Despite what you might read in sensationalist headlines about FMT, unless the condition you are treating is C diff, very few people experience overnight cures. Even people with C diff are often left with gut problems like post infectious IBS, constipation or IBD.
Ultimately FMT is just one tool in the digestive illness toolbox. The next challenge is to heal your gut wall so that the new microbiota want to stay living in your gut.
Leaky gut is the common name for intestinal permeability, a huge topic that is finally starting to be taken seriously by mainstream medicine. If you’ve had dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) for a while, then you probably also have a leaky gut. It’s critical to heal leaky gut to provide a happy home for your new microbiota and make sure the preconditions that caused the dysbiosis do not take hold again.
You can obtain an intestinal permeability test through a naturopathic practitioner who will help you measure and treat the condition, or simply assume that you have it and start treating it, as it is not an invasive protocol.
Healing the gut wall requires a healthy anti-inflammatory diet, low stress, good nutrition, low irritant protein and nutritional repair supplements such as contained in Perm-a-Vite, colostrum, butyrate, curcumin and zinc. Specialist gut repair formulas can be obtained from naturopathic practitioners on prescription. Green juices and nutrient dense smoothies are a good way to get nutrition into a fragile gut and can be tailored to suit individual needs.
Diet is critical, but be aware that different things work for different people. Ignore the one-size-fits-all diet evangelists. Keep an open mind, try everything, but ultimately you must listen to your gut and do what’s right for you. When in doubt, listen to your gut. Avoid known triggers and don’t become overconfident or fall back into old bad habits. Treat your gut with the same reverence and care that you would treat a newborn child.
If you have IBD then test your inflammatory markers regularly to spot a setback before it arrives. TNF inhibitors (both pharmaceutical and herbal) can help reduce inflammation. Low Dose Naltrexone is used by many as a low-risk option to quell inflammation long term. For those who experience CFS/ME/multifactorial illness it’s critical to manage other health conditions that may have been triggered while you’ve been sick as they will be stopping your gut healing (eg thyroid/adrenal/autoimmune/hormones/methylation). Don’t assume fecal transplant will fix everything. Give your body support and tackle your recovery holistically.
Leaky gut is a big topic and you will find an abundance of information if you google. If you are time-poor then find a naturopathic practitioner to help. This interview with Dr Leo Galland is a good place to start learning about leaky gut. If you prefer primary research documents Alession Fasano is a recognised intestinal permeability expert. Read his research papers at PubMed.