emma - my story
I struggled for years with constipation and bloating and never really knew any different - until I was diagnosed with IBS.
At age 18 I was diagnosed with IBS. During A level exam time I noticed persistent stomach pains and assumed the trigger was exam stress however after school finishing the pains never really went away. A couple of trips to A&E, colonoscopies (plural!), an endoscopy, and tests for coeliac disease later it was confirmed I have IBS. From there - and regrettably without the help of a dietician - I started keeping a food diary and noticed big triggers for me are gluten and lactose. It’s not until you have to educate yourself on what is contained in foods that you realise these allergens are in SO MUCH fun stuff, and not just in the obvious things (bread, pizzas, ice creams for example) but from things like certain crisps to sauces and seasonings.
Fast forward 7 years later and to sound totally cliché cutting these out my diet has changed my life. Only looking back now do I realise how little energy I had and how subdued having a gluten and lactose rich diet made me.
My IBS is suspected caused by an autoimmune disease so is likely to get worse over time, but with the availability of ‘free from’ items now having a varied diet is much easier! I’ve gone through the fear of eating out and trying the FODMAP diet and I’m now asking to be referred to a dietician.
It is a constant journey with IBS to find what your body can and can’t manage, but I’m ready to try new things and keep improving my quality of life.
Thanks for reading x