March 29, 2017

Question about the use of Fecal Transplant for stomach issues

Here is a question from a reader of my site submitted through the contact form.

Q: Hi, I have stomach issues about a year ago. Original symptom was that I felt bloated ONLY after eating. Went to a doctor, did a blood test, was prescribed with antibiotics with pph for 2 weeks. All my symptoms went away for about two weeks and then it returned again.
My symptoms includes…
– Tailbone pain
– Dental/ gum disease (never had dental issues before until my stomach problem occurred!!)
– weight loss
– Stomach discomfort/flatulence

Ever since then, I have tried different testings to rule out. so far everything came back negative. The tests I have tried so far are….
– Ultrasound
– Gastric emptying test
– CT scan
– endoscopy x2
– colonoscopy
– pill cam
– blood test
– stool test

I also tried different diets, including Fodmap, alkaline, vegetarian, lactose free, and many others. Desperately I turned to antibiotics again 2 months ago, taking both rifaximin and amoxicillin at the same time, but it didn’t work. So far, nothing has been working out, and I am very desperate for a solution.

I try to take daily supplements: omega, mix vitamins, and recently tried Bethane HCI and probiotics. Nothing helps!

I don’t smoke, and exercise regularly.

The book that you’re selling, I like to know where you receive your instructions for the FMT home therapy. Please advise.

Thanks,

——-

A: 

The process for how to do fecal transplants at home itself is almost
deceptively simple when you get right down to it, which is why even if
you work with a doctor to have the first fecal transplants administered by colonoscope, patients still often have to do follow-up enemas at home anyway if they are necessary (for c. diff sometimes one FMT is enough.) The process quite simply is to take poop from a healthy donor, mix it into a liquid mixture and then administer it as an enema or put it in capsules to swallow. However actually going ahead and doing it can be stressful especially if you haven’t mixed or administered enemas before.

I believe the value in my book Poop Power, my story and guide book on using Fecal Transplants to Cure Myself of Ulcerative Colitis is that it is helpful to see how fecal transplants worked
for me in great detail, step-by-step, what challenges I faced and how I dealt with them.  In addition to fecal transplants themselves I also
cover nutritional supplements to speed healing and drugs and supplements to limit inflammation and promote healing which helped me
and what evidence persuaded me to try them. I used basic instructions from articles published in medical journals by Dr. Silverman from
Toronto and also Dr. Borody from Australia as a guide and also best practices for enemas in general.

By the way, smoking actually can be an effective treatment for Ulcerative Colitis and acts an an anti-inflammatory. There are documented cases where it appears that people first developed symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis after quitting smoking, however that is whole story itself.

Do you have any problems with diarrhea and/or constipation too or is it mostly in the stomach. Without knowing any more details, one possibility is that dental / gum disease and weight loss could be related to some sort of malabsorption or malnutrition problems with calcium, perhaps some sort of a parasite? Some antibiotics like Cipro are also used as anti-parasitic drugs too. The fact that antibiotics helped you would seem to suggest that the problem would be related to the impact of the antibiotics killing certain bacteria and/or parasites which then came back. While fecal transplants could be helpful to restore a healthy balance of bacteria if you are having symptoms related to a bacterial imbalance / infection in the intestines. I would caution about going ahead with fecal transplants for illnesses other than those directly related to the intestines such as infectious Colitis (C. diff), Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease and maybe unless you really have exhausted all other possibilities and you can be sure to do it safely. I also think  putting stool in capsules might be more effective way to administer fecal transplants if the problem is primarily in the small intestine (that would explain what might be problems absorbing nutrients.) After that the key is to find a donor who has consistently good stool quality, is free of transmittable stool and blood-born diseases, healthy-thin and without any autoimmune diseases, who is also accessible.

Michael