Saturday, August 31, 2013

My first week of Fecal Transplants - Update

Its been one week since I started FMT at home - this is the best I've felt in a year! There have been some little fumbles due to the learning curve, plus my donor's butt was not always compliant (he's regular as clockwork, but the pressure to make poo medicine backed him up a couple times!), but my goodness! I'm feeling crazy good!

I've learned a few things this past week about giving myself water enemas. When I did my distilled water enema prior to treatment (to clean myself out as much as possible) I experienced massive elimination to the point I was completely worn out! I felt weak and went straight to bed, too exhausted to do the FMT. My lower back kind of burned/ached. I was not sure what to think of this; on one hand its amazing I was able to eliminate so much, but its strange to have my body react with such extreme exhaustion following an enema!

I belong to the Fecal Microbiota Transplant Facebook page, where I was kindly informed that I should not use distilled water as it takes all my electrolytes out with it.  Guess I got some wrong data along the FMT research line.  So I now add some sea salt to my enema water.  This prevented me from getting wiped out afterwards.

Today I feel zippy, zero symptoms, a colon that feels empty and sparkling, and I'm in a happy mood with healthy looking skin & hair.  How wondrous!  Strangers stopped me both on the street and in a restaurant to tell me how healthy I looked, which is pretty wild!  I also was smiling ear to ear, which I'm happy to say is no longer forced.  Going to keep going with my treatments and posting about them!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fecal Transplant Treatment #2 - Seems Legit!

Last night I self administered my second Fecal Transplant treatment at home. It was way easier this time! And much faster.

I began the treatment a couple hours before bed. It took me 5 minutes to set up my 'tools' and 20 minutes to give myself a water enema to clean myself out as much as possible so the solution could travel up the highest it could. The actual FMT treatment was about 20 more minutes because I am careful to stop and use a Lysol wipe after every move I make. I move slowly because the last thing I want to have happen is a stool spill! I can see that my routine will speed up with time. Honestly, I was spending a great deal of time just trying to coax out a BM every day anyway, so the extra time for FMT treatment is negligible for me.

As I sit here the following morning I am in awe of the results from this second treatment. Immediately after I installed the sample solution last night I felt overwhelmed by relaxation and a feeling of well being. I laid down in bed with my boyfriend/donor and watched junk television while I thrilled at the way my body felt. My brain was so sharp, yet my body felt deep relaxation. I felt gorgeously sleepy, which is something I rarely get to feel over the discomfort from my gut dysbiosis. 

I fell asleep but woke many times throughout the night as my body wanted to tell me that changes were happening in my gut. This is where it gets a little strange. I was overwhelmed by this awareness that my newly implanted bacteria were actively working, as if a little army, to change the rules my gut had formerly followed. I debated about including this strange thought, but because this thought kept asserting itself throughout the night I decided I must include it here. I want to be as honest as possible in my documentation of this treatment.

When I woke up this morning I felt very refreshed, full of energy and my skin is again dewy and glowing. My hair looks fuller than ever, which is glorious! But its the mental sharpness that is a Godsend. I have my memory back! And really no symptoms to speak of. 

I plan on doing another treatment two days from now, presuming I don't have a natural BM prior to that. Very hopeful that this treatment will provide long term relief!

My First Fecal Transplant Treatment!

Started my FMT treatment on Saturday 8/24/13. At home, self-administered, with my boyfriend's hopefully magic poo. He's untested but never takes medicine, antibiotics, has never done a drug, doesn't drink and is the picture of health. I have done my research well and am fully aware that donors should be tested prior to treatment to ensure there are no parasites or other bad bugs. It was a calculated risk after weeks of brutal agony.
I followed my intuition and went for it, no apologies. I feel comfortable with my decision.

A little background on my health situation: I have been diagnosed with slow transit colon/IBS-C and struggle on a daily basis from SIBO and Candida. My symptoms for 20+ years have been extreme constipation (when I did the sitz marker test last, I had zero movement for 7 days), horrendous brain fog, dehydration despite drinking lots of fluids, bone dry hair, skin & nails, headaches, fevers, chills, insomnia, anxiety, mucous in stool, bad PMS, can't gain weight and always hungry, etc. Amitiza, Linzess, and other constipation drugs never worked but the side effects were fierce. I have had a defacography and multiple colonoscopies that were 'all clear'. I've seen doctors all over the world including Cedars Sinai (right down the street), and The Sansum Clinic - they just wanted to take my colon out. I said no - if its gone, I can't fix it! I've survived for years on saline, water and liquid glycerin enemas but they zap my electrolytes and take up a huge chunk of my day. If I can get to the point I go naturally even once in awhile with some relief of the symptoms I mentioned, I will consider FMT to be highly successful.

It took me almost 2 hours to administer my first treatment. I assembled all my tools in my tiny bathroom, including my laptop so that I could watch videos if I needed to stay close to the toilet. I did not fast because having IBS-C (constipation) I felt pretty confident that I would be able to retain my sample just fine. I also elected not to take anti-biotics in advance as some protocols call for as I feel fairly certain that they are what got me in this mess in the first place.

There were a few hiccups, such as discovering that gauze does not serve well as a strainer (a messy a-ha moment) and that the mouth of my funnel was ever so slightly too large for the empty enema bottles. But I eventually managed to get the poo milkshake into the bottles and injected them where they needed to go.

After a few minutes of being certain I would be able to retain the treatment, I retired to bed and just watched some TV while switching the sides I was laying on, with my hip propped up on pillows to assist the flow uphill.

I must say the entire rest of my day I felt AMAZING. My regular symptoms were pretty much gone, with the biggest change being 90% reduction in brain fog. It felt FANTASTIC to have all my mental wits about me at last! When I woke up the following morning I had dewy skin on my face, which hasn't happened in years. My hair looked much healthier, it was 'heavier' as if each strand had moisture inside. I am thrilled with the results so far! I will continue to administer FMT treatments until I have either completely reversed my symptoms permanently or until the improvements level off.

A note on my donor. He is my live-in boyfriend which is very convenient. He can poop on command, so my samples will be very fresh, which is important to me. But I do think it will be OK if in the future he is not home when I'm ready for the FMT treatment, he can leave his sealed poop box in the fridge for a few hours before I get home. My donor maintains the same diet as me for the most part (paleo); he's a body builder with a lot of discipline, so he didn't have to make many changes. 

For those who are interested in researching the FMT procedure, I highly recommend checking out and watching all the how-to videos on YouTube you can find. I also read a few online books, my favorite being Vivek Apte's e-book.

I took many photos of the FMT procedure to document this wacky adventure that may just turn out to be miracle medicine! I will be posting updates to my journal here on Inspire.