LEAH’S PERSONAL STORY

I’m 30 years old and my noticeable stomach issues started when I was about 20, I remember living in a student house in Uni and literally sprinting to the bathroom so I didn’t have an accident. At first I just thought I’d eaten something off, but days turned into weeks turned into months. My housemates were so concerned they made me go to the doctors and one came with me, I was prescribed omeprazole and told to keep a food diary and sent on my way. That appointment made me feel so not cared about and like I was complaining about nothing that I’ve suffered alone for 10 years now trying to manage symptoms of god knows what by myself. Over the years my symptoms changed from diarrhoea, to constipated for a few days followed by diarrhoea for a few days and repeat, and the past couple of years it’s mostly constipation with diarrhoea every now and again. The last year for 2 the pain has been so severe at times I’ve been crying, literally rolling around in pain, I’ve almost gone to A&E multiple times but couldn’t face it, too afraid someone would say “it’s just a bit of trapped wind” and roll their eyes at me. It’s got to the point where it’s affecting my life so much I couldn’t deal with it anymore. A few weeks ago I went to my doctor and he suggested it may be IBS, I’m not sure how I feel about this because you hear so many misdiagnosis stories but at least he listened to me, I’m following his instructions (food diary, low fodmap, medication) and going back in a few weeks for a follow up. I’m not sure how I feel about it all, a bit emotional to be honest! I don’t think people realise how horrific these symptoms can be and how much your life is affected. I just know I can’t go on like this, if you know something isn’t right, keep pushing for the treatment you deserve. I know I will be from now on whatever the diagnosis ends up being.

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