These “Fecal Transplant At Home – DIY Instructions” are based on the experiences of one person, the anecdotal reports of others and questions most frequently asked by e-Patients. They are not medical advice. FMT is still considered an experimental procedure without known future consequences.
Please read the disclaimer and discuss your options with your doctor before doing fecal microbiota transplant (FMT). It is critical that your doctor test your donor before FMT. An outwardly healthy person could carry an asymptomatic parasite or blood borne illness that could wreak havoc in your fragile system.
Getting ready for your big day of fecal transplant takes planning and fully understanding the procedure. But there is one piece of the process that is the most important. That is donor testing.
Find and TEST YOUR DONOR. Opinions differ about the minimum testing required but testing is mandatory for beneficial outcomes. Click here for testing options.
TESTING IS ESSENTIAL! You would never take untested blood. You know unprotected sex can lead to sexually transmitted disease. The same rules apply to fecal transplants. Just because they are natural, doesn’t mean they are always healthy.
Your mantra: Test. Test. Test.
Even healthy people can harbor pathogens that their body can handle, but yours might not. We see this frequently. So don’t just hope your donor is healthy because they look healthy, know that they are through testing.
In order to minimize your expense for testing (which can be expensive depending on your country and their healthcare options). Go over the bullet points below to help you understand the process and pre-qualify and disqualify people in advance. After all, who wants to pay for tests on someone who doesn’t have a healthy profile to begin with? You will find a pre-qualifcation checklist on our Testing Options page.
In addition to testing, read through and understand the following information prior to doing your fecal transplant. This is still an experimental procedure, so outcomes are not guaranteed and, in some cases, not predictable. This is the minimum you should know before you proceed:
- Read the Center for Digestive Diseases Home Infusion Protocol for Donor & Recipient
- Read every Frequently Asked Question on this site. Don’t be lazy about this. You are putting someone’s poop up you. To make an informed decision you must research the possible risks as well as the possible benefits.
- Familiarise yourself with the Bristol Stool Chart so you know what healthy poop looks like (2,3, 4 on this chart).
- Familiarise yourself with the shape and position of your colon so that you understand the direction in which the FMT will flow.
Decisions You Will Need to Make
There are several options on how to various aspects of the FMT procedure. Go through these options to decide for yourself which way would work better for your particular health situation and comfort level. There are no right answers.
- Decide if you are going to use antibiotics / herbal anti-microbials / biofilm busters etc to kill off bad bugs prior to FMT. This is not mandatory, opinions differ. Many people who have overgrowths of bacteria such as C.diff and Klebseilla pneumonia have used antibiotics first with good results. Those who are experiencing overgrowth due to overuse of antibiotics often don’t want to risk another round. This is between you and your doctor to determine the best course of action prior to FMT.
- Decide if you are going to do a bowel-washout (lavage) or not. This is not mandatory, opinions differ. The goal of a washout is to minimise the amount of old poop present at the time of infusion of the new poop. Fasting or low-fibre liquid diets help achieve this.
- If you have IBD take whatever medication you know will control the inflammation. Do not do FMT in a flare unless you have no choice.
- If you have IBD, you may find the Briggs Protocol to be very helpful to do prior to FMT.
- Decide where you will do your FMT – either in a bath or lying on a towel on the bathroom floor. Avoid doing it on a bed or sofa or in a carpeted area in case you have a spill.
- Decide if you are going to use distilled water or saline. Opinions differ which is better so you may have to experiment. Some have reported that saline has a laxative effect. Others have reported that saline is easier to hold in.
To Do List Prior to FMT Big Day
- Purchase supplies.
- Hang a heavy duty adhesive hook on the wall at a height that will allow for the tube to reach your body without too much slack. Too high and the tube will not reach. Too low and you won’t get enough flow from gravity.
- Do a practice run with your enema bag using just distilled water.
- Go on a low fibre diet for 2 weeks prior to FMT if your health issue includes bacteria that feed on starch or fibre.
- If this is the first in a series of FMTs you can clear out the contents of your bowel 24 hours prior to FMT by fasting and using a laxative or water diet beforehand. *** DO NOT DO THIS EVERY TIME AS IT WILL DISRUPT GROWTH OF THE NEW FLORA. This step is optional.
- Stop anti-biotics/anti-microbials etc 24 hours before FMT (48 hours if you have not done a bowel wash-out – longer if constipated).
- Take other medications as usual.
- Leave plastic food containers or zip lock bags with your donor for collection of sample
- If weather is cold leave a microwavable heat pack with your donor so that it can gently keep the sample as close to body temperature as possible while waiting to be collected.
Step 2 – Donor Pathology Testing –>
Click below for more instructions on DIY fecal transplant.