Full of $#@!

So, here’s a new use for poo…

WHAT? you say – there is only one use for poo and that’s to go down a toilet. WRONG!

798035-fecal-transplants

Faecal Microbiota transplantation has been viewed by many doctors as the crack-pot end of medicine but a recent study has suggested it might have a use.

What I’m talking about is a healthy person, with no nasty infections, donating their poo to have it mushed up with saline and then inserted via a tube into the intestine of the recipient. The idea is that medications like antibiotics kill off the natural bacteria in our bowels and that the usual probiotics containing lactobacillus may not replace the full range of natural organisms we need for health.

To explain the process simply, stool is put in a blender with saline (salt water), and poured into a syringe. The sick patient is then given the freshly homogenised human stool via a colonoscopy, which is done through the rectum.

The transplants are currently used to treat gut bacterial conditions such as colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Clostridium difficile, or C. diff – an infection which causes diarrhoea so severe that it kills thousands of people every year.

Tests are also being done in Europe to look at what else FMT can be used for – it is thought to be effective in treating metabolic issues, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and neurological conditions including Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinsons.

“Contrary to popular belief, stool has no waste in it – it’s a mass of good bacteria,” says Professor Borody, director of the Centre for Digestive Diseases , who does one to six transplants a week in his Five Dock clinic.

“The incoming bacteria are capable of killing bad bacteria and recolonising your gut, restoring your body’s balance and leading to a resolution of your symptoms.”

While it might sound gross, the results speak for themselves. Prof Borody has had people flying in from as far afield as Paris to undergo stool transplants in his surgery.

Many of his patients are C. diff sufferers who have been plagued with recurrent diarrhoea for years, but are cured within days.

So if FMT is so successful, why isn’t it more widely available?

“Some people just can’t get past the ick factor,” says Prof Borody. “It’s similar to any new theory or practice when it’s introduced – is very hard to get old dogs to learn new tricks. Little interest has been shown within the pharmaceutical industry. Young doctors are very much on board with FMT, it’s the old farts who are holding us back.”

Some enterprising individuals have taken up doing the job of doing it on their own by recruiting stool from their spouse or family. Some have had surprisingly good results as far as combating Crohn’s or Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms (but all the links I found in regards to this had been deleted – so, perhaps you might not want to try this one alone.)

Trans-POO-sions

I haven’t spoken about poo in a while, have I? So, here’s a new use for poo…

WHAT? you say – there is only one use for poo and that’s to go down a toilet. WRONG!

798035-fecal-transplants

Faecal Microbiota transplantation has been viewed by many doctors as the crack-pot end of medicine but a recent study has suggested it might have a use.

What I’m talking about is a healthy person, with no nasty infections, donating their poo to have it mushed up with saline and then inserted via a tube into the intestine of the recipient. The idea is that medications like antibiotics kill off the natural bacteria in our bowels and that the usual probiotics containing lactobacillus may not replace the full range of natural organisms we need for health.

To explain the process simply, stool is put in a blender with saline (salt water), and poured into a syringe. The sick patient is then given the freshly homogenised human stool via a colonoscopy, which is done through the rectum.

The transplants are currently used to treat gut bacterial conditions such as colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Clostridium difficile, or C. diff – an infection which causes diarrhoea so severe that it kills thousands of people every year.

Tests are also being done in Europe to look at what else FMT can be used for – it is thought to be effective in treating metabolic issues, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and neurological conditions including Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinsons.

“Contrary to popular belief, stool has no waste in it – it’s a mass of good bacteria,” says Professor Borody, director of the Centre for Digestive Diseases , who does one to six transplants a week in his Five Dock clinic.

“The incoming bacteria are capable of killing bad bacteria and recolonising your gut, restoring your body’s balance and leading to a resolution of your symptoms.”

While it might sound gross, the results speak for themselves. Prof Borody has had people flying in from as far afield as Paris to undergo stool transplants in his surgery.

Many of his patients are C. diff sufferers who have been plagued with recurrent diarrhoea for years, but are cured within days.

So if FMT is so successful, why isn’t it more widely available?

“Some people just can’t get past the ick factor,” says Prof Borody. “It’s similar to any new theory or practice when it’s introduced – is very hard to get old dogs to learn new tricks. Little interest has been shown within the pharmaceutical industry. Young doctors are very much on board with FMT, it’s the old farts who are holding us back.”

Some enterprising individuals have taken up doing the job of doing it on their own by recruiting stool from their spouse or family. Some have had surprisingly good results as far as combating Crohn’s or Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms (but all the links I found in regards to this had been deleted – so, perhaps you might not want to try this one alone.)

Obsessed with Poo!

poo 1After another uncomfortable visit to the toilet, I decided to Google ‘Focal Nodular Hyperplasia’ and ‘IBS.’ I found absolutely nothing that linked the two but I did find another study that shows that nearly all patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Diarrhea (IBS-D) actually have a different condition!

It was found that patients thought to have IBS-D – a condition which affects up to 15 per cent of the US population (35 million Americans (US study so US statistics – I’m sure the figures apply to other countries, too)) – may in fact have a different condition altogether.

This was the largest study to date and indicates that doctors may use IBS-D as a blanket diagnosis, rather than cite a collection of separate medical conditions.

According to the study, 98 per cent of participants were found to have a diagnosis different from the initial presentation of IBS-D. This study refutes the existence of IBS-D as a single medical entity and implies that this diagnosis is simply a catch-all diagnosis. The findings also revealed that 68 per cent of the participants actually had conditions related to treatable (that means that 68 per cent of us could actually feel better!) bile acid induced diarrhea as a result of gallbladder dysfunction.

A dysfunctional gallbladder that produces an abnormal amount of bile causing chronic diarrhea can be very treatable, as opposed to IBS, for which physicians and patients often search for treatment to alleviate the discomfort, often to no avail.

bird_pooAccording to the study, once patients were accurately diagnosed, 98 per cent experienced a favourable response (that is, the elimination of urgency and incontinence for at least three months). Wouldn’t that be nice? The end of a lifetime of discomfort, unease and frustration!

“The results of this study demonstrate quite convincingly that many patients may needlessly be going through the physical and emotional pain of IBS and functional diarrhea when, in reality, they may be afflicted with something else that is easily treatable,” said Saad F. Habba, M.D., gastroenterologist at Overlook Hospital and the study author.

Test results

  • 41 per cent were found to have Habba Syndrome (a relatively new entity relating dysfunctional gallbladder with chronic diarrhea , which is successfully treated with bile acid binding agents);
  • 23 per cent of the study subjects were diagnosed with post cholecystectomy diarrhea;
  • 8 per cent had lactose intolerance; and
  • 7 per cent had microscopic colitis.

Doesn’t quite add up to the 98 per cent – but it still shows that there is some hope!

 

And It All Comes Back to the Poo!

***This is NOT dinnertime reading! Do NOT read if you are easily offended, nauseous, or just don’t like to talk about bowel movements***

Isn’t it funny, we all go to the toilet, but we don’t like to talk about it, particularly number twos.

Today, I had a ‘normal’ bowel movement – but what is considered to be a ‘normal’ bowel movement?

A bowel movement should be soft and easy to pass, though some people may have harder or softer stools than others. In general, stool should be brown or golden brown, be formed, have a texture similar to peanut butter, and have a size and shape similar to a sausage. In many cases, a stool that varies a bit from this description is no cause for alarm, especially if it is an isolated incident.

It seems that most of us, especially those with IBS issues, never have a ‘normal’ bowel movement. In fact, our ‘normal’ is more likely to be those ‘really difficult to push out rabbit droppings type,’ or the ‘rush to the closest toilet explosion,’ or even the ‘my ass is dribbling type.’

Most of us who live with FM also have IBS. FM and IBS are co-diagnosed in up to 70% of FM patients. IBS (also known as irritable colon, spastic colon, mucous colitis, or spastic colitis) is a disorder of the bowel, or large intestine. It is characterized by severe abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and a variety of other symptoms.

It has been estimated that as many as two-thirds of all IBS patients have FM, and as many as 70% of FM patients may also have IBS. These statistics differ greatly from the corresponding rates in the general population, where only 10%-15% of individuals are estimated to have IBS. It is unknown if the two conditions are related symptomatically or causally, or if their frequent co-occurrence is merely a coincidence.

Adding pain killers to the mix can be frustrating and painful.

Now, the ‘really difficult to push out rabbit droppings type’ tends to be a constipation. Constipation means different things to different people. For many people, it simply means infrequent stools. For others, however, constipation means hard stools, difficulty passing stools (straining), or a sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement. This is called fecal impaction, a condition in which stool hardens in the rectum and prevents the passage of any stool.  According to reports in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, constipation or infrequent stools occur in 30% of FM sufferers.

Constipation also can alternate with diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is an increase in the frequency of bowel movements, an increase in the looseness of stool or both. It is caused by increased secretion of fluid into the intestine, reduced absorption of fluid from the intestine or rapid passage of stool through the intestine. This is the other two types of (what I refer to as) our ‘normal.’

My point to all this crap (Ha! Ha! Lol!) is that I get used to the IBS stuff: I have cramps, I take Buscopan; I have diarrhoea for too long, I take Immodium; and, if I’m constipated, greasy fish and chips seems to do the trick. But when I have a ‘normal’ poo, it feels like it is dragging all my insides out with it. It’s tiring and it’s physically draining. It leaves my body feeling empty (but not in a good way!).

So, is this what ‘normal’ feels like?

Further Reading: 

 

For the Love of…Writing

The art of writing is being lost. Perhaps the most significant sign of this is that, for the first time in 35 years, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was not awarded.

I am not talking about the act of physically putting pen to paper but, rather, the expression of one’s thoughts, feelings and experiences. This art, like law, is something to be practiced, never to be perfected.

I preface this post by not professing to be a master of the art. I am merely a great aficionado. I love to read (although my ability to concentrate on extended pieces of prose has diminished in direct proportion to the period of time that I have had fibromyalgia). But, I had forgotten that I also love to write. I loved to write fully referenced and foot-noted essays of law directed at academia. AND I also love to write this blog. Perhaps I simply love to write for a specific audience.

I always attempt to ensure that my syntax and spelling are correct; I try to make sure that my writing is easy to follow (except when I am trying to give you a perverse glimpse at the internal workings of my mind – then you gets whatever happens!); and, mostly, I try to keep to the topic (that one doesn’t always happen, either!)

I may be showing my pre-technology age when I say that I cannot stand reading pieces with lazy abbreviations, for example: 2 instead of to or too; U instead of you; da instead of the (although, having recently joined TWITTER, I can vaguely understand it – all posts must be under 140 characters long); or too many spelling mistakes; or, especially, the mis-use of homophones (that’s a new word for me, too – a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning).

For us, FibroMAGICians (this is my new word), writing is a blessing.

  • Writing allows us/me to express what is going on in our heads. If I need to search for a word, because it is lost in the eerie recesses of my addled mind, I can use the thesaurus or, better yet, I can leave it out until I remember later (ummm…if I remember to return!)
  • I can choose the audience for whom I am writing (at least when I first started. Now, I ‘know’ some of you and, although it may not always seem like it, I try to write so that YOU can understand and/or enjoy what I write).
  • I can write about anything – it is not often that I am given an opportunity to discuss ‘poo’-ing and sex positions in the same place.
  • I can edit what I have written at a later stage. This medium allows me to re-read what I have written, omit parts that are REALLY boring and insert the stuff that I forgot.

Can you think of a better place for a FibroMAGICian to dwell?
Glitter Photos
[Glitterfy.com – *Glitter Photos*]

An Honest Admission

Here’s something I refuse to put on Facebook (but how do I stop that permanent link?). It’s honest, candid, frank, and not ‘in mixed company’ conversation, but:

poo 2I hurt when I have a poo (that’s the technical term!)*. It feels like my insides are being dragged out with the waste.

And I have SO much trouble wiping myself (hurts my hands, difficult to move that way, etc).

* Did you know if you try to look up POO or SHIT or BOWEL MOVEMENT in the Microsoft Word thesaurus, there are no results found.