April 23, 2014

Fecal Transplants: How to do it yourself video

In this video I outline the steps for do it yourself fecal transplants. This treatment can be used for Pseudomembraneous Colitis caused by Clostridium Difficile (c. diff.) bacteria as well as the chronic Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Fecal transplants, also known as fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), fecal bacteriotherapy among other terms, work by “transplanting” a bacterial colony using stool from a healthy donor. Another way of looking at this is as the ultimate pro-biotic. While bacteria from yogurt cultures can be helpful, most of those bacteria strains are not native to the human body, so they don’t tend to stick around after the treatments stop. However since bacteria from a human donor are native to the human body they can help establish a self-sustaining bacterial colony which persists and continues to keep you healthy indefinitely without any continuing treatments.

I personally used these treatments to cure myself of Ulcerative Colitis after 12 years of illness that brought me to the brink of surgery. Two years later I am still symptom-free without the use of any drugs or special diets. Here is my story and how to do it yourself, including

1) Selecting a healthy donor
2) Gathering your supplies for less than $50 using supplies available over-the-counter at a drug store
3) Preparing your body
4) mixing the fecal bacteria mixture
5) Administering the enema

I go into greater detail in my Fecal Transplants Cure Ulcerative Colitis book

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  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLIndT7fuGo Kathy Lammens

    Hi, Michael,

    Glad to see this video! Have you seen the short one I put together about the way I prepare the enemas for my daughter?

    All the best,
    Kathy

    • admin

      Hi Kathy,

      Yes, great job! I’m actually in the process of redoing mine too to tighten it up a little.

  • kevin

    Hi Michael,

    This is very hopefully , and very good to see it explained on the internet.
    Suffering from UC i started with this method for almost a year. In that way I could reduce the medicines to about one third, after a few transplants (eg one week with 2-3 transplants). So it stayes stable after that. But i want completely without any medication :). But every time that i completely stop the medicines, the complications start within 1-2 weeks again, with the result that i need to do the week with transplants again.
    Now i’m trying with a silicone tube and shove it further to come higher, but seems very hard without at least the equipment of the medics that do the colonscopics. I want the implant to get deeper in the colon because i think that the bad bacteria are still at the gut wall high above in the large intestine. (In 2009 the CU diagnosis was made for the full colon).
    Do you (or others) have any suggestions?

  • Ray Davis

    Wonderful video.

  • Kasual

    I dont know anyone who is healthy in order to give me a transplant. Where can I get the feces donor if I don’t know any? I have Candida which gave me leaky gut and some bad colon bacteria.

    • admin

      Have you been diagnosed with Clostridium Difficile bacteria, Ulerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome? C. diff is the only illness at this point that has been successfully resolved on a consistent basis from one or just a few fecal transplants. Other illnesses can take much longer and involve additional steps to make it work. FMT shouldn’t be treated too casually, since there is a very strong possibility of fecal bacteria triggering more inflammation in an inflamed gut if there has been any damage to the intestinal walls.

      While some people have actually advertised on the internet or asked for people in various discussion groups to be donors, knowing your donor from your immediate family or possibly a close friends is the best idea. Also having their stool and blood tested for known pathogens should be mandatory as well as knowing their medical history and possibly their family history to ensure that they are free from other conditions which are increasingly being linked to fecal bacteria including metabolic disorders and even some neurological disorders.

  • Kim

    How long is recommended to hold in the solution? I know the video says there is a learning curve, but what should one aim for? Is it more like ten minutes or an hour?

    Thanks!
    Kim

    • admin

      Hi Kim, Hold it in for as long as possible. I aimed for at least an hour to an hour and a half. You can help this process along by taking Immodium (Loperamide) about an hour before doing the fecal transplant enema and by elevating your hips in a way that helps the enema contents move as far up the large intestine as possible.

      • Kim

        Oh man, that is a long time! How many times a week did you/do you do this for? I am ordering a test kit for my donor today and will probably start the process in a few weeks. I am thinking twice a week, but I don’t know.

        Thank you for all the super useful information!

        Kim

        • admin

          Hi Kim,

          I did FMT every day for about 5 weeks then stopped. As I discuss in my book I would do these everyday for a at least the first 2 – 3 weeks, then possibly taper reduce the number of times each week after that. I also believe that drugs used to limit inflammation and diarrhea are a key part of making FMT work for UC too.

  • Greg

    Great video and thanks for the hope! I too have had this for 12 years. One quick question did your donor collect the sample from the toilet or did they poop directly into the container? I’m planning on using my 5 year old son and just trying to figure out the best way to get it. Didn’t know if urine or water from the toilet would damage the sample.

    Greg

    • Kim

      Hi Greg – I know one way to do it is to put a couple of paper towels in between the toilet bowl and the seat, so that when the donor sits down on the toilet, they pass the sample right onto the suspended paper towels. Haven’t done this myself, but I saw it on another forum. Sounds like the best way to me! Especially for a child.

  • Ryan

    Do you know any doctors/clinics that will do this for our 8 year old daughter with uc? We live in canada but will travel anywhere.

    • Kim

      Hi Ryan – sorry to hear about your daughter! There is a clinic in Portland: http://fecalmicrobiotatransplantation.com/FMT/home.html

      It’s a 10-day clinic with daily treatments on-site. For UC though, you will probably need to keep doing treatments at home aftwr the clinic. Twice a week at first, but hopefully down to once a month eventually. I don’t know their policies on age limits, but I would definitely give them a call. It is substantially cheaper if you already have a donor so I would a healthy relative tested (full GI panel/infectious blood work).

      Serious good luck!

  • Manteo

    Did you find after the 5 weeks and that you were doing well that any symptoms came back? And if so, did you just resume the FT for a while? And if so, for how long?

    • Michael Hurst

      Hi, the reason I stopped after 5 weeks was that I had gone back on Prednisone and ran out of it. When I went back to the GI doctor who had referred me for surgery to get a refill he was surprised to see me and even more startled when he heard about the fecal transplants. At his insistence I decided to stop the fecal transplants for the time-being. However I realized after stopping the fecal transplants that my stool continued to smell and more closely match the color of that from my donor. So I concluded that the new bacteria had mostly become established and that maybe there were some other pieces of the puzzle that I needed to work on like reducing inflammation and diarrhea as well as added protein to speed healing.
      So within a week after stopping the fecal transplants I refilled my prescription for Apriso capsules (once a day Mesalamine,) and also filled prescriptions for Wellbutrin (Bupropion) 100 mg immediate release tablets 3 times a day, Silenor (Doxepin) 6 mg tablets (later replaced by using half of the contents of a 10 mg Doxepin capsule each time.) I also redoubled my efforts by taking the Muscle Milk whey protein shakes 3 times a day once again.

      After those 5 weeks I never did anymore fecal transplants. The lessons learned include:
      1) Continuing taking medications to suppress inflammation like Mesalamine for some time, possibly several months, after you stop the fecal transplants and / or the point where stool is well-formed on a regular basis such that the illness appears to be gone.
      I also count the anti-depressant drug Bupropion as having similar effects to anti-inflammatory / biologic drugs. I say this because in a laboratory study with mice Bupropion inhibited TNF-a. Also it appeared to make a big difference for me and others in case studies I read.
      2) Limiting foods that appear to trigger diarrhea or bloating, including beer and coffee.
      3) Continue to take medications if necessary to limit diarrhea and muscle spasms from possible Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms. This can include anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drugs and possibly some natural supplements like Valerian root extract, which I think was just as effective as low doses of Doxepin for limiting diarrhea.
      4) Continue with high amounts of whey protein shakes and gradually reduce them over time. This is to make sure that if your body is still actively healing ulcers and the lining of the intestines, that it has adequate nutrition to rapidly heal the tissue.
      5) Patience: Chronic digestive illness doesn’t happen overnight and even when you have breakthroughs in terms of symptom-relief, underlying healing and building a solid cycle of health will take some time, possibly several months to a year or more. However it does happen and after a certain point you can say to yourself with certainty “the illness is gone!”

  • Wendy

    Hi! Thank you for this video. I have been suffering with Crohn’s disease and am hopeful to find something other than immuno suppressant drugs to help me get remission. I appreciate you making this video as this is one thing I am willing to try and was uncertain on how to exactly go about doing it. I just was wondering if it would help my particular problem as my Crohn’s is only in the small bowel. Will the fecal transplant reach the ileum or any parts of the small bowel to implant the bacteria or would it only stay in the colon?
    Thanks again!!

    • Michael Hurst

      Hi Wendy,

      While Crohn’s Disease which is entirely or mostly in the large intestine is generally treated more like Ulcerative Colitis in which case fecal transplant enemas would directly effect the diseased area and stand a good chance of effectively treating it. However since your case of Crohn’s Disease is confined to the small intestine this might require something other than enemas to “transplant” the good bacteria in. The ileocecal Valve between the end of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine would most likely prevent anything from passing from the large to the small intestine without involving a medical procedure. In this case your best option would most likely be to go from the top down using “poop pills,” basically gelatin capsules that don’t break down until they reach your digestive tract. Another top-down option would include a nasal gastric tube however this would be more uncomfortable and would most likely require a doctor to perform it making any repeat treatments, if necessary, more expensive, time-consuming and invasive.

      Still another possibility would be a bottom-up solution that gets past the illeocecal valve sphincter between the large and small intestines. The ways to do this include intubation of the ileocecal valve is typically performed in colonoscopy to evaluate the distal, or lowest part of the ileum. Small bowel endoscopy can also be performed by double-balloon enteroscopy intubation (where a tube is inserted) through the ileocecal valve. So a doctor using a colonoscope could do this as part of a colonoscopy to reach at least the lower portion of the small intestine. However this option would be very expensive and hard to arrange in all but the most specialized situations if repeated treatments were going to done this way.

      So bottom-line: my advice would be to try the “poop pills” in your case because this option would not involve invasive medical procedures with possible risk of tissue damage and significant expense. “Poop pills” would be the easiest to do on a regular basis to significantly alter the bacterial flora of the small bowel, meaning that if this needs to be repeated for some time to achieve results, the capsules would be by far the most practical approach.

      • Wendy

        Thanks so much. I was assuming that was the case. Any idea where I can get the ‘poop pills’? I haven’t been able to find anything about where to get them.
        Thanks so much!!

        • Michael Hurst

          To make poop pills, you just need to find a suitable, healthy donor and some empty gelatin capsules to put it in. You can order empty capsules from any online website.

  • Jessica

    Hi,
    I just ordered your book and am starting to read it now. I had a few questions though… (1) Were you on Prednisone during the entire transplant period? If so, what was your prednisone dosage? .. (2) does the age of the donor matter? My daughter just turned 2. Is she too young for to be a donor? .. (3) did you do the fecal transplant during a flare up? or had you completly stopped bleeding prior to starting the FT?

    • Michael Hurst

      Hi Jessica,

      Hi Jessica,
      1) I was not on Prednisone when I started the fecal transplants, however I went back on it after doing the fecal transplants for about 3 weeks. I gradually increased the dosage up to 40 mg since I was hoping to keep the Prednisone down to a minimum. In retrospect I think starting Prednisone just before the fecal transplants, even if you are not currently taking it may be a good idea in many cases.
      2) How old a donor needs to be is somewhat open for debate, however microbiome diversity develops over time, so the consensus I have heard is that age 2 might be too young because the microbiome is not developed enough yet, however it is mostly speculative to say whether or not a relative lack of diversity of gut bacteria means that a fecal transplant from a 2 year old would not be helpful. So it is worth a try with your 2 year old, however if you have someone else in your immediate family who is a good candidate I would give them a try first.

      Michael