I started having symptoms of IBS when I was about 14 or 15 and I just put up with it and put it down to maybe having a bit of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Then when I was about 18 I went and got a referral from my GP to a Gastroenterologist in Nuneaton because I was having similar symptoms to some that my mum has had, and she's got Crohn's Disease. So we didn't know whether I'd have Crohn's or Colitis or something like that.
So I went and had a colonoscopy and some bloods and some other tests and they all came back negative. It was when I got into my early to mid-twenties that it really became unmanageable.
At that time, I was planning my wedding and I was often getting told by people I know or work colleagues that it was just anxiety and it was triggering my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
After the wedding I was really happy that it was married. I couldn't have been in a better place in my relationship, but my stomach problems were still carrying on. So I went back to my GP and she then referred me to Nuneaton Hospital where I had colonoscopy, endoscopy, some bloods and a scan, which I was then diagnosed with Bile Acid Diarrhoea.
It meant a massive deal to have a diagnosis because it reassured me that I wasn't being dramatic or making things up and it also showed people that were telling me that it was all anxiety that it wasn't and that I actually did have something and also that maybe there was a light at the end of the tunnel and that with treatment I would be able to continue my life and be better.
I don't feel held back anymore. If I don't take my medication, then I know about it, but I keep on top of that and I make sure that I take some spare in case I need them. I still do check where the toilets are in case I need to go but no, it hasn't stopped me from doing anything. I still do all the things that I enjoy. I still go on holiday and still eat what I want to eat, with being careful at the same time.
Listening to other peoples' stories can really help you to come to terms with life with BAD and realise you're not alone.
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