Living with an illness that’s ruining my intestines

In previous blogs I’ve mentioned that ive been unwell but never gone into what’s actually wrong with me, it’s still very ongoing now and will be for a long time, I wanted to let you in to my story of what I’m dealing with on a daily basis and have been for the past 9 years.

At the age of 21 I started to become ill with regards to being bloated a lot, and having headaches, feeling tired and drained, I was unsure what it was at the time and thought I was anemic, I went to the Drs and they did blood tests and they came back fine, they told me to keep an eye on it and come back if it continues, I kept an eye on it and a few weeks passed and it was still happening, so I went back to my Drs and he weighed me and I had lost just under a stone in weight in 3wks which was not good as at the time I was petite in size anyway.

I was referred to the park hospital in Nottingham and went to see a specialist, I had lots of ongoing tests done on my stomach and more blood tests to determine what was wrong and it came back that I was allergic to gluten and wheat and needed to cut it out of my diet, I saw a dietician who helped me with foods I could eat as at the time there where no supermarkets that stocked gf food unlike nowadays and theirs still not a big choice, I changed my diet and this stopped the bloating and the other symptoms I was getting at the time.

The symptoms marked in black are most common for ibd, I would advise if you suffer with any of these seek advice from your dr as you don’t want to ignore it as its not normal for your body to react like this.

A few years had passed and I was still watching what I ate but it was very difficult as my favourite food is toast and pasta, which contained the things I was allergic too, every time I would go out for dinner I had to be awkward and ask for things that weren’t on the menu or they would have to adapt them for me and not many restuarants where that accommodating and still aren’t now if I’m honest.

My weight had plummeted to just 6st11 and I was only 5ft3 I lost so much weight and couldn’t keep it on, my dr gave me some complan to have which is a milkshake but a meal all in one! I lived on this for a while and then got sick of it and the thought of ever having it again makes me feel sick, my love for food was becoming a love hate relationship as everything I used to enjoy eating I was going off very quickly as there is only so much veg,rice and chicken you can eat.

More recently my illness has been getting a lot worse my stomachs started bloating up again mainly on my left side where my intestines are and it makes me look pregnant, the pains I get are unbareable to the point I’m in tears, cramped up in crippling pain I couldn’t get out of bed for days and my appetite had completely gone, everything I ate made me sick  and i was unable to go to work most days, so I went back to my Drs and told him my symptoms, he arranged for blood tests again and some scans at hospital on my stomach.

All the results came back fine apart from my pancreas is higher than it should be and I’m now lactose intolerant and milk and yogurt makes me sick, I was told to not eat any fruit or raw foods like salad, or uncooked vegetables as my stomach can’t digest them like most people’s can, at this stage I am literally running out of food options and it’s the Bain of my life everyday planning meals, as I can’t eat most things I want.

My diet consists of;

  • Gf food
  • Wheat free food
  • Lactose free food
  • No meat
  • No raw vegetables or salad
  • No fish (i hate fish even fish fingers)

My food options are so limited and it’s horrible my body is lacking so many vitamins and nutrients as I can’t give my body what it needs, I am loosing my hair, I bruise very easily, my skin has got worse and is very thin, my eyes are always brown underneath and I have to overdo the concealer to cover it up.

I am currently under the hospital and specialist for ongoing procedures and tests on my body as what I am suffering with is inflammatory bowel disease which affects my intestines and is very painful everytime I eat food, my stomach is not breaking the food down and it’s staying in my body which makes me bloated and in pain, there is no cure for this other than watching what I eat daily or I can have an operation if it gets too bad, I am waiting on an mri  scan on my stomach for further investigating, I am unable to get free prescriptions for the food I have to buy as its very expensive but you only get a prescription if you have celiac or crohns  disease (it doesn’t count for me having ibd).

This on the left is what happens to my body it’s called ulcerative colitis aka inflammatory bowel disease.

I will always miss food as my weakness is cake, doughnut, toast and anything Italian their is more choice and options out there in supermarkets and restaurants but the uk has a long way to go unlike America, America has a vast amount of gf food available in all stores and I was able to eat anything I wanted and not get ill.

What worries me most since being allergic to wheat and gluten is what actually goes into the food we eat, I have read up on ingredients in foods here and it’s full of chemicals and preservatives that aren’t good for anyone, the bread sold in England by well known brands  use formainted wheat or bleached wheat to make the bread look whiter, these are all harming my stomach, in america they state in bold writing ( unbleached wheat, german wheat etc) this never harmed me for the two weeks i ate it, yet one bite in the uk and i can be in agony as its posining me.

My battle with this is ongoing and it affetcs my daily life and eating out, but ide rather know whats posining me and my body now than in a few years become more ill for not knowing.

I hope this helps some people and clears up what i have to go through everyday, i am now back to a size 6/8 weighing 7st2 and trying to remain healthy and get better, everyday is different.


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