“I was desperate”

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Name: Charlotta Jakobsson
Age: 36
Profession: Journalist

Charlotta Jakobsson, foto: Marco Glijnis.“I suddenly got diarrhoea in the spring of 2012. I couldn’t go out and had to be close to a toilet all day. After two weeks with the problem my family doctor sent me to Södersjukhuset, where I was hospitalised.  I stayed there for 11 days. Antibiotics didn’t help and I was examined for various ailments. But no cause was identified and I was sent home.

At home I continued to feel bad, not least mentally as there was no explanation for my symptoms. I wondered whether I would ever recover. The diarrhoea didn’t stop and so I was hospitalised again. Several examinations were performed, including a capsule endoscopy, in which you get to swallow a camera, as big as a tablet, which takes photos from within the intestines. But it didn’t provide any new explanation. Then I got to try codeine, a painkiller which reduces intestinal motor function as a side effect. It helped against diarrhoea so I could function better in everyday life.

But taking codeine all the time, which is converted to morphine in the body, made me nauseous, tired and slow. By January 2013 I was desperate. Through a doctor at the clinic Hötorgskliniken I came into contact with a research project at Karolinska Institutet which studied patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS. I got a bacterial culture based on another person’s healthy stool delivered to my duodenum by using gastroscopy.

After seven rounds of treatment I recovered. After I got ill, it took one and a half year in total until I recovered completely. The feeling was magical, I still can’t express how happy I am about having the opportunity to receive this treatment”.

As told to Cecilia Odlind, forst published in Swedish in the magazine Medicinsk Vetenskap NO 3/2017. 

BacteriaClinical researchGastrointestinal diseasesMicrobiology