Fighting my SIBO!
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"Creating a fundraising campaign is my way of helping my family support me with my need for Microbiota Transplant https://hdtk.co/PYtzP"
— Alix Van Steenberge and 9 other supporters
I’m a 20 year old from Belgium.
About 2 years ago, I started suffering from gastro-intestinal issues, mostly constipation and nausea.
Doctors diagnosed me with IBS, and prescribed high doses of laxatives and I was told it was all psychological.
It was all manageable until all my symptoms and issues escalated. Unable to keep food down without anti-emetics (medication to stop nausea and vomiting), chronic severe bloating, issues with painful trapped wind etc. Yet I was continuously told there was nothing wrong with me; my colonoscopy was normal, endoscopy too apart from Heliobacter Pylori infection.
Eating became an absolute nightmare, and in the end, staying hydrated was becoming an issue because even drinking water was painful and created unbearable symptoms. I tried really hard to keep going but I was losing weight and despite eating, I was malnourished and deficient in many essential vitamins etc.
In the end, I couldn’t eat at all or drink anymore and I was admitted to a gastroenterology ward for 5 weeks, during which the gastroenterologists did some more extensive testing. They tried to tube-feed me because they thought anorexia was the issue but after a few agonising days of tube-feeding, they switched me to Total Parenteral Nutrition via a PICC line (a central line-catheter inserted into a main vein and resting near the heart and hydration fluids. Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN for short) is Intravenous Nutrition that goes through my veins and into my heart. The gastroenterologist decided to start treating me with Domperidone, a medication the speeds up the emptying of the stomach and to help relieve nausea and Prucalopride to stimulate the bowel peristaltism. Ultimately, they decided I probably had a severe case of SIBO which is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth -in other words, a chronic bacterial infection of the small intestine. The small intestine is in normal situations quite sterile compared to the large bowel. And in SIBO, there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.
SIBO causes problems such as nutritional deficiencies, damage of the membrane or lining of the small intestine (also called Leaky Gut). Bacteria consume the food we eat, causing chronic bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain, constipation and/or diarrhoea, belching etc.
It can also cause food allergies and sensitivities. Immune system reactions can also happen when the bacteria enter the blood stream, causing chronic fatigue and body pain. Neurological and cognitive issues can also arise. I was give two weeks of antibiotic therapy which initially helped but not for very long. I was discharged with Home TPN and continue to be fed and hydrated via my PICC line. Since being discharged, I have started other medications and supplements that have helped and have managed to start eating little amounts of protein. My ultimate goal is to get off TPN as it is not without danger (sepsis and liver damage).
I have upcoming appointments with specialists in France and the UK. My family and I are currently hoping for me to be approved for Fecal Microbiota Transplant which could greatly help my recovery and improve my quality of life. However, it is very costly unfortunately.
I know I do not suffer from a condition such as Multiple Sclerosis or Cancer etc but I do suffer, everyday, have a very little quality of life and would give anything to be able to re gain a little normalcy in my life.
I never realised how important my health was until that was taken away from me.
I really more than anything wish to get better but my family and I need a little help, even though I hate asking for it.
The purpose of my Go Fund Me page is to raise enough to be able to get FMT treatment done which is about 5,000 £
My family and I would be eternally grateful to each of you who are willing to help out!
lots of love