FMT for SIBO and gut health

I recently completed FMT (fecal microbiota transplant) after treatment for SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth).

FMT is not a treatment usually considered for SIBO, essentially SIBO is a problem where bacteria is overgrown in a place where is shouldn’t be (the small intestine), FMT is used to colonise and balance the gut with healthy gut flora using a healthy person’s faeces (yep their poo!), it sounds bizarre and disgusting but FMT is proving to be an effective treatment for a range of gut issues.

Following many rounds of SIBO treatment, restrictive low FODMAP diets and taking strong antibiotics after surgery for endometriosis, my gut flora had taken a beating, so I decided to give FMT a try.

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I met with a gastroenterologist who prescribed me antibiotics and anti-fungal medication, following which I had my first FMT treatment which involved a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy (including taking biopsies), he then completed the FMT into the small intestine and the large intestine (injecting twice as much into the large intestine). For four days following, each day I had to administer the FMT via an enema; this process is not for the faint hearted 🙂

So, how did I feel after the process? I felt amazing up until day 4, then I crashed and felt exhausted which took a couple of days to recover from. Unfortunately my gastrointestinal symptoms returned about a week later, but not to the same extent and it’s important to note that I’m consuming a high fibre diet to feed my new microbiome (as instructed by my doctor), which is a diet I’ve not consumed for years due to SIBO. A week and a half later I generally feel quite well other than some bloating after meals.

My follow up appointment with the doctor takes place 4 weeks after treatment, so I’m trying to keep an open mind about the effectiveness of the treatment until this time, as the new bacteria will need time to make a difference.

FMT has been shown as effective in helping people with specific gut conditions such as clostridium difficile and inflammatory bowel disease, but with regards to SIBO, my view is to only consider this treatment once you’re SIBO free. FMT can benefit some people a lot, whereas with others it doesn’t make a huge impact, so if you’re considering it, discuss with your health professional to see if it’s the right approach to take for you.

Yours in health,

Meredith