A year ago, I received FMT treatment (fecal microbiota transplants, stool transplants) at the Taymount clinic in England. I did it to fix my IBS and SIBO symptoms and restore my low numbers of beneficial gut bacteria. This is an update about the current condition of my gut and what has changed for me since the treatment.
Since the end of the treatment last year my overall health has indeed improved.
I have started eating a larger variety of foods again and don’t seem to have as many intolerances as before. I am still on a paleo-ish diet but have increased my intake of carbohydrates. My energy levels have been pretty good. My hay-fever this season is a lot milder. I have fairly regular bowel movements and no more constipation. I sleep better.
But how much of that is due to the treatment? And how much is due to eating more foods and being more relaxed around foods? I am not sure.
One thing has not really improved:
My constant bloating! It doesn’t really matter what I eat, the bloating is always there. Maybe it is the SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) returned because of foods that I am eating. Maybe it is due to something else entirely. I can’t afford the SIBO breath test at this moment in time, so I can’t be sure.
And I am fed up with super-restrictive diets!
How is my gut microbiota looking now?
I’ve had another pathogen screening done by the clinic itself, which came back negative. But they did not test for yeasts.
A more recent yeast test by Genova labs showed increased levels of the same yeasts I used to have before going on restrictive diets. I have now learned that yeasts can change their form, hibernate and come back when their food source is available again. It is likely that this has happened since my reintroduction of more carbohydrates.
A Ubiome test showed overall increased numbers of bacteria. There were not many new strains though. My bifidobacterium and lactobacilli levels were still low. However, I had pretty good numbers of butyrate (short chain fatty acid that servers as fuel for cells in the colon) producing bacteria such as roseburia and f.prausnitzii.
I have paid a lot of attention to eating prebiotic foods, i.e. foods that feed beneficial bacteria. So again, was the modulation due to diet or FMT treatment? I’ll never know.
What I’m doing now:
Currently, I am taking supplements for the yeasts and possible SIBO, whilst using probiotics and prebiotics. I’ve also recently had two cases of food poisoning, which may have caused the increased bloating.
An option would be to get more stool implants but I’m shying away from that at the moment due to financial reasons and because I am worried about the side effects I had last time (hair loss, pimples, insomnia, increased hay-fever).
The bottom line
I am better since FMT treatment, but it is not clear how much of that is due to a change in diet and a more relaxed attitude towards food. FMT treatment has been no cure all for my digestive issues.
There seem to be no conclusive studies or even anecdotal evidence on the efficacy of FMT treatment for IBS or SIBO – but since these problems are so multi-factorial and individual, the outcome of treatment is likely to be as well.
I for one will keep searching for the root cause of my remaining issues.
Have you had FMT treatment for IBS or are you considering it? Please share your experience with me!