This spring I saved a friend from a terrible illness, maybe even death. No, I didn’t donate a kidney or a piece of my lung. I did it with my stool.
About 18 months ago, my friend, whom I’ll call Gene to protect his privacy, fell sick with stomach pain, intestinal cramps and copious bloody diarrhea. He had ulcerative colitis, a colon riddled with bleeding ulcers.
His gastroenterologist started him on steroids and anti-inflammatories — standard treatment for these ulcers. He felt better and within a few weeks was able to taper off the steroids, which can be dangerous if used over the long term. But a month later, the bleeding and diarrhea were back. He was in horrible pain that worsened when he ate or drank. He couldn’t sleep at night.