I’ve had a stomach ache for 24 years.
What started as colic, then ‘just growing pains’, then a particularly nasty case of appendicitis, then a wheat intolerance, then type 2 diabetes quickly re-diagnosed as type 1 diabetes, then anorexia, then diabulimia, then post viral fatigue, then every food intolerance under the sun has finally been diagnosed as SIBO. Small intestine bacterial overgrowth. And I’m so relieved.
After a life time of pain, tiredness, discomfort and hiding behind baggy jumpers and a big scarf I finally know why.
My lovely parents tried all sorts when I was growing up, eliminating then testing certain foods from my diet, taking me to specialists and consultants all over the place, ferrying me back and forth from hospital and appointments. They were and still are incredible and amazingly supportive.
My pain has never really made sense, always ticking most but not all of the boxes of various things. We’ve been circling the idea of a leaky gut, autoimmune reactions, bad bacteria but never hit the nail on the head for years. Eventually I went and cried at a poor GP and he sent me off to the gastro clinic. For the first time in my life the consultant listened properly and then very confidently told me he was going to get me better.
He then sent me for every gastro test necessary, trust me you don’t need the details..
Finding the time to go to these appointments with a full time job in London and a husband who often works away overseas wasn’t easy. My friends were amazing at helping out and if I didn’t have an inappropriate amount of love for them already, I do now!
And now I have my answer. Sibo. And it’s treatable.
I’m now booked in to see my consultant and we’re going to get busy treating this beast. I feel so positive. I can finally get my life back.
For so many years I’ve felt trapped in a body that was shutting down and would never get better.
I lived my life having to go from work straight to bed and either leave social events early or not go at all. I removed all the mirrors in our house because I couldn’t face looking at my painful, bloated stomach. I wore a scarf to hide my stomach every day, even in the 34 degree heat. All food made me sick and I’d be melting into my desk at work even after the smallest of lunches from brainfog. I would be suffocated by the bloating of my own stomach pushing and restricting my lungs. Walking upstairs made my heart feel like it was going to collapse and don’t get me started on the guilt, depression and anxiety. I felt like such a burden on my lovely, supportive husband.
And now I can fix it all. No more hiding.
I’ve already started the recommended fodmap diet and after only 3 days my bloating has halved and I have energy. I feel like me again. It’s not an easy diet to follow but if it can do that much in 3 days then it’s worth it!
I’m so excited for what’s to come.