“No, it is not life-threatening, but it is a condition that has caused and had a severe negative impact on my mental and physical health.”
Australian model Alyce Crawford recently opened up about her difficulties learning to deal with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a medical condition that causes painful abdominal cramping, bloating, and digestive problems.
“For the last 3 years, I have suffered with IBS,” she wrote in a Instagram post. “The symptom I suffer with specifically is severe bloating. It began literally overnight while I was living in America. I woke up one morning, my stomach was extremely bloated & I was experiencing sharp stabbing pains. From that day on, my life was never the same.”
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BELOW👇 A very honest & very personal post that I am sharing in the hope that it can help someone else. *NOTE* This story has a positive ending so if you read it, read it all! For the last 3 years, I have suffered with IBS. The symptom I suffer with specifically is severe bloating. It began literally overnight while I was living in America. I woke up one morning, my stomach was extremely bloated & I was experiencing sharp stabbing pains. From that day on, my life was never the same. This illness is often very misunderstood & overlooked a lot by medical professionals & the general public alike. No, it is not life threating, but it is a condition that has caused & had a severe negative impact on my mental & physical health. To me, that alone is enough to be considered an illness. There was never 1 day in 3 years, that I ever felt completely well or healthy. The repercussions of feeling this way not only effected my mental & physical health, but effected relationships & my work as a model. For those of you reading who suffer from IBS or a similar condition (or know someone suffering) will understand & know exactly what I am talking about, & others may scroll past this post. But this is real, it hurts & I am sharing my experience & how I came to get better so it can possibly help someone else. The above photo on the right where I am bloated was the stomach I put up with 90% of the time for 3 years. The photo on the left is my stomach NOW 90% of the time (+ 4kgs of body fat down compared to the photo on the right). No woman or man is ever going feel good about themselves, while physically looking like the photo on the right. Looking this way was just one of the battles, the other was how I felt. Sick, nauseous, sore, unmotivated & very lethargic. Feeling like this often made the smallest thing in my day a struggle (getting dressed for example). All I wanted to wear, was my pyjamas & not move from a laying down position, as sitting upright hurt too much. *CONTINUED IN COMMENTS
She wrote that the photo on the right is the stomach she put up with 90% of the time for three years, while the photo on the left is her stomach now after figuring out how to work with her symptoms.
She described some of the difficulties of living with IBS: feeling sick, nauseous, sore, unmotivated, and very lethargic. She wrote that the worst part was having no idea how to feel better or find treatment, even after seeing numerous doctors.
Finally, she was able to find some relief after consulting a friend’s dietician, who gave her some eating plans to follow. Crawford admits that they’re pretty strict plans, but she was willing to stick to them if it meant finding relief.
“Yes, missing out at times was hard BUT healing my stomach was so important to me. I knew the longer I did the right thing for my health, the faster my stomach would heal and I would therefore be able to enjoy in the long run,” she wrote.
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IBS REALITY A long but (hopefully) helpful post below👇👇 Please read until the end💟💟 . These 2 photos are examples of me living a balanced lifestyle while also suffering from IBS. Last night I wanted to enjoy some delicious guacamole (which I haven't eaten in months), however avocado, garlic and onion all effect my IBS (high FODMAP foods), and my stomach bloated immediately. . Last Saturday night I was planning on going out to dinner with my friends and boyfriend. We must have called 6 restaurants prior to ensure there was something I could eat. Although every restaurant we contacted tried to accommodate me, none of them could. Situations like this takes the joy out of doing something as simple and enjoyable as dining out with your friends and/or partner, not to mention I hated that I was being difficult (luckily for me, my friends and boyfriend are the best and they completely understand my situation…and love me anyway haha). In the end, we had to compromise so we could still enjoy our night. My friends instead came over to our house where they brought wine, and everyone ordered take away👍👍 . Situations like this make me realise the importance of positivity and resilience. A part of me was sad and frustrated, but I was determined to make sure it wouldn't ruin our night. The way I often view unfortunate situations are👉you have 2 options: 1. Either feel upset, feel sorry for yourself and let that negativity ruin your day/night/month Or 2. pick yourself up, find a way to turn the situation around as best you can and keep going!!!!!!👊👊👊👊👊👊 What would have been the use if I chose to be negative and let the situation upset me? We would have probably all ended up doing nothing. *CONTINUED IN COMMENTS
She also admitted that while her symptoms are not life-threatening, the condition has had a severe impact on her mental and physical health. “The repercussions of feeling this way not only effected my mental and physical health, but affected relationships and my work as a model. For those of you reading who suffer from IBS or a similar condition (or know someone suffering) will understand and know exactly what I am talking about.”
Crawford ended the post on a cheerful note, writing “I do really want to reiterate that my struggles, my journey, finally finding a way to manage my health and my experiences are what have all lead me to where I am today so I can’t be angry about my situation because of those positive outcomes alone!!!”
She also shared her plans to study nutrition at a university, in hopes of helping other people with similar issues.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome can cause bloating and abdominal pain, as well as diarrhoea, constipation, and excess gas. You should always consult your physician if you’re experiencing any unusual changes in your digestive habits.