A MAN did DIY poo transplants using his mum’s faeces – then started experiencing her menopause symptoms.
But Charlie Curtis reckons it was all worth it as the procedures have practically cured him of his debilitating Crohn’s disease.
Charlie, from Toronto, Canada, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis – inflammation of the lower digestive system – aged 18.
He later discovered he had Crohn’s – a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Despite taking medication to control his symptoms, Charlie was allegedly going to the toilet up to 40 times a day.
He also lost 4st 9lbs (29.5kg) in just two months, bled a lot, and was in near-constant agony.
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His condition, which causes diarrhoea, fatigue, stomach pain, weight loss and fevers, got so bad he dropped out of university and was hospitalised.
Desperate for him to get his life back, his mum Sky contacted the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Sydney, Australia, which specialises in IBD treatments.
Director Thomas Borody suggested she donate her healthy stools in the form of a poo transplant, and that’s exactly what she did.
The technology, known as faecal microbiota transplant (FMT), involves moving healthy poo from a donor to a patient’s gut to help rebalance their microbiome.
It can be inserted into the stomach via a tube through the nose, into the rectum by colonoscopy or enema kit, or by oral capsules.
But FMT is only approved in the US and Canada for a specific, persistent form of bowel infection known as Clostridium difficile, so Charlie and his mum decided to do it all at home.
Sky’s number twos were tested for infections or diseases, and once she got the all-clear in December 2008, Charlie began inserting it into his bottom.
The mother and son did it every day for a month, then slowly reduced the frequency.
After three and a half years of transplanting once a month, Charlie felt almost back to normal.
By 2019, when FMT documentary Designer $h*t was filmed, Charlie was entirely symptom and medication free.
But there was one slight hiccup. During his transplants, the lad experienced some unexpected side effects.
He was sweating a lot, having hot flushes and battling mood swings – almost exactly what his mum was going through too.
When I was actually doing the procedure, I’d feel tingling inside of me – like it was working.
“At the time, I was going through the menopause – and so was he,” Sky told director Saffron Cassaday.
“He’d be covered in sweat and beetroot red.”
Whether his mum’s poo was what was causing his symptoms remains unclear.
But Borody said that faeces can “transmit high levels of hormones” when transplanted, so it’s possible that Charlie had absorbed Sky’s hormones from her poo – though he doesn’t regret his decision for a second.
“When I was actually doing the procedure, I’d feel tingling inside of me,” he said.
“It felt healthy, like it was working.”
He added: “I have never felt this healthy.
“It’s something that I would do 100 times over in my life.
“I feel like I have a new digestive system, a new body, and it’s working on my behalf now, which is great.
“I feel normal again.”
Sky told the Toronto Star in 2011: “His life before involved lying in bed, lumping to the bathroom to poo blood.
“He could hardly walk because his joints were so swollen and he would lie on the bathroom floor and weep with the pain.
“Now what does he do? He’s back at school and he’s got a girlfriend.”