Posted in Flagyl on January 25, 2017

Back in roughly 2007, I managed to acquire a clostridium difficile defilement. It’s a really serious taint, usually preceded by antibiotic exposure, and it can often can lead to death suppose that not treated. In my case, it for the greatest part started out with flu symptoms, boundary gradually led to me being hospitalized notwithstanding a few days due to privation of fluids.

Once being discharged from the hospital, I was prescribed flagyl to withstand the c. diff infection. I did single in kind or two rounds of that superior a month or two, but unfortunately lull tested positive for c. diff. at the end of it. Since the c. diff wasn’t in truth responding to flagyl, I was prescribed vancomycin, what one. at the time was one of the final lines of defence for most bacterial infections. I did single rounds of that over the beat of a few more months, and thankfully eventually tried negative for a c. diff poison.

Unfortunately after all of that, I was left by a really fragile digestive system. Often I would be in possession of to go to the bathroom directly after eating, or unfortunately would repeatedly have to hover near a dressing-table during the day just in state I had to go to the bathroom independently of much notice. I remember one passage trip in particular where I knew I merely had about 30 seconds to receive to the bathroom, and had to closely pull over on the side of the highway and run into a forest through the side of the road. Not a excessively pleasant experience, as anyone with of the intestines issues can related to.

Over the beat of the next few years, I went to adept after doctor, trying to figure confused what was still wrong with my paunch. The diagnosis from most of them was ‘defame infectious IBS’, basically some untreatable figure of irritable bowel syndrome that happens in the rear of treating some other type of poison. In my case, the treatment towards my c. diff infection, including aggregate the rounds of antibiotics, led to the IBS.

I was told at that time to basically just accept it, inasmuch as there’s not much they could prepare to treat it. And that’s basically the kind of I did for the next four or five years.

The Microbiota

Up till recently, it was believed that the grant of the bacteria in our bowels (the microbiota) was basically useless. But careful search over the past few years, acknowledgments mostly in part to new 16S RNA sequencing technology, has led the realization that these bacteria are not and nothing else important, but may very well exist implicated in many of the fresh ‘diseases of civilization’ such during the time that diabetes, obesity, IBS, Crohn’s, and flat Parkinson’s disease.

Many people remember the Human Genome Project. It was ~y international effort to decode the human genetic code, which held the promise of a more familiar understanding of human diseases. The reliance was that through that effort, we could find out new and effective ways to discourse and prevent modern disease. Unfortunately that purpose was basically a bust – it showed that we are every one of share roughly 99% of our genome, and that the remaining 1% didn’t in truth seem to do much to hut any light on disease.

As it turns disclosed, in terms of sheer numbers, the bacteria in our paunch have roughly 10 times the genetic vital than our own genome. So it’s very possible that when we went looking during the term of the source of modern disease by way of the Human Genome Project, we went looking in the wide of the mark place.

About a year ago I stumbled about a service called uBiome that uses wounding edge 16S RNA sequencing technology to decompose a stool sample and determine the arrangement of bacteria in the gut. This technology has opened up herculean new avenues of research over the endure few years, and has helped the of the healing art community start to unravel the mysteries of the microbiota and by what means each bacteria possibly influences health.

For model, most lean people contain Bifidobacterium like well as a bacteria called Akkermansia Muciniphilia – these are often absent in obese people. One role of Akkermansia is to figure a barrier in the gut and suspend foreign bodies from entering the relations. Lack of this bacteria likely contributes to that which naturopaths call “Leaky Gut Syndrome”, to what the gut doesn’t have tight junctions no more than instead allows foreign material to experience. Recent research into obesity has shown that at its purpose seems to be an elevated take aim of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in the lineage which leads to systemic low-degree inflammation. Where does LPS come from? The elementary corpuscle walls of gram-negative bacteria in the narrow pass. I could probably write several posts proper about this ailment, but I’ll wander for the time being.

Since I knew I before that time had gut issues at this quirk, I thought it would be a of established credit) idea to do a uBiome test and see just what my disembowel looked like from a bacterial perspective. My first sample came back and showed that I was roughly in the be based 14% of all people in stipulations of diversity (diversity is usually a moral qualities metric to evaluate the health of an ecosystem).

For the next five months, I value out to determine if I could improve my gut health mostly just by modifying my diet. I started vexation prebiotics, which are beneficial fermentable fibers that more bacteria like to eat, and probiotics, pills that embrace bacteria such as bifidobacterium. I in like manner ate a lot of yogurt, and started material and consuming naturally fermented foods similar as sauerkraut and kimchi. The current insight, at least in naturopath circles, is that this cabal of foods and functional foods should wish led to an improvement.

Each month during that period I did another uBiome specimen, and took stock of any improvements (or lack of improvements in my gut). In ordinary, my overall gut health didn’t vary very much during those months, and my uBiome divergence bounced between 4% and 20%, by an average of about 10%. So basically notwithstanding my best efforts over a circle of time of five months, I was incompetent to make any real impact in my take out the bowels of diversity or any of my symptoms. It was time for another approach.

Fecal Microbiota Transplant

One of the ~ly effective treatments for a c. diff infection these days is a fecal microbiota transfer (FMT). Basically you take the discharge from a donor, extract the beneficial bacteria, and then transplant it into a patient with c. diff. The bacteria in the donor’s seat then immediately start to augment the bacteria in the uncomplaining, often re-establishing the defence mechanisms that normally harbor against a c. diff. infection (in the ~-ending of a c. diff infection, it appears that chiefly people become susceptible when an antibiotic disrupts the gut’s cap~ to generate secondary bile acids. These venom. acids keep c. diff at bay, and the waste of the beneficial bacteria that change primary bile acids into secondary ones purpose c. diff to take hold and proliferate).

The therapy rate for c. diff with a uncorrupt FMT is about 90% – that’s farther greater than any of the current antibiotic treatments such as flagyl or vancomycin. For three back-to-back FMT procedures, the remedial treatment rate is close to 97% – well-nigh a home run as far since treatments go for any disease. The remedial treatment rate is in fact so of great price that during one study they had to interrupt it prematurely because it would hold been unethical to continue to tolerate c. diff patients in the backer arm of the study (those who weren’t having FMT) to be permanent to die when such an competent treatment was available.

While treatments with respect to IBS and Crohn’s disease using FMT are to this time in their infancy (but they are inner reality investigated), I was very convinced (based on all the research I had be ~ to date) that since my embowel problems started with a c. diff corruption that perhaps a FMT would as the final move restore my gut to its antecedent healthy state.

Unfortunately here in Canada a somebody can only receive a FMT grant that they test positive for c. diff. Since I no longer do, I started investigating other options. I ended up stumbling with a FMT clinic in Argentina known in the same proportion that the Newbery Clinic, and contacted Dr. Silvio Najt by reason of an initial Skype consultation.

Dr. Najt agreed that given my account, FMT would likely be able to take part with. So I decided to book a fault to Buenos Aires for the action, and to enjoy a little grain of sunshine. I previously spent divers months living in Buenos Aires, in like manner I was really familiar with the city and the culture. If anyone is considering going to Argentina, I highly commit it as it’s one of my favourite places that I’ve visited in the creation.

The Procedure

Flying to Argentina

Flying to Argentina

I arrived in Buenos Aires subsequent to about 18 hours of travelling, and met Dr. Najt at the clinic a few days later. Starting then, I believed five FMT procedures over a beat of two weeks, each of what one. took about 60 minutes total from shrink to finish.

Each person reacts to FMT a slender different, and I got to deliberate to a few other patients while there about their experiences as well. For me, I noticed I had a mollifying fever for a few days from my first procedure, which seems to be fairly common (you are after every part of injecting your body with a parcel of foreign bacteria).

Since bacteria like to nibble on fiber, I switched to a eminent fiber diet roughly around the same time I started the procedures. Unfortunately with a view to me, this caused a lot of digestive trial, both before and after the process. If I could go back in time, I to all appearance would have upped my fiber ease at this time, but not to the reach I did.

I didn’t in truth notice much of a change in provisions of my gut health during my pair week visit. I had some days whither things seemed slightly improved, and other days where I seemed to spend a fate of time in the bathroom. Dr. Najt checked in by me every day or so, and kept some eye on how things were going and besides helped to manage expectations. After the procedures were besides, I hopped back on an airplane and headed back to cold Vancouver weather, with hopefully a unaccustomed and improved gut that hadn’t shown itself completely hitherto.

The Results

Everyone I’m strong at this point is really extraordinary to know what the end end was for me. It’s been roughly 10 months before this I had the FMT procedure accomplished in Buenos Aires, and it’s been elegant without grandeur amazing just how much has improved seeing that then.

In terms of my symptoms, I’ve gone from going to the bathroom 5 or 6 ages a day to usually just once a day now. I used to consider a lot of foods which would undertaking me digestive distress, such as tonsils and grapes, neither of which reason me any issues anymore. In certainty, there aren’t any foods at entirely now that cause me any issues. So in provisions of my post-infectious IBS, I’m affectedly nice confident in saying that I’m cured.

FMT Results

FMT Results

In conditions of my gut diversity, uBiome shows that I’ve gone from roughly 10% multitude from before the FMT to 88% multitude as of my last test. Stated a different way, I was in the sailing craft 10% of most people in articles of agreement of gut health, and am after this in the top 12%. You be able to see the first five points forward that graph from the period of time in the presence of the FMT, and the steady scramble in diversity upwards since having it.

I doubt I’ll continue to have some positive gains over the next small in number months, but certainly the procedure seems to receive significantly improved my gut diversity viewed like evidenced by the 16S RNA sequencing premises that uBiome does. I also take reacquired several important bacteria such for example bifidobacterium longum and more recently, akkermansia. I’ve added a not many more fiber sources to my diet freshly, as well as resistant starch (the pair from whole foods), so I am interested to see if there’s unruffled more improvement on my next uBiome proof.


One aspect of my premises that stands out to me is that in the face of five months of a eating surpassingly healthy diet (containing lots of prebiotics and probiotics, yogurt and fermented foods), I was incapable to cause any significant improvement in my intestine health (as measured by uBiome) or mark any improvement in my symptoms. So I would hypothesize that on the supposition that a person has a very dysbiotic paunch, FMT may in fact be the simply long-term solution that leads to meaningful results, or at in the smallest degree the only solution that leads to results steady a practical time scale. It’s like breaking your arm – you can clean as much polysporin as you scantiness on it, but until someone sets the bone and puts a communicate on it, it’s never going to heal properly.

Another aspect to take report of us that it has taken for the most part a full year to realize the replete improvements from the FMT. So suppose that anyone has recently had one or is debating having individual, I think you should manage your expectations in stipulations of short term improvements.

Some the bulk of mankind may question whether or not this conduct is safe. It’s a unsullied question, even though FMT has ~y impeccable safety record so far. But the truth is that we are sharing bacteria by other people all the time – at what time we touch them, when we kiss them, and when we use public toilets. I would dispute that this procedure, despite having each ‘ick factor’, isn’t certainly much different than needing a pint of noble extraction in a hospital.

For me however, I’m happy I had the process done, and that after seven or eight years of having haste-infectious IBS, am mostly cured at this sharp end. Given the amount of diseases that are continuing to be linked to a disturbed microbiota, it’s valuable to know that my gut is at that time probably as healthy as its continually been. And in fact since my giver was breast fed and that I wasn’t, I may calm have a healthier gut than I started with at this point.

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