills into a container and added that in and shook it up really good. Move quickly once the fiber has been added as it turns to gel pretty quickly.
Then the rest is to use a turkey baster or enema bag and get all the mix or as much of it
as you can, into your colon. One site said 50 ml is about all someone can take of liquid and stool. I squirted in as much as I could.
It is quite a smelly process. Someone said they put some Vicks under their nose and that really helped disguise the smell a bit.
I was using gloves and then washed really good afterwards then went and laid down on the couch for about an hour, turning from one side to the other, to hopefully, distribute the transplanted stool. There was some gurgling initially but I was really amazed that I was able to retain it for almost 2 days before I felt the need to go. That was a miracle in itself, not having to go 5 or 6 times in a day as I had been over the last 3 1/2 years.
I then cleaned everything good with bleach, including my turkey baster, in case I needed it again (no longer for kitchen use). I put the lid on what was left of the 'stuff' in the bottle and tossed it out. I wasn't about to clean that out and then recycle it.
I then took a couple of Immodium AD pills to help slow down my digestive system to give the transplant more time to become established.
I was so desperate that I knew I had get past the grossness of what I was doing (and the smell) and just keep my sites set on hoping it would be worth it.
I think it has been 2 or 3 weeks now and I feel better every day, but again, I am not ready to stop the diet as I want to give myself more time to heal first. I know I will never go back to eating like I did in the past. I know that complete healing can take time.
I made my husband promise not to tell anyone as I am not sure how it would be be received.
I wrestled with posting it but I want others to feel better and feel it might help someone else out there. Reading that article about the nurse doing it at home, really encouraged me to try this. I felt I had nothing to lose.
My husband had gone through some stool tests a few years ago as he had colitis brought on from taking ibuprofen for shoulder pain. He never changed his diet but is good as long as he stays away from ibuprofen. I felt he was still in pretty good shape and worth the risk for me to use him as the donor.
So far, I am so glad I did it and thankful my husband went along with it.
If you Google home fecal transplant there are others out there who have tried it and other sites with instructions. Video I found on YouTube showing preparation for a home fecal transplant - http://youtu.be/xLIndT7fuGo
I felt I had nothing to lose. So far, I feel great.
Posted by Teri at 7:37 AM 14 comments: