Come on a journey with Lesley Paterson, World Champion Triathlete & Lymes Disease sufferer. Lesley is about to embark on her FMT journey with our clinic. She will be sharing her journey with us through vlogs, blogs and Facebook LIVE.
BLOG 12/02/2017 – SEEING THE WORLD
All I can describe it as is living your life in a world of fog. That has been the way for the last few years…I’ve had moments where the door has opened but long stretches of being bogged down with no light at the end of the tunnel. When your gut doesn’t operate, so many of the other functions in your body don’t. You lack energy, you have sugar highs and lows, your hormones are comprised, and your immune system is weak.
After 5 FMT treatments, this weekend has been the best I’ve felt in a long time. Calm, happy, energized, strong, positive, enlightened and grateful. Damn, I’ve even had my sense of humor back! Each day this week has been different though and I’m under no illusion that there are many ups and downs to come, however, the overwhelming comfort that I’m committed to making change in my body keeps the positive energy flowing.
After day 3 I felt amazing. I retained the FMT for 90 mins but just felt less bloated, full of energy and ready to conquer the world. However, by the end of day 3, I was tired, bloated, I had stomach cramps and was generally feeling low. Luckily the staff at Taymount know the drill – Glenn even calls it the Thursday blues – as by day 4, most patients will have a downturn as their gut begins having an internal war. My therapist talked me through it and educated me on so many different things occurring in my body and how to view it.
Most importantly, educating me on how everybody reacts to the treatment differently. In addition, how the immune system, now bolstered by the new bacteria in the gut, starts to become more active. For me this could bring about other issues, namely, my body trying to fight my Lyme’s disease.
Either which way, I’m loving this journey and excited to learn more about my body and how to maximize my potential to thrive in life…this is just the beginning….
Blog 07/02/2017 – My first day
Full of poop anyone? Well that would be me!! Never thought I’d be so proud to say that, but today I am!
Its been my first day at the Taymount Clinic and what an experience! Its funny when you’ve been looking forward to and anticipating a therapy for so long; you’re partly excited, partly nervous…more than anything, you hope its going to be the kind of experience that changes your life. My gut instinct tells me that’s exactly what’s going to happen…
My prep for this procedure has been relatively simple. Over the last few weeks at home in the USA. I’ve been taking some stool softeners and then three days before flying out, I had three colonic’s. As Glenn Taylor (Director of Science at Taymount) kept on reiterating, “we want a squeaky clean colon before we do the FMT”. Now anyone who has not had a colonic, spoiler alert, this ain’t no fun. Now I like to poop more than most, but this kind of treatment is like having continuous diarrhoea for 45 mins in front of someone you have never met before.
Anyway’s, as I entered the clinic and was introduced to my lovely FMT Nutritional Therapist & Nicola, little did I know that the morning would start with another colonic! Luckily Nicola is a top notch pro at it as well as being just a down right lovely girl. I was in quite a bit of pain but she babied me though it and I came out the other end…or rather I had the world came out my other end.
Now squeaky clean, the FMT procedure started. Nicola talked me through the process and showed me the big syringes – one filled with the microbial soup (and yes it is still brown!) and the other filled with saline solution. She then gently inserted a long skinny tube up my back side deep in to my colon, attached the FMT syringe and pumped that in. Next up was the saline solution to ensure the FMT got nice and far in to the colon. Compared to any colonic, this was a piece of cake! Nicole then tilted the bed upward so my legs were in the air and proceeded to massage my tummy to embed the FMT in to the colon walls.
And so the clock started! The goal was then to hold in the FMT in as long as possible – preferably an hour and more if possible to allow time for the bacteria to colonise. Being the competitive athlete I am, the watch came out, the timer started and the competition began. “What’s the longest someone has kept it in?” I asked Nicola….
Fast forward 1 hr 45 mins and I’m in the parking lot, about to poop myself. This might not have been the best choice to make it a competitive venture my first time out. The local pub in Hitchin will never be the same again.
So, day one and I’m feeling great. Positive, energized and excited for this journey. I’ve had a chance to meet the wonderful and inspiring clinic owners, Glenn and Enid. Their passion is palpable and their knowledge in this field simply supreme. They are changing the world, one colon at a time!!
Vlog Day 1 07/02/2017 – A little light training
Blog 04/02/2017 – DON’T JUDGE ME!
Why are you eating that? Why can’t you eat this? Go on, just have a try…
How many times do I hear this in a week? As a professional athlete, my body is my equipment for work and so it needs to be in tip top shape, ready for battle at any time! My fuel for my Ferrari!
However, as the years have passed, and the gut issues have gotten worse, it’s been harder and harder to find those days of glory and the right fuel to fuel them! My immune system is trashed, my adrenals are shot, my hormones are all out of whack and fatigue is ever present.
What most people don’t realize is that when someone’s gut is as compromised as mine, any small thing can cause me to have a flare up – fish that’s not quite fresh, products that have hidden gluten in them, too much fat in a dish, pork….just random stuff! The fall out from eating any one of these things is nausea, fatigue, brain fog, weak muscles, man the list is endless. And THIS is why my constant companion on a dinner date is my Tupperware – bringing my own food to the party is the only way!
So how did my gut get this compromised? Antibiotics, high stress, endurance training, high inflammatory foods (this is pretty contentious but I believe foods like gluten, dairy, seed oils, artificial sweeteners, sugar), toxic burden through chemicals in my home, atmosphere pollutants, and Lymes disease. Judging by this list, the fact of the matter is, most people probably have pretty compromised guts too, they either don’t realize they have the symptoms and chalk it up to “getting old” or “stress” or something equally as benign, or have symptoms they would never relate to their gut being faulty – fatigue, anxiety, depression, hormone imbalance.
A great start to figure out how your gut is functioning is to take the American Gut Project test or the UBiome test that sequences your gut DNA. In addition, some kind of detailed stool test that can outline what kind of issues you have going on. If your microbiome is not top notch, a treatment like the Taymount’s FMT procedure could be just the ticket to increase your energy levels, help with anxiety/depression, and generally improve your immune functioning. In addition, looking hard and fast at your lifestyle, the foods you eat and how to manage the toxic burdens on your system!
So if you see me out and about with my Tupperware, stop asking those questions as you know why!!!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had gut issues. Even as a wee girl (in fact the only wee girl in an all boys rugby team), I was known as the “farter”. In fact, anyone that knew me well enough, knew to avoid me before a big tournament …when I got nervous I let the smellies rip! I guess I didn’t think too much about this fact until I was interviewed by Glenn Taylor, director of the Taymount Clinic in the UK. The Taymount Clinic is a well regarded, top notch facility that administers Fecal Microbial Transplants – FMT’s. Yup you heard it – getting someone else’s poop put inside you. Okay!!
For some this might seem like an extreme measure, but for me, its what I consider to be the most exciting health decision I’ve made in this debilitating 8 year medical journey that continues to tear apart my life. I might be a 3 x Triathlon World Champion striving for physical and mental greatness, but at this point in my life, just to be able to function at any sort of “normal” capacity would be amazing!
After contracting all sorts of parasite infections, dealing with chronic nausea, fatigue, bloating, gas, loose stools, food intolerances, hormone issues, anxiety and depression…oh and Lymes disease, I’ve done a myriad of research which has always led me back to role of the gut in health.
The new hot topic in the current medical field is the microbiome of the gut – the make up of bacteria that a person houses in their intestine. I’m not going to get in to the science behind all of this as if you’re interested, just google it. Ultimately, through years of antibiotic exposure, toxins, food health, lymes disease, chronic stress, my gut has take a major hit. And from what we now know in science, a compromised microbiome has dire consequences on your immune system, systemic inflammation, mental health, hormones, weight, energy systems…need I go on?
So why an FMT procedure? My own bacteria in my gut is so compromised that I need a donors microbiome to be implanted in me to have a good chance of building back what I’ve lost after all of this abuse.
I’m excited at the prospect of starting a fresh so to speak – reworking my diet with the help of Taymount nutritionists and giving myself a fighting chance of restoring my immune system and building my body back up to where it should be…and maybe a few more world titles too??
The Food Challenge 15/02/17
It’s NOT a diet! Those words reverberated around my brain as I pushed the trolley around Sainsbury’s. I have been told by the Taymount clinic that the goal after getting FMT treatments is to feed those bacteria and help them grow and expand and in order to do that, diversity is key. SO instead of my usual “race” around the supermarket, I actually spent time perusing each aisle and contemplating how many different foods I could cram in during the week! In the words of Glen and Enid, “diversity on the plate is diversity in the gut”!
This is by no means an excuse to eat crappy foods and step out of my paleo low inflammatory diet that I believe helps my gut, but it is a remit to search for foods – namely proteins, veggies and fruits, spices and herbs, that I either haven’t tried before or get lazy about including in my diet. Heck we all do it – in a busy stressful lifestyle, we stick to what we know and buy the same foods over and over again. My hubby can testify to that – “salmon, broccoli and white rice tonight babe? Oh yeah!”
However, this diversity is both liberating and nerve racking. I’ve spent the last 5 years being incredibly restrictive and seeing any new addition to the plate causing bloating, stomach cramps and a morning on the toilet. I have been prepared to put that aside to focus on the long-term goal of building strong and robust gut flora that can rebuild my immune system and fight off my lymes disease.
Here are some examples so far:
Smoked haddock with baked celeriac, parsnips, asparagus and mashed curried turnip with a dollop of ghee to liven things up.
Watercress salad with beetroot, chillied hearts of palm, sweet potato fries and radish/celery puree. Some fried duck steaks with shallots on the side!
Beef stew with a plenty of red wine in there to get things going. Balsamic glazed Brussel sprouts and some purple kale. White rice on the side with some olive oil, garlic and coriander mix.
Sounds pretty yummy to me right? Cap it off with a hazelnut milk hot chocolate with pure cocoa powder and maple syrup and everyone’s a winner.
Seems like the diversity hot topic in politics is also on the plate….