When did you get diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis?
I was diagnosed in March 2017; I had been suffering with blood in my stool since January 2017 and quickly saw my doctor and got referred. I had a sigmoidoscopy and when they saw what was going on in my bowel, they diagnosed me with Ulcerative Colitis.
What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative Colitis is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease meaning it causes inflammation and ulcers in your large intestine. It is classed as auto-immune disease, so your body is pretty much attacking itself which means it affects a lot more than just your bowel.
How has your life changed since being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis?
It changed everything completely, I’d be going to the toilet up to 15 times a day, bleeding every time, I was exhausted, hated going anywhere in case I had accidents and it stopped me from being me. Everything I took for granted got snatched away from me and it was so hard.
Is raising awareness important to you? If so why?
Living with a disease that affects your toilet habits, people understandably shy away from talking about it but it is important to me to break that taboo. At the end of the day we all poo so why should people be fearful of going to a doctor if something is not right? Life is too short and precious to waste. I want more people to feel confident in talking about their disease and not feel so alone.
How important do you think it is to find a treatment that works for Ulcerative Colitis?
I think finding a treatment that actually works is the most important thing for those who suffer with Colitis. If you can find a treatment that works, it means the disease can be controlled and that is all I ever wanted when in a flare. My personal trial and error experience of trying to find a successful treatment was so draining mentally and physically but the only thing that keeps you going is the hope of living ‘normally’ again. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis or Pouchitis, you could be eligible for one of our upcoming Pouchitis trials to test new treatments for the condition. To register your interest and find out more information visit https://researchforyou.co.uk/pouchitis-study-1/