This can make going out quite stressful, especially if you are going somewhere on a night out, or maybe to a house where you don’t know the owner that well,’ she says.And if you’re a woman, there’s also that ‘f’ word hovering over you: fertility.I knew my trip around Australia would be life-changing but I’d never realised just how much, until I was in a hospital bed, in pain and 15,076km from home, having just been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.And so began the process of living with the completely inconvenient, sometimes embarrassing and entirely unsexy inflammable bowel disease.And not only are women the most affected group, but the most common age group to be diagnosed with an IBD is 15-25, which is just plain cruel – you try figuring out who you are, how you’re going to make it in the world while dealing with a highly embarrassing illness that totally scuppers your social life. IBD is used to describe two diseases, ulcerative colitis (UC) which affects the colon and Crohn’s disease, which can affect the entire digestive system; very unglamorous, long-term, chronic diseases and, with symptoms that include bloody stools, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, stomach pains, weight loss and extreme tiredness.It’s not only painful, but embarrassing too (re-read those symptoms, yeah? IBS is also a long-term condition which affects the digestive system, causing similar symptoms, and with pretty much no cure.
I don’t know about you but I’m tired of covering up my pains and pills.
Sara’s wary of going to music festivals, or any other event that means she’d have to queue for the loo, and for Becki, just leaving the house is a game of Russian roulette.
‘It can come on anytime, so whenever I leave the house I have that constant worry that I might end up with a bout of it while I am out.
Sara says that it’s the not knowing whether her fertility will be, or already has, been affected by her Crohn’s that’s one of the toughest challenges she faces. It could be to do with diet or lifestyle, but then again, it’s probably not.
According to Crohn’s and Colitis UK, generally if your IBD is inactive you shouldn’t have any more difficulty getting pregnant than a non-sufferer, however if your condition is active, and this is especially true if you're suffering from Crohn’s, then it could cause problems. ’ is huge every time I have to leave a party early, turn down my mum’s amazing homemade curry or run to the loo in the middle of an important meeting. For UC sufferers, a low-fibre diet is recommended during a flare up. Because the fact is, I’m not the only one living with it.