Things you didn’t know about faecal microbiota transplants

Adam Lowe

The Taymount Clinic – the world’s first faecal microbiota transplant clinic (FMT) – is a pioneer in the field of digestive health. Enid Taylor – a naturopathic doctor, nutritionist and co-founder of the Taymount Clinic – offers her thoughts on why this treatment is helping those in desperate need.

Taymount was established by Enid Taylor and her husband Glenn (director of Science). They set up the clinic together because they were both passionate about encouraging diet diversity in their patients. Through this, they discovered FMT has helped patients suffering from gastrointestinal distress, IBS, histamine intolerance, ulcerative colitis and even neurological diseases such as MS and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.

What does the actual process of FMT involve?

Faecal microbiota transplantation 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.

Screening process

The process starts with a healthy donor. We test our donors thoroughly and screen for a wide range of diseases. We 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 we 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. We then make up the implants, which are placed into fast-freeze under lab conditions for later use. The samples are stored until we have re-tested the donors to ensure the continuing safety and quality of the implants.

When the patient is ready to receive the implant, we deliver the sample via a small rectal catheter. We allow one hour for each transplant.

What is involved in a typical client consultation?

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 diarrhoea
    • Irritable bowel syndrome – IBS (post-infectious, post-antibiotic)
    • Neurological conditions such as:
      • ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) / CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome)
      • MS (multiple sclerosis)
      • Parkinson’s disease

Patients have a 30-min consultation either face-to-face or over the telephone. During this time it is determined whether the FMT consultation feels that the patient would be a good candidate for FMT.

If approved for the programme, and if the patient requires clinic availability, we would then ask our bookings department to send clinic availability.

Enid Taylor, Taymount’s clinic director says: ‘I always read books about diet and health and I realised that’s where my passion lies. I followed my passion and trained to be a naturopath, qualifying in 2002. We brought this centuries old practice to the 21st Century, as a way to restore a patient’s natural microbiome. We do this through creating a natural balanced community of bacteria, the “good guys” and the “bad guys”, in the right numbers, then we teach our patients how to feed these new “micro-pets”!

‘I find my work incredibly rewarding because we see some amazing changes in people. It isn’t just a change in their measurable health, it’s positive changes in their attitude and personality – they brighten up and come alive.  It’s the difference between surviving and being alive I think.  The best thing we get told is “I’m back to my old self”, and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of that journey for our patients.’

About Taymount Clinic

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About Adam Lowe

Adam Lowe is an award-winning author, editor and publisher from Leeds, now based in Manchester. He runs Dog Horn Publishing and is Director and Writing Coordinator for Young Enigma, a writer development programme for LGBT young people. He sometimes performs as Beyonce Holes.