Seeking out a website on fecal transplants makes you special. Odds are that you have reached a place where conventional medications and traditional remedies have failed. Doctors have given up on you. Alternative practitioners have only taken you so far. So you are here. Looking at poop.
Why? Because you’re crazy? Maybe. More likely, it’s because you are a fighter.
The healthcare system may have given up on you and your health, but you haven’t. You are still fighting the good fight. You are still looking for answers.
I’ve had that experience. I know what it is to ride the downward spiral of health deterioration. I have struggled with symptoms that are confusing, complex and often had no official diagnosis. I have experienced friends and family questioning my motives and doctors proclaiming I just needed antidepressants.
In the course of my own fight for health, I stumbled upon The Power of Poop.
After much reading and a long search for a donor, I did a fecal transplant. Actually, I did eight over the course of eight months. What I discovered was that the fecal transplants helped with only part of my health equation. FMT helped my immune system rebound and I could fight off infection much better. In addition, my alternating constipation and diarrhea calmed to normal. However, I still had bloating and stomach pain, as well as problems with energy, headaches, body pains, brain fog and food intolerance.
Fecal transplant was not the complete answer for my health issues.
I discovered that I have all the current criteria for ME/CFS (what Americans call Chronic Fatigue) which current research shows is extremely complicated and effects nearly every major system in the body. So it isn’t surprising that one treatment, fecal transplant, wasn’t a complete solution. Yet, microbial dysbiosis is a major factor for ME/CFS, and research has uncovered that this is the case for many disease states from arthritis, IBS and IBD to multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
So what else is going on with my microbiome and why didn’t fecal transplant complete the picture?
Digestion and immunity issues are complicated and intertwined. A health condition may start with one complication, like an infection or a course of strong antibiotics. This can lead to a chain reaction of damage and imbalance. Correcting all of the links on the chain is often necessary to rebuild health. So replenishing the diversity of my microbiome through fecal transplant helped many of my immune system issues and corrected my microscopic colitis, but I still had a broad range of other symptoms that were links on that chain.
Little by little, I have learned about all the different links affecting my health and I dragged myself up from my bedridden state. I am functional again. I’d like to say I am thriving and every day was perfect, but that would be a lie. I have days where I backslide. Some days my energy crashes and my mind cannot find words (common in ME/CFS). There are times where I am overwhelmed by anxiety and I cannot concentrate and times when my potassium drops and I cannot breathe and my heart plays the samba in my chest.
My body is still out of balance. There is still work to be done.
Many of you have experienced these same ups and downs. We are on a wild ride with no map and only our body’s reactions as our guides. But those of you who know me, know two characteristics about me:
1. I am an avid researcher of the scientific literature.
2. I never give up.
It’s time to put those two traits to work on this website. When I bought The Power of Poop it was stocked to the gills with the information and guidance about fecal transplants. If you read through the information, you can find FMT doctors and clinics, learn about lab testing, get tips for finding a donor and learn pretty much anything you need to to do it yourself (Remember: Always test your donor!).
That’s great! The original owner of the site did an outstanding job!
However, fecal transplant wasn’t the complete answer for my health issues and I know many of you have had the same experience.
The microbiome is a powerful force within us. We need more information about how it functions and how it can be manipulated to improve health. In addition we need to learn about the multiple microbiomes throughout our body. Much of what is written in the blogosphere is about the colonic microbiome. But the colon doesn’t live in isolation. For many of us, the journey to health will include the microbiomes in the mouth, sinuses, stomach, small intestines, bladder, urinary tract, skin and even sexual organs.
Because everything is interconnected.
Plus, we need to know how the microbiome interacts and is acted upon by our environment, lifestyle, epigenetics, organ systems, hormones and enzymes.
It’s like we need a PhD in our own body.
That’s why I’ve decided that The Power of Poop must head in a new direction. My goal will be to bring you the latest research in microbiome science. My focus is to take a functional systems approach and not look at the colonic microbiome in isolation. Much of the focus will be about lifestyle and dietary changes, but some will include supplements and probiotics. There will even be announcements on apps, studies and pharmaceutical interventions.
I have big goals for my health. I know you do too. I don’t just want to be functional. I want to be fantastic! I want to complete my process from the bedridden person I was three years ago to a badass health state by 2018. That gives me one year to improve microbial imbalances, clean up my liver, eliminate bloating, correct electrolyte imbalance, heal from ammonia issues, deal with methylation issues, heal brain inflammation, motivate my mitochondria, and get the microbes in my various microbiomes back into balance.
It’s a long list, but I’m willing to take on the adventure. I plan to write all I learn in the hopes that many of you fighters out there may benefit.
To get things kicked off in an exciting new direction, my next few blog posts will look at some of the latest research on how we may have gotten off track from our body’s natural detoxification and healing rhythms. Amazing new science shows how modern lifestyles may be creating a toxic traffic jam that brings on overgrowth, dysbiosis, permeability and even histamine reactions. The great thing about these discoveries is that relatively simple changes in our lifestyle could bring about huge improvements in health.
Join me on this journey.