Considering FMT? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) is used to restore gut bacteria back to their normal density and diversity to aid optimal gut functionality. The Taymount Clinic in the UK started performing FMT treatments in 2009 using a very specific methodology and a minimally invasive procedure. Over the past eight years, they’ve conducted 20,000 procedures and patients have experienced remarkable results.

If you need help with digestive health, click here

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) is used to restore gut bacteria back to their normal density and diversity to aid optimal gut functionality. It is the process of implanting beneficial intestinal bacteria and yeasts from a healthy donor into the colon of a person who is lacking the essential gut microflora they need for their digestive system to function properly.

What is a Fecal/Faecal Microbiota Transplant used for?

There are two areas where FMT may be of interest:

  • Recurrent Clostridium difficile infection
  • Non-responsive or managed-gastrointestinal or neurological conditions

FMT has been shown to be over 90% effective in treating the C.difficile infection in patients who had failed to respond to antibiotic treatment. In addition, academic and medical research indicates that gut bacteria may play a significant part in alleviating the symptoms of:

  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis)
  • Constipation
  • Chronic Diarrhea
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome – IBS (Post-Infectious, Post-Antibiotic)
  • Neurological conditions such as:
    • ME (Myalgic Encephalopathy)
    • CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
    • MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
    • Parkinson’s Disease

Clinical studies supporting FMT in specific conditions:

  • IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) – study showed 45% remission rate from FMT

A study was published recently including 406 cases broken down by disease type. Results showed the following:

  • diff – 85% cure rate, 95% improvement rate; excellent results
  • Constipation – 40% cure rate, 67% improvement rate
  • UC – 34% cure rate, 68% improvement rate
  • Crohn’s – 30% cure rate, 60% improvement rate
  • IBS – 46% cure rate, 73% improvement rate

This study did not find a significant difference between the three routes of administration, which were naso-intestinal tube, FMT capsule, or colonoscopy.

The Taymount Clinic in the UK started performing FMT treatments in 2009 using a very specific methodology and a minimally invasive procedure. Over the past eight years, they’ve conducted 20,000 procedures and patients have experienced remarkable results.
Patients treated at Taymount for C. diff have 100% cure rate, and this is due to Taymount’s special methodology. Patients with C. diff are treated with five implants on five different days using samples from five different donors. It’s been shown that the more diverse your gut microbiome is, the less likely you will succumb to C. diff. Therefore, diversity from different donors is key.

In conditions such as IBD, about 1/3 of Taymount patients experience rapid resolution, 1/3 experience partial, satisfactory resolution, and 1/3 experience resistance (no improvement).

FMT Methodology

Non-C. diff patients undergo 10 different treatments, on 10 different days, using samples from 10 different donors.

Providing the best possible implants is a big part of the work at the Taymount Clinic. The process starts with a healthy donor. Taymount tests their donors thoroughly and screens for a wide range of diseases.

They advise them on diet and monitor it closely to ensure that their gut contains the optimum range of microbiota. Many of the microbiota important to good gut health have a limited lifespan when exposed to oxygen or other environmental factors, so they collect the donor material under deoxygenated conditions and transport it back to the lab in an insulated container along with a sterile saline solution.

Once back in the lab, the stool sample is processed at a controlled temperature and nitrogen-rich environment to separate the microbiota from the food waste element. All food particles, hormones, and toxins are removed.

Then they make up the implants, which are placed into fast-freeze under lab conditions for later use. The samples are stored until they have re-tested the donors to ensure the continuing safety and quality of the implants.

When the patient is ready to receive the implant, they deliver the sample via a small rectal catheter. This is much safer and less invasive than colonoscopy or naso-gastric tube. They allow 1 hour for each transplant.

It’s important to consider the type to donor implant being used. Some methodologies use fresh stool, which can have some negative effects. Even asymptomatic donors could be carrying something very pathogenic that would be harmful to an immuno-comprised patient.

Taymount quarantines their implants for at least 3 months in ultra-deep-freeze to make sure the donors clear two tests done three months apart to ensure nothing is incubating that may later appear.

Patient safety

Taymount does not use fresh FMT donor material. There are some pathogens and conditions that are not detectable by test at an early stage of their infection, for example Hepatitis. It is therefore vitally important to quarantine under deep freeze conditions all material for a minimum of three months to allow any latent disease to reveal itself.

Implants

Taymount does not deliver implants of whole stool; they use only the vital preserved microbial content of the donor stool, not the donor’s food (which the recipient may be allergic too), epithelial cells, hormones, or excreted toxins. They take a safety aliquot (a sample) from every single implant and store it in their deep freezers at -80ºC for a period of time, which allows for subsequent testing should the need arise.

Donor Testing Process

Taymount banks implants taken from regularly screened donors who have undergone a full detailed list of laboratory tests every 3 months. All donors are required to follow a high-nutrient, probiotic, and pre-biotic rich diet. All are non-smokers, with a slim body disposition, free from mental illness, have a well-functioning digestive system, and with no antibiotics in their recent history.

In addition to screening for diseases and undesirable pathogens, their stool testing by DNA PCR reveals the gut flora profile, so they can see if the required microbiota is ideal or needs optimizing. This ensures that the implant is of the highest quality and most beneficial to the recipient.

To learn more about FMT at the Taymount Clinic, check out our podcast with the founder, Glenn Taylor, here.


If you need help with digestive health, click here

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.

Dr. Ruscio is your leading functional and integrative doctor specializing in gut related disorders such as SIBO, leaky gut, Celiac, IBS and in thyroid disorders such as hypothyroid and hyperthyroid. For more information on how to become a patient, please contact our office. Serving the San Francisco bay area and distance patients via phone and Skype.

Discussion

I care about answering your questions and sharing my knowledge with you. Leave a comment or connect with me on social media asking any health question you may have and I just might incorporate it into our next listener questions podcast episode just for you!

46 thoughts on “Considering FMT? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

    1. Hi Annie,
      In some cases perhaps since FMT has been shown to alleviate IBS and SIBO underlies some IBS, but there is still much here we don’t know so proceed with caution.

    1. Hi Annie,
      In some cases perhaps since FMT has been shown to alleviate IBS and SIBO underlies some IBS, but there is still much here we don’t know so proceed with caution.

  1. Hello – this is very intriguing and promising. I have suffered IBS for years. Have had diverticulitis, H. pylori, and have horrible bouts of either constipation or diahrrhea. It is very stressful to not know if I can make it to a restroom in time, and have suffered “accidents”. I am 59 years old, and am currently trying to heal myself by proper nutrition. Honestly, I have a HUGE concern for how my digestive/GI/bowel issues are going to be as I get older. In your opinion, based on this little bit of history – would I qualify for FMT, or should I just continue plugging along. Some days it is actually hard to leave the house.

    Thanks for reading, and thanks for all you do – as I have finally been learning, that so many of my other issues must be stemming from poor gut health.

  2. Hello – this is very intriguing and promising. I have suffered IBS for years. Have had diverticulitis, H. pylori, and have horrible bouts of either constipation or diahrrhea. It is very stressful to not know if I can make it to a restroom in time, and have suffered “accidents”. I am 59 years old, and am currently trying to heal myself by proper nutrition. Honestly, I have a HUGE concern for how my digestive/GI/bowel issues are going to be as I get older. In your opinion, based on this little bit of history – would I qualify for FMT, or should I just continue plugging along. Some days it is actually hard to leave the house.

    Thanks for reading, and thanks for all you do – as I have finally been learning, that so many of my other issues must be stemming from poor gut health.

  3. Hi, I have been on multiple antibiotics through out my life – also many pain medications. I am now suffering from autoimmune conditions and hormonal imbalance. Will FMT restore my gut health and my health?

    1. P,

      It’s hard to say. There are many other less invasive gut therapies that are good to consider before jumping to FMT. My book will walk you through these. Or, you could always do a consult with a doc who offers FMT.

      Hope this helps

  4. Hi, I have been on multiple antibiotics through out my life – also many pain medications. I am now suffering from autoimmune conditions and hormonal imbalance. Will FMT restore my gut health and my health?

    1. P,

      It’s hard to say. There are many other less invasive gut therapies that are good to consider before jumping to FMT. My book will walk you through these. Or, you could always do a consult with a doc who offers FMT.

      Hope this helps

  5. I received a FMT 2 weeks ago after struggling with hospital acquired C diff postoperatively for approx. 6 months.. My question is should I get the flu vaccine.? Is there any research about this? I am concerned as to potential effects from having the FMT. Thank you-. Reg

  6. I received a FMT 2 weeks ago after struggling with hospital acquired C diff postoperatively for approx. 6 months.. My question is should I get the flu vaccine.? Is there any research about this? I am concerned as to potential effects from having the FMT. Thank you-. Reg

  7. I was diagnosed with rectal cancer last Spring, and underwent chemo and radiation treatment in the Summer. Happily, the post-treatment PET scan indicates I am now “cancer-free”, however I now have an inability to properly digest food, which has lead to more or less constant stomach aches and nausea, and a significant inability to control my stools. I have had all available gastro tests (three breath tests, endoscopy, stomach-emptying and gall bladder function tests), all of which have come back normal. I am left to believe that my gut microflora was compromised by the cancer treatment. Is there a way to investigate this, and, if so, might FMT be a reasonable treatment candidate?

    1. Hi Nora,
      I’m not sure I am the best person to answer this because I don’t with with post-chemo cases and therefore don’t have any person experience to draw from. That said, you might need to take steps to determine how to create the best environment for your gut, post-chemo. The protocol in Healthy Gut, Healthy You will walk you through the steps you can take to do so, and there is a good chance this will improve your symptoms. I hope this helps. https://drruscio.com/getgutbook/

  8. I was diagnosed with rectal cancer last Spring, and underwent chemo and radiation treatment in the Summer. Happily, the post-treatment PET scan indicates I am now “cancer-free”, however I now have an inability to properly digest food, which has lead to more or less constant stomach aches and nausea, and a significant inability to control my stools. I have had all available gastro tests (three breath tests, endoscopy, stomach-emptying and gall bladder function tests), all of which have come back normal. I am left to believe that my gut microflora was compromised by the cancer treatment. Is there a way to investigate this, and, if so, might FMT be a reasonable treatment candidate?

    1. Hi Nora,
      I’m not sure I am the best person to answer this because I don’t with with post-chemo cases and therefore don’t have any person experience to draw from. That said, you might need to take steps to determine how to create the best environment for your gut, post-chemo. The protocol in Healthy Gut, Healthy You will walk you through the steps you can take to do so, and there is a good chance this will improve your symptoms. I hope this helps. https://drruscio.com/getgutbook/

  9. I acquired CID at 19 when I did a round of antibiotics. I had this confirmed in February this year with an OAT test, after 35 years of rage attacks, severe depression, brutal insomnia that eventually lead to fibromyalgia, cancer and SIBO, and several suicide attempts.

    The insomnia is the worst.

    NO ONE found it or has helped me with this but me. I’m now a CN, practicing Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. I’m now 2 months into a long cleanse of metals, parasites, POPs, glyphosate, candida, and of course, multiple Clostridium species, including C. diff.

    Unfortunately, 2 months in with the IR saunas, coffee enemas with binder, and researched formulas against the gram positive, spore-forming monsters, there is zero improve net in sleep, depression and anger outbursts. Over this time I also experimented with a clean, organic, high fat diet to reduce the SIBO symptoms, while going through this process. I know these critters adapt to whatever comes down the pike, but in 6 to 8 weeks, the pain and gas is as bad as if I had been eating sugar, fruit and grains again. Wow.

    I do not present like a typical CID. I never have diarrhea; I’ve been constipated since my early teens, long before the infection. My concern is that if I rally the last of my savings on a trip to Taymount, that I’ll be yet again that one in a 100 that gets no benefit.

    Have you heard of people like me, C. diff, without the recurrent diarrhea, with mental health effect that came on before any discernible digestive illness was obvious? And might I seem more, less, or just as likely to improve with the 5 implants?

    I’m desperate to life at least these last years of my life with some sleep and happiness.

    1. I would be cautious with how much you take away from an OAT test, these are not diagnostic for infections but rather suggestive https://drruscio.com/organic-acid-testing-gut-dysbiosis-dr-jeff-moss/. I would find a conventional gastroenterologist and a highly educated doc who practices FM with a GI focus, and get an opinion from each. You can also go through the protocol in Healthy Gut, Healthy You which works very well for GI dysbiosis.
      Hope this helps.

  10. I acquired CID at 19 when I did a round of antibiotics. I had this confirmed in February this year with an OAT test, after 35 years of rage attacks, severe depression, brutal insomnia that eventually lead to fibromyalgia, cancer and SIBO, and several suicide attempts.

    The insomnia is the worst.

    NO ONE found it or has helped me with this but me. I’m now a CN, practicing Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. I’m now 2 months into a long cleanse of metals, parasites, POPs, glyphosate, candida, and of course, multiple Clostridium species, including C. diff.

    Unfortunately, 2 months in with the IR saunas, coffee enemas with binder, and researched formulas against the gram positive, spore-forming monsters, there is zero improve net in sleep, depression and anger outbursts. Over this time I also experimented with a clean, organic, high fat diet to reduce the SIBO symptoms, while going through this process. I know these critters adapt to whatever comes down the pike, but in 6 to 8 weeks, the pain and gas is as bad as if I had been eating sugar, fruit and grains again. Wow.

    I do not present like a typical CID. I never have diarrhea; I’ve been constipated since my early teens, long before the infection. My concern is that if I rally the last of my savings on a trip to Taymount, that I’ll be yet again that one in a 100 that gets no benefit.

    Have you heard of people like me, C. diff, without the recurrent diarrhea, with mental health effect that came on before any discernible digestive illness was obvious? And might I seem more, less, or just as likely to improve with the 5 implants?

    I’m desperate to life at least these last years of my life with some sleep and happiness.

    1. I would be cautious with how much you take away from an OAT test, these are not diagnostic for infections but rather suggestive https://drruscio.com/organic-acid-testing-gut-dysbiosis-dr-jeff-moss/. I would find a conventional gastroenterologist and a highly educated doc who practices FM with a GI focus, and get an opinion from each. You can also go through the protocol in Healthy Gut, Healthy You which works very well for GI dysbiosis.
      Hope this helps.

  11. I’m considering FMT but have Graves Disease. I read that people with autoimmune diseases should NOT undergo FMT. What is your position on this?

  12. I’m considering FMT but have Graves Disease. I read that people with autoimmune diseases should NOT undergo FMT. What is your position on this?

  13. I have bipolar type 1 and am desperate to get some relief. There are multiple anecdotal reports of the successful treatment of bipolar type 1 with FMT. There is currently a study being done at a college in Canada to see if FMT can help people with bipolar disorder. With that being said, do you have any advice for how I could get FMT treatment for my condition?

    Thanks,

    David Alden

    1. Hi David,

      So sorry you’re dealing with this. As stated above, The Taymount Clinic is a good option. Good luck!

  14. I have bipolar type 1 and am desperate to get some relief. There are multiple anecdotal reports of the successful treatment of bipolar type 1 with FMT. There is currently a study being done at a college in Canada to see if FMT can help people with bipolar disorder. With that being said, do you have any advice for how I could get FMT treatment for my condition?

    Thanks,

    David Alden

    1. Hi David,

      So sorry you’re dealing with this. As stated above, The Taymount Clinic is a good option. Good luck!

  15. My 3rd visit to 3rd GI DR, HAD HIM refusing to give me the breath test for SIBO, saying its extremely rare, and definetly not going to consider FTM.
    Ive been immobolized with this illness for 5 years, worsened by severe Complex PTSD.
    Ive spent thousands, done every therapy and diet (with 2 short spells of relief) …. now doing ileocecal valve massage. TY

    1. I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this. SIBO is not actually all that rare. I’d recommend picking up a copy of Dr Ruscio’s book, “Healthy Gut, Healthy You” as it walks through a DIY protocol to help overcome stubborn gut issues (including SIBO). You can find it here: https://www.drruscio.com/getgutbook Good luck!

  16. My 3rd visit to 3rd GI DR, HAD HIM refusing to give me the breath test for SIBO, saying its extremely rare, and definetly not going to consider FTM.
    Ive been immobolized with this illness for 5 years, worsened by severe Complex PTSD.
    Ive spent thousands, done every therapy and diet (with 2 short spells of relief) …. now doing ileocecal valve massage. TY

    1. I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this. SIBO is not actually all that rare. I’d recommend picking up a copy of Dr Ruscio’s book, “Healthy Gut, Healthy You” as it walks through a DIY protocol to help overcome stubborn gut issues (including SIBO). You can find it here: https://www.drruscio.com/getgutbook Good luck!

  17. I underwent a FMT for C Diff that was not responding to antibiotic treatment. I’m happy to say I’ve been C Diff free for over 4 months. I’m a true believer in FMT.

  18. I underwent a FMT for C Diff that was not responding to antibiotic treatment. I’m happy to say I’ve been C Diff free for over 4 months. I’m a true believer in FMT.

    1. I’m going to pass this question along for Dr R to hopefully answer in an upcoming listener q+a episode of the podcast. Stay tuned!

    1. I’m going to pass this question along for Dr R to hopefully answer in an upcoming listener q+a episode of the podcast. Stay tuned!

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