Who gives a shit? Well, my boyfriend for one. Literally. I didn’t mention it in the last faecal transplant-related post, but my boyfriend was my poop donor. Yep, that’s right. In his words, he could finally help me with ‘something he’s good at’. Turns out as a German raised in the land of sauerkraut, having never had antibiotics – something absolutely unbelievable to anyone raised in the US, UK, New Zealand or Australia, I’d imagine – he was an ideal donor. We did the tests and he had the grades to prove it – a skill to add to his CV, perhaps. But the question was whether his ‘superior shit’ would crack the digestive conundrum I’d become, even to my doctor.
For those who aren’t following my story in sequence, I did my first FMT (Faecal Microbiota Transplant) in early September last year. By this stage I was on extended sick leave from work, suffering not only from dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bacteria, and the chronic pain and diarrhoea associated with it) but also its knock-on effects: thyroid issues, exhaustion, the lot. The first transplant didn’t completely take, so round two took place in October. That time I coupled the process with the Hypoallergenic Diet. During the transplant, I was limited to a handful of known ‘safe’ foods, before testing one food at a time from there. And, in case you didn’t know, there are quite a lot of foods out there – I’m still testing.
But the amazing, incredible, fantastic, relieving news is that from January I started to notice a huge improvement. To quote Rachel Hunter, ‘It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.’ Well, I can’t speak for everyone of course. But my patience and determination paid off. It wasn’t that a switch flicked one day, and from that point on things better; it was a gradual, slow-and-steady improvement. And the only foods that have really disagreed me with me so far have been lamb and beef, which is fine, since I eat mostly vegetarian anyway. My diet is diversifying by the day, and I’m eating things that I considered ‘dangerous’ for years: onions, garlic, fermented dairy products, sourdough bread.
To be honest, I’m not sure exactly where to from here. I’ll keep testing foods until I end up at the weird ones (durian? Pass) and wait to hear the next steps from my doctor. I’m also still ironing out some of the last symptoms, such as low energy, but I feel like I can safely say it: FMT for the win.