Why I Went to Overseas to Heal My Gut

nutrition May 23, 2016

I’m now back home in Dallas after a 2 week stint in the UK. Hitchin, England to be exact. You may be thinking, “I’ve never heard of Hitchin. Why would you spend 2 weeks there?”

Well, I had never heard of Hitchin either until a few months ago, and while this was a relaxing trip, it was not for vacation.

I went to Hitchin because that’s the home of the Taymount Clinic. They specialize in FMT (fecal microbiota transplant), also known as bacteriotherapy. Some of you may have heard about this, but for others, this is a completely new term, and perhaps one that sounds a little questionable.

Me with the Taymount clinicians. They were wonderful!

The name fecal microbiota transplant is pretty self-explanatory, and you may be thinking, “why would anyone want to do that?” So let me explain, the what, why, and how.

FMT is actually a new application of an old treatment method. For thousands of years, man has had to turn to nature to provide him with all the remedies and medicines he needed. Now, we have modern medicine and drugs to help out, but pharmaceuticals and even natural supplements don’t always provide all the answers we need.

For those with chronic digestive problems that have not been remedied by diet, supplements, or pharmaceuticals, FMT might be a helpful option. Often times, chronic digestive issues are caused by an underlying dysbiosis in the gut. For some, probiotic supplements are not enough to reverse this issue.

FMT is like the ultimate probiotic; taking fecal matter from a healthy donor that contains thousands of probiotic species and implanting it into the patient.

We are made up of 100 trillion bacteria, and we can only manufacture a small sample of those in a lab and put them in a probiotic supplement. That’s why FMT can be a wonderful solution. You’re able to get all of the species of bacteria found in a healthy person and recolonize your imbalanced gut.

While this treatment is fairly new to modern society, it actually dates back thousands of years. FMT was used in Ancient China and the fecal material was prepared as “yellow soup” and given orally. Now that I’ve grossed you out, please know this is NOT how it is done today. 🙂

Today, at the Taymount Clinic, the method is much more advanced and safer. Stay tuned for my next blog post where I will discuss the preparation methods that Taymount uses.

While I’m not going to dive into the details in this blog post, I am sharing with you my video journal from the past two weeks. This will give you a little insight into my personal experience.

Just to clarify, not everyone is an ideal candidate for this treatment, and Taymount offers a free consultation to see if FMT might help you. Currently, in the US, FMT is only approved for antibiotic resistant C. Diff, which is a very serious gut infection. The success rate in treating c. diff with FMT is quite high, and it’s saved many lives.

In the UK and other countries, FMT is approved for other conditions, such as IBS, IBD, and multiple sclerosis. It’s also being used to treat autism in children.

In my case, my digestive problems were a result of post-antibiotic dysbiosis. I took antibiotics for acne in college, and my gut never recovered. Based on that, Taymount Clinic considered me to be a good candidate. I’ve had other gut diagnoses since then, but they all stemmed from an imbalance in gut bacteria.

A couple of things to keep in mind that I mention in the videos – for most people, FMT is not an instant cure. It usually takes several months to notice major improvement, and some people require additional treatments.

Also, a wide range of symptoms may be experienced during treatment, such as fatigue, flu-like symptoms, new or worsening digestive symptoms, etc.

I initially started recording daily videos, then I decided to do them less frequently because some days there wasn’t much new to report on.

Change will likely happen slowly, especially if you’ve been dealing with a condition for years. Healing takes time.

If you’ve been struggling with chronic GI issues and haven’t been able to resolve them through diet and supplementation, then FMT might be something to consider.

What thoughts or questions do you have about FMT? Please leave them in the comments section below.


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