Ok, I've been telling people I'd post a condensed summary of what I did, and I figure I have some time now while my students are taking their final exam (muahahahaahha!!).
Step 1: I started on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) about
18 weeks ago, not intending to do fecal transplants (FT), but I think if you want to cure your IBD, this is a good place to start. It can help with getting the inflamation under control, and starving off the bacterial dysbiosis causing the problem. The SCD though is IMO incomplete, since it takes a long time to repopulate the intestines with a healthy intestinal fauna. But, it is a great place to start.
I was on Remicade when I first started, but it wore off a couple months ago. I'm not sure if it played any role in the process working for me - it may have helped though by helping keep inflammation at bay while I did the transplants. But, I did the transplants about
10 weeks after starting the SCD, and the SCD seemed to do a lot more to normalize my bowels than Remicade alone did. So, I think that most people might be able to get the inflamation under control purely with the SCD.
Getting the inflammation under control is important, as bacteria apparently have more trouble attaching to our intestines when we have active inflammation.
Step 2: Destroy biofilm that pathogenic bacteria might have made to protect themselves, and keep other bacteria from moving in. I did this with the Interfase
enzyme supplement by Klaire labs, which can be bought on Amazon. I took them primarily at night (when waking up in the middle of the night), since you want to take them far apart from food (timewise), since otherwise the enzymes will be used for food digestion. you want them to be used for digesting biofilm.
The enzymes gave me some serious gas, especially if taking 2 or more at a time, and if I went back to sleep afterwards (since I often sleep on my back, which makes it hard for gas to escape, so it builds up). Sometimes they also gave me a frothy diarrhea, which I think was the digested biofilm coming out.
When I started the transplants, I found that taking two of these pills a couple hours before I did the transplant (in the morning) was also a good way to "clean out" my system. The first time I did a transplant, I used miralax to clean things out - but the enzymes worked pretty good too.
Step 3: Start transplants. For UC and CD, it appears to be better to do one or two transplants a week for 4-10 weeks, rather than doing transplants a few days in a row and then stopping. Some pathogenic bacteria can lay spores in our intestines, and regrow after an initial transplant (or course of antibiotics) - so you want them to try to regrow, then hit them again, then wait and hit them again, etc..
I used enema bags
, and found them to work quite well.
I made my own saline solution, mixing 4 slightly heaping teaspoons of non-iodized table salt into a gallon of distilled water. If you use straight water (non-saline), the bacteria can die from osmotic shock (salt inside the bacteria's cells can be pulled out by osmosis if you put them in non-saline water).
I did transplants on Saturday and Sunday morning of week 1, one transplant on week 2, two transplants (Sat and Sun) of week 3, and one again on week 4 (just Sat). Doing two versus one was really more of just a scheduling issue. I used my wife as a donor, and if she didn't need to go at a convenient time, then that sometimes made me unable to do a transplant on one of the weekend days. My intent had been to do transplants on each Sat and Sunday for up to 6 weeks - but I couldn't always do them each day, and after 4 weeks I seemed well enough that I stopped.
My procedure for the transplants themselves:
1. Wife collects sample (the insert for a toddler's potty seat works well, and conveniently we have one at home).
2. I immediately plop sample in a blender that I don't intend to ever use again. :)
3. Immediately pour enough saline in to fully immerse the "sample", so it is not exposed to air. Then add a little more.
4. Blend in brief pulses. You don't want to keep it blending constantly, as the whipping action can introduce air which can kill the anaerobic bacteria. That's why you want to go quickly from collection to covering in saline, and then blending with as little aeration as possible. I probably blended for a total of 10 seconds, but spread out in 10 brief 1 second pulses. It should be a very liquidy consistency.
5. Strain sample through a metal mesh kitchen strainer, and into the enema bag. This is the messiest part. Wear disposable gloves. I also recommend putting a little Vick's vapor rub under your nose - the smell of that will help overload your sense of smell.
The metal strainer *will* clog (or perhaps my wife just eats sand and doesn't tell me). I had a plastic bag handy for dumping the captured particulate into. I would pour from the blender until the strainer filled up, and wait for ~30 seconds to a minute to let the liquid get through, and then dump the captured stuff into the bag. Sometimes it helps to smack the strainer on a surface inside the bag (whatever the bag is resting on) to get the particulate out.
Repeat that until you have strained it all into the enema bag. This usually ended up putting about
2.5-3 cups of the poop cocktail into the enema bag. Very important if using bags: fully seal the top of the bag with duct tape after you have filled the bag - you don't want it squirting back out when you squeeze the bag!
6. Take off disposable gloves, and put clean ones on. Bring the filled enema bag with you to the bathroom.
7. Put a few blobs of vaseline on some toilet paper (you will need them later). Make sure you have paper towels handy.
8. Remove the tip from the enema bag - the end should already be lubricated. Start squeezing the bag to start pushing the slurry into the tube, forcing the air out (you don't really want to fill your intestines with a bunch of air - so get it out of the tube). When you have the tube mostly filled with the poop slushy, you are ready to go.
9. Get on all fours, with your butt up in the air. Insert the end of the tube, and start squeezing the bag. You will probably be able to tell that poop-flavored squishy is going in either by sensation, or by seeing particles moving through the tube. Hopefully the filtering got out any particles big enough to clog the tube (otherwise it is a HUGE pain).
10. You will get to a point where you feel "full", like you can't get any more in. At this point, I would remove the tube, get on my back, and do a shoulder-stand (use a wall to help). The point of this is to help the transplanted smoothy work its way further up the colon. As I did the shoulder stand, I would then lean some to the left (since it should first go over to the left side of my torso, following my colon), and then over to the right. Then I would gradually lean over to the right until I could lay on my right side - to get the stuff to work up my colon and then down the right side. Repeat this process again.
11. After doing that a couple times, you shouldn't feel "full" in the colon anymore, so it is time to start squirting more in there. You need to lube the tip of the tube though first - this is where the little blobs of vaseline from step 7 come in. Rub the tip of the tube around in those blobs to get it nice and lubed. Then get back on all 4s, and start squirting more up there. When you get full, remove, and do some more yoga.
I generally repeated this process a few times, going through 2-4 iterations of squirting and stretching. Doing that, I was able to get in between 2 and 3 cups each time - which probably did a pretty thorough job of coating my colon.
You don't want to overfill yourself to the point that you won't be able to retain the enema. Ideally, you would at this point lay down for at least 15 minutes or so, until you are confident that you can stand up without it coming back out. With 2 little kids at home, I often didn't take that time. Instead, if I started to feel like it wanted to come back out, I would do another inversion (shoulder stand) or just lay down, until the sensation went away.
Like this, I was able to retain the enemas for between 8 and 24 hours generally. That is important IMO.
Oh - and have fun cleaning up. :) Fortunately, I put a spray hose on our toilet a year or two ago, in case we used non-disposable diapers (we didn't stick with that for long). I also had a 5 gallon bucket with a hole cut in the bottom, which I could put on top of the toilet, and rinse all my supplies out in (blender parts and metal strainer). Then I would clean them with a sponge (dedicated for just this).
Hm, I wonder if any of my students will see this. :)
I'm personally not embarassed about
it - and even if I did have any mild embarassment, I'm willing to deal with that in case this helps anybody else. After 12 years of UC (5 completely uncontrolled, 7 moderately controlled by Remicade shutting off my immune system), I now feel like my bacterial problem is completely cured, and my villi are starting to heal.
That is a great feeling, that I hope others can experience also.