I have had severe Ulcerative Pan-Colitis for 6 years. Since first diagnosed at age 36, I have been under the care of a world class team of gastroenterologists at UCSD. I have failed everything and my disease has generally become worse and worse, which (prior to FMT) has left me with no viable alternative to having my entire colon removed. I have been on prednisone and other steroid treatments for the duration of my disease, which have side effects and which have not helped me achieve remission. I have also tried (over many 3-6 periods) virtually every available biologic immunosuppressant drug, including Humira, Remicade, Entyvio, Stelara, Xeljans, Uceris and others. I have also had to have iron infusions and other treatments, including extensive hyperbaric oxygen sessions at UCSD. I have been hospitalized, including for three weeks during the summer of 2018. I have had approximately 12 colonoscopies or flex sig procedures since my diagnosis. I have tried various diets and meal plans. I have tried Chinese herbs. My weight has fluctuated between 170 pounds (without steroids) and 260 pounds (when on heavy steroids).
I have literally changed my whole life to try to cure my disease, to no avail. In summary, despite having the best available treatments and medical attention at UCSD, nothing has worked prior to FMT.
This made everything in my life far more difficult, at home and at work. For years, I felt a constant, dull pain that became unbearable when moving my bowels, and I had to use the bathroom constantly throughout the day and night. I could not eat anything without triggering an immediate urgency to move my bowels. Leaving the house was difficult; travelling was nearly impossible. I regularly saw blood and heavy mucus in my stool. Often this was my first experience each morning, which can be a traumatic and soul-crushing way to start and spend the day. At home, I am a husband and father (of 2 girls), and my disease made everything more complicated and difficult, for me and for my family. At work, at the time of my diagnosis, I was a corporate lawyer with a successful career at a big firm, and which was far too demanding for me to continue as a result of the symptoms of my disease.
I enrolled in the FMT research study at the University of Minnesota in December 2019. At that time, I had severely active Ulcerative Colitis, which had then spread throughout my entire colon. I was depressed, in constant pain, and able to eat only once a day. I had finally agreed to a colectomy and considered FMT a true last resort.
To my great surprise, I started feeling much better within 3 days of first taking the FMT capsules, and all of my symptoms have gradually improved from there.
When taking the FMT capsules, my symptoms are much better. I have no pain, and no blood in my stool. I have much more control over my bowels. My appetite is also much stronger, and I am able to tolerate and even enjoy foods that were completely off the table prior to starting FMT.
This unbelievable lifestyle response to FMT has been objectively demonstrated in my two most-recent colonoscopy reports, which show that my ulcers have mostly healed and are healing.
I am now in the second week of my 4th 8-week course of FMT capsules in 2 years. I have not taken heavy steroids since starting treatment in late 2019. This is the best that I have felt since my disease first started, and I have hope that I will get to 100% remission. And I got my “mojo” back at work and in my career, which could not have happened without FMT. For these reasons, I am forever grateful to FMT and to the incredible team of people at the University of Minnesota that have helped and supported me on this journey.