Fitness blogger Alyce Crawford recently took to Instagram to share photos of her bloated tummy. Why? to let people know what it is like to live with IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Alyce has been living with IBS for three years and said the symptom she suffers from most is the severe bloating. It began overnight while living in America, said the Aussie native.
According to Healthline, the condition affects more women than men. Some people with IBS have minor symptoms. However, for others, the symptoms are significant and disrupt daily life. The symptoms vary in severity and duration from person to person. However, they last at least three months for at least three days per month.
The model revealed that she had gotten up one morning with an extremely bloated stomach and was experiencing sharp stabbing pains and that was it, her life was "never the same."
Alyce shared her photos to show the reality of living with the condition. The previous night, she’d been out to enjoy some food, and her stomach had bloated immediately. The same thing happened after going out to dinner with friends and her boyfriend. She’d had to call six restaurants in advance just to make sure there was something she could eat.
"Last night I wanted to enjoy some delicious guacamole (which I haven't eaten in months), however avocado, garlic, and onion all affect my IBS (high FODMAP foods), and my stomach bloated immediately. Last Saturday night I was planning on going out to dinner with my friends and boyfriend. We must have called six restaurants prior to ensure there was something I could eat. Although every restaurant we contacted tried to accommodate me, none of them could."
She further wrote, "Situations like this takes the joy out of doing something as simple and enjoyable as dining out with your friends and/or partner, not to mention I hated that I was being difficult (luckily for me, my friends and boyfriend are the best and they completely understand my situation...and love me anyway haha). In the end, we had to compromise so we could still enjoy our night. My friends instead came over to our house where they brought wine, and everyone ordered take away
Situations like this make me realize the importance of positivity and resilience."
Alyce also shared her tips to dealing with IBS mentally. She said, "A part of me was sad and frustrated, but I was determined to make sure it wouldn’t ruin our night. The way I often view unfortunate situations are you have 2 options: One, Either feel upset, feel sorry for yourself and let that negativity ruin your day/night/month or two, pick yourself up, find a way to turn the situation around as best you can and keep going! What would have been the use if I chose to be negative and let the situation upset me? We would have probably all ended up doing nothing."
Alyce wrote, "This illness is often very misunderstood & overlooked a lot by medical professionals & the general public alike. No, it is not life threating, but it is a condition that has caused & had a severe negative impact on my mental & physical health."
"To me, that alone is enough to be considered an illness. There was never 1 day in 3 years, that I ever felt completely well or healthy.
The repercussions of feeling this way not only affected my mental and physical health but effected relationships & my work as a model."
She continued, "This is real, it hurts & I am sharing my experience & how I came to get better so it can possibly help someone else."
Alyce also wanted to emphasize that IBS affects more than just the stomach. She said that during the time the bloating photo was taken, she was feeling "sick, nauseous, sore, unmotivated and very lethargic"
She said, "Feeling like this often made the smallest thing in my day a struggle (getting dressed for example). All I wanted to wear, was my pajamas & not move from a laying down position, as sitting upright hurt too much."
Between 3 percent and 20 percent of Americans experience irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. But the food for thought shouldn’t be about how many are affected but how much it affects each person. IBS, as Alyce has bravely demonstrated, can be awful - painful and life-consuming.
And this shouldn’t be taken lightly just because it’s common.
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