A woman gave herself poop transplants to treat IBS, then developed brother’s acne and boyfriend’s depression

As a college student, Daniell Koepke began experiencing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including indigestion, severe constipation, and stabbing pains from trapped gas.

After five years of doctor visits and no effective treatment, Koepke decided to try an experimental procedure called a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), or DIY poop transplant.

This involves introducing a healthy donor’s feces into a patient’s gut to repopulate it with beneficial microbes. She used her brother and her boyfriend as donors, as she recounted in the Netflix documentary “Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut.”

Although some of Koepke’s symptoms improved, she noticed new issues: she developed acne similar to her brother’s and later experienced depression like her boyfriend, according to BI.

Koepke’s gut issues, which she attributed to a diet high in refined sugar and low in fiber, puzzled her doctors. Without a clear diagnosis, they frequently prescribed antibiotics.

As her condition worsened, Koepke eliminated more foods from her diet to avoid symptom flare-ups, resulting in significant weight loss. Currently, she can only consume between 10 and 15 foods without discomfort.

Experts in the documentary cautioned against DIY fecal transplants due to the risks of transferring harmful microbes and potential disease susceptibility.

Initially, Koepke made fecal transplant pills from her brother’s stool. She began gaining weight without changing her diet and could use the bathroom naturally for the first time in three years. However, she developed hormonal acne like her brother.

She then switched to using her boyfriend’s stool, who had no physical health issues but suffered from depression. After the switch, her acne cleared up, but she started experiencing depression.

When Koepke returned to using her brother’s stool, her depression subsided within a week.

A similar experience was documented in the 2023 documentary “Designer $hit.” A man in his mid-30s with Crohn’s disease performed DIY fecal transplants using his mother as a donor for years.

While these transplants seemed to alleviate his gut symptoms, he began experiencing menopause symptoms, including sweating, hot flashes, and mood swings, mirroring those of his menopausal mother.

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