Kimberly’s harrowing experiences with gastrointestinal issues go back about 10 years. At first she would have random bouts of diarrhea, but be fine for months in between. She didn’t seek medical care until about 7 years later when these issues had become so severe they were interfering in daily life. Her doctor brushed her off due a previous anxiety disorder, insisting these symptoms were anxiety related and only showing interest in medicating Kimberly’s mood.
Kimberly’s situation continued to worsen, to the point she could barely eat anything at all. It became intensely difficult for Kimberly to function, experiencing extreme fatigue, weakness, and constant bathroom emergencies that made leaving the house almost impossible. In desperation she started trying naturopathic doctors, finding a practitioner who recommended a stool sample. This test revealed an infection with the parasite Dientamoeba fragilis, which had been stealing away Kimberly’s nutrients and making her ill for years. She took a course of antibiotics and quickly felt better.
Unfortunately, Kimberly’s symptoms returned worse than ever within a few weeks, this time accompanied by intense stomach pain. Further testing revealed Kimberly was now infected with the C. diff bacterium (Clostridioides difficile) which often grows out of control after taking antibiotics. This bacterium can be antibiotic resistant, and severe cases can cause fatal damage. Luckily, her naturopath recommended a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), a procedure that brought Kimberly’s C. diff infection under control.
In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Kimberly discusses her health journey and the horrific medical gaslighting she experienced along the way. She talks us through the process of receiving a fecal microbiota transplant, a procedure that restores healthy gut bacteria by introducing a sample from a donor. Although her experiences living through this ordeal were intensely horrible, she has learned valuable lessons about listening to her body and accepting help from loved ones.
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