Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fecal Transplant - 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.

For future FMTs I used a large zip lock bag and added water right into the bag and massaged the mix until it was about the consistency of a milk shake. Cutting a hole in the corner made it much easier to strain any chunks out.

Then the rest is to use a turkey baster, enema bag, enema bottle or oral syringe 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. (After the first FMT, I used a larger size oral syringe and kept refilling it, which was not near as messy as the turkey baster.)

It is quite a smelly process. Someone said they put some Vicks under their nose and that really helped disguise the smell a bit. (For future FMTs I used a respirator like a painter uses and it was pretty much smell free.)

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 -

I felt I had nothing to lose. So far, I feel great.



  1. Thank you for sharing! I'm going to be a donor for my teen daughter tomorrow, who has UC. I appreciate your information.

    Have to sign as anonymous for now...ha ha

  2. Yes- thank you. I like the Vicks idea....will be performing my own medical miracle soon.

  3. Hello, can you give us an update on how you are feeling? I hope everything is going great!!! Thank you.

    1. I just posted an new updated dated July 27, 2013.

  4. I am feeling great. I have my energy back. I feel normal, like I did before the z-pack that started the 3 1/2 years of suffering.

    I would do it again in a minute, if I had to. It helped me begin healing, where the drugs just turned off my immune system. They were never going to make be better.

  5. Hello, I too have been suffering from UC for this last year, ironically brought on by anti-biotics used in the treatment of a sinus infection! I also ended up with a C - Diff infection that lasted over 4 months finally getting knocked down in January. I'm still sick, and stuck on prednisone (20 mg /d), continuously worried about when my next major flareup is going to occur.

    I'm very happy to hear that you had such excellent response to the treatment! What totally amazed me is that it worked so quickly with only 1 therapy. From different accounts that I have read on line, the others have done it for (often) a week or more of treatments before seeing results.

    I hope it continues to go well for you!

  6. I would encourage anyone with colitis or crohns to research FMTs, find a good donor and begin doing transplants. If things don't turn around in about a month, them you might try a different donor.

    Everyone had different gut bacteria and the first donor may not have enough variety. From what I have read, we have a vast ecosystem in our gut. Antibiotics kill off some of the species and upset the balance. We need that vast ecosystem to keep everything in balance.

    Without beginning to replace the good bacteria with fermented and cultured foods and possibly a FMT, it may only be a matter of time before symptoms reappear. Sugar, starch, yeast, gluten and lactose feed the bad bacteria. Vegetables and fruits and the bacteria on them and the fiber they produce, feed the good bacteria in your gut.

    Know that at home FMT is always an option, other than the drugs to suppress your immune system. I really want to see others overcome this illness, not just be 'managed' by expensive drugs.


  7. I am so glad u are making good progress. I have uc this past 24 years not as bad within recent years as I realise sugar and related products set me off or exacerbate it. I have had the usual drugs. I have been reading up on the transplants recently and am definitely going to go down that route. My 8 year old granddaughter is going to be my donor. I will be doing within the next month. I really don't find the whole idea that discusing - grant I have nursing background so possibly can get my head round it much easier. I look at it from point of view that I am transplanting good bacteria and if my uc settles it will be a mega bonus and my experience maybe an encouragement for others. I will post up my progress after I have done it.

  8. I recommend a phone consultation with Dr. Mark Davis in Portland, OR, The Bright Clinic. He is a naturopathic doctor who has done over 100 fecal transplants with various degrees of success.

  9. We followed Dr. Davis' protocol for my daughter and so far she is having fabulous results. We are now doing it once a week for 8 weeks. I will probably decrease to twice a month and then once a month for as long as it takes to be 100000% sure. She felt a difference the first day we started, and every day got better. At about the 7th day of 10 consecutive daily infusions her stools were formed. She was on 20 mg. of Prednisone at the time. We are now down to 5mg and so far so good. Odor and gas are gone. She actually is a little constipated. I think it is just her system starting to work again.
    I definitely recommend doing it. There is no downside so far. It sounds gross, but in actuality is not so bad. Watch the youtube video. It is about 15 minutes start to finish. I just think of it as a medical procedure. Just a smellier blood tranfusion!!

    1. Congratulations! It is great that you found a doctor to help you! Doctors can give advice and direction and even do the testing for you, they just can't do the actual transplant. Hopefully more and more doctors will get on board and help those who want to restore the bacteria in their gut and get healed. Studies beginning to come out, but unfortunately the FDA won't allow these studies to be done in the US - probably from pressure from the drug companies who stand to lose billions as people start getting healed.

  10. I had uc for 23 years quite I'll at times with it and taking the usual meds for it. I always had bleeding with it not mega amounts when the uc was relatively quiescent . Approx 3 months ago I did ft using my granddaughters sample. It didn't gross me out - nursing background and I feel it's just like med procedure . After all you are just introducing good bacteria to your system . After initial ft bleeding has ceased. I still have ibs type symptoms even though I have tried a number transplants. My bowel may still have some underlying inflammation plus I react badly to some foodstuffs but this is my fault for eating them - fruit is a no no for me and very strong greens , sugary foods as well and my system deals badly with yogurts also even the 24 hour type. I have tried most things for it ! I am very happy to have got rid of bleeding symptom and do feel so much better for it. I have purchased oregano oil to try it out for cramps and gas. I would recommend ft but also be careful with your choice of donor previous illnesses etc but there are plenty guidelines on the net for that.

  11. Maryjo, I followed the Specific Carbohydrate Diet which removed all sugar, lactose, yeast, starch and grains from my diet - these are what feed the bad bacteria. Then getting the good bacteria in using FMT is what really began to heal me. You can't eat any sugar and these other things and expect FMT to work. You have to feed the good bacteria and not the bad. If you feed both, you don't win the war.