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Crohn's and Colitis UK  Our charity is dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

http://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/

“My name is Tom and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2011 when I was just 14, after months of struggling to get a diagnosis.
After being on prednisone for 3 long years I was placed onto remicade which has been an absolute miracle drug during my A levels and throughout university.
I was put off from going to uni as I had fears about having flare ups and being hospitalised along with all the other symptoms that comes with this disease, however my friends, family, lecturers and the university all supported me.
Whilst the last two years have been a struggle, with a couple of flare ups and hospitalisations, I’ve given it my best and I’m well on track to achieve a 2:1, even joining the university rowing team and taking apart in races. I still struggle from day to day but I don’t let my disease define me.
To anyone who’s worried about going to uni I’d say make sure you get in touch with Disabled Students Allowance - they’re there to support you. I was given extra funding to help with the cost of having an ensuite so that I wouldn’t traumatise my flatmates if I shared a bathroom, and offered a printer and laptop so that I could do work in my room if I was in pain or fatigued.
I gave my lecturers a guide for Crohn’s Disease from the Crohn’s and Colitis UK website which helped them understand my condition and needs. I also found it made it easier to explain my condition to my friends so that they could understand why I might not be up for taking part in some antics.” Tom and Crohn’s and Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together.

“I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 2007 at the age of 17 after having 4 major surgeries. I then embarked on the drug and steroid journey with varied success, one anaphylactic shock and admissions to many hospitals including one in Beijing, China.
Finally, at the beginning of 2015, I had a sub-total colectomy with end ileostomy, with future plans post family for a panproctocolectomy. I live with my "Pucci" bag and our relationship can be shitty...but I am so grateful for a life without agonising pain. A life that can be lived and enjoyed for all its experiences.
I am now 28 years old and have achieved a lot in spite of Crohn's. Since my diagnosis, I went to university both here and in Beijing, graduating with a BA in Chinese and Spanish. I was then awarded a scholarship to study for a Masters in Latin American Interdisciplinary Studies.
What next for me? I embarked on an exciting career in Parliament, and have recently been promoted to Chief of Staff!

Crohn’s isn’t a great diagnosis and the treatments can be dreadful, but I am sure that in many ways, it has made me the person I am - strong, determined and very aware of getting the best out of life.

Now that my health is up to it, my Mum and I are taking on a new challenge and walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. It will be approximately 75 miles and take over 9 days. It won’t be easy and we realise that we’ll have to push ourselves BUT it will be a tremendous achievement for us both.” Laura and Crohn’s and Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜🌍🚶🏼‍♀️💪

“I’m Jack, I’m 20 years old, and I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis about two years ago now.
I have been on so many different medications including mecapturpurine, humira, and entiviyo!
It now seems like down the line I may need to have surgery for the full removal of my Colon and have stoma bag.

But for now I am on one last medication infliximab, which I have via an infusion. Hopefully this will work and I will be able to hold out from surgery for a little longer!” Jack and Crohn’s and Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💪💜

“My name is Emma and I was ten years old when I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease.
I tried every single drug you can think of, infliximab, stelera, methotrexate - you name it.
In the summer of 2016 I was on a school trip when I fell ill - I was going to the bathroom up to 30 times a day.
I ended up with sepsis that August and had a panproctocolectomy, which was a lot to take in. This resulted in the removal of my large bowel, rectum and part of my small bowl.
Following my procedure I had a seizure opening my wounds leaving me with MRSA and 18 weeks of healing and TCP house visits.
Almost a year and a half on I am still trying biologics, and have started a vlog to raise awareness!” Emma and Crohn’s and Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜💪

I’m Ibby & I have Crohn's Disease. In 2007 I was furthering my career as a chef & was fortunate to be offered an excellent job role in London at a 5-star establishment. This was a life-changing move for me as I moved to London from Birmingham at 18, without knowing anyone in this new city. I was working with some amazing chefs & cooking for some VIPs on a regular basis. After a short while I began to notice that I was losing weight, my appetite decreased, I was tired, had persistent diarrhoea & generally didn't feel myself. I thought maybe I'm just not used to this pace & pressure of work. I began to travel back to Birmingham to have check-ups & a range of tests to try & identify the problem. By 2008 I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease.
At first I was very complacent because I wasn't suffering & thought “ok this is fine, I can deal with this.” I went a while with nothing but slight cramps, a bit more weight loss & just the general symptoms. Gradually though, the symptoms became more severe & being away from home all I wanted was my mom to hold me & say “Ibby everything will be ok.” I quickly began to not react to medication & was on the highest & strongest medication within a year of diagnosis. Gradually I got worse & got some serious abdominal infections which alarmed doctors, they then had no choice but for me to have my first surgery to remove a section of my small intestines.
The next morning I was rushed to emergency surgery because I’d developed an infection from the surgery; the surgeons had to give me a temporary ileostomy, which was reversed 14 months later. I moved back to Birmingham in 2013 but my Crohn’s flared up & I’d developed an abscess, which required an ileostomy again, but I knew it was for the best.
I recovered once again at home with my mom & my amazing girlfriend. Words can't express how much my mom & girlfriend have done for me during these terrifying times; they are amazing & I love them dearly. 💜@ibbyb87 & Crohn’s & Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜
Ibby’s story has featured in our latest edition of Connect, our magazine for for members. To become a member visit our website today.

If you’d have said to me seven years ago that I’d be working in Ostomy Care, I would’ve thought you were insane. Indeed, seven years ago I was still recovering from colectomy surgery and coming to terms with having an ileostomy. It had been a whirlwind six months, from being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis to emergency surgery- with no option but to adapt to the change. Having a stoma gave me a new lease of life, allowing me to return to my studies and live a somewhat “normal” teenage life without pain or suffering. Despite this, when the option to reverse the stoma and have a J-Pouch formed came about, I seized the opportunity. Unfortunately, this is not the end of my story…I was severely ill in the aftermath of the surgery. There was talk about going back to having a stoma, however, after a month in hospital, the trial & error drug treatment (Azathioprine, Infliximab, and Prednisolone) and parenteral nutrition appeared to be working.
I have had my J-Pouch five years now, and *touchwood* with the help of daily dosages of Azathioprine, I have been flare free for four years. In these years, I have graduated from university, travelled throughout Europe and North America, and lived in three countries. None of this would have been possible without the fantastic doctors, nurses and surgeons that helped me on the road to recovery. But it is time to remove the stigma from bowel diseases, and strive together to find a cure! For that reason, I have dedicated my career to the medical devices industry & improving patient health care, and currently that has enabled me to work with ostomy pouches in the aim of improving the life's of ostomates. 💜Adrian and Crohn’s & Colitis UK - fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜

Hi my name's Nicola, I'm 30yrs old from the Scottish Borders and I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2014. Before I was officially diagnosed I spent a few years before this diagnosed with IBS but nothing seemed to make it better. Eventually in January 2014 things went extremely downhill and I got to the point where I'd lost two stone in a month and could barely sip water without being sick or going to the toilet. I eventually was admitted to hospital and was found to have the start of Toxic Megacolon and UC. I then spent the next two years constantly in and out of hospital trying every drug available and nothing working. I kept trying new drugs and finally had hope when I tried Infliximab. It took my symptoms away but it then gave me Lupus so I had to stop. Other drugs then had the same effect. By this point I'd had enough and would be in tears to my consultant begging for surgery but they said I was just depressed. It finally reached the point in 2016 where there was nothing new to try so they finally agreed to let me speak to a surgeon who agreed to go ahead with the procedure. I had my ileostomy surgery just over 2 years ago now and has been the best decision of my life. I was finally able to get married last year, have my dream honeymoon in Paris and I'm now pregnant! If someone told me that I would be at this stage in my life two years ago, I would have laughed in their face. I owe my new life to my surgeon and my stoma who's named Sid and I plan to keep! 🌟 💜Nicola @rosycheeks666 and Crohn’s & Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜🌟

My name is Amy, and I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease in November 2016.
I have always suffered with sore skin and bad bowels, however I didn’t realise that I was living with Crohns Disease. It all started in October 2016 when for a month I couldn’t eat anything without passing it through. I had incredibly sore bowels, but I just thought it was food poisoning.
My left eye started going pink, so my friends made jokes saying I had pink eye.
It started getting more sore and I started losing my sight, this then started happening to the other eye. I was bedbound, and was crying to my parents saying that I couldn’t see. I was given eye drops which I had to take every hour.
My eyesight and weight were decreasing. So I went to Southampton Hospital, where I had bloods taken, and it showed that I had inflammation.
I was admitted and was not allowed to use the shared toilet, having to go to the toilet in a pot and call the nurses every time I went, which was every 5 minutes.
I was told that all the symptoms were Crohn’s Disease, but I had no idea what it was. They told me more about it and I just burst out crying.
I don’t think I have ever felt so depressed, than what I felt like in there.
But here I am now fighting this disease every day physically and mentally. I strive to make this disease have the awareness that it needs.
I made an Instagram account to my daily life with Crohn’s Disease and raise awareness - @spillingmygutsout 💪💜Amy and Crohn’s & Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜💪

My name is Laura and in 1994 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. In February 2005 there was a meet up in Newcastle for people with Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. On arriving at the car park I nearly came into contact with a man walking across the ground floor, admittedly I was driving a little fast! We exchanged obscenities and I rushed to the meeting place. Who should be there but this man who I'd nearly run over! Not only was he at the meeting place, but he'd helped organise the evening and I was left to sit next to him at the restaurant for two agonising hours.

This man was called Joe and he'd been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2002. We sat in silence most of the night and gained a rather unfortunate opinion of each other. Three months later ay another meet up I'd dyed my hair, was wearing contacts and was suitably drunk, Joe thought I was someone completely different and we got on like a house on fire. We became friends and after much dancing around each other we finally got together in October 2005.

Joe really got me and I got him, he appreciated me for who I was, bag and all. I was head over heels in love with this man and we swiftly moved in together, got engaged and married. We bought a house together and tried to start a family, sadly it wasn't to be but after much careful consideration we rehomed a golden retriever named Oscar who was 9 months old...our family complete. We soon found out why Oscar had been put out to rehoming...he too has Ulcerative Colitis!

Myself, Joe and Oscar are just getting back to life as normal after my 20th operation. It's not an easy road for us and life is certainly a rollercoaster but without our illnesses we'd not be here, happy and looking forward to our 10th wedding anniversary later this year. 💗💜@mrslaurasmart, Joe, Oscar and Crohn’s & Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together this Valentine’s Day 💜 💗

“I’m Emily, I’m 23 and I was diagnosed with Colitis three years ago. I spent the summer of 2015 with a fever and bleeding into a basin because I was too weak to make it to the bathroom. It was only when I presented myself to A and E that a colonoscopy was performed and I was diagnosed with Colitis. I had a good two years of remission where I moved to Madrid to study and then finished my Law degree in London, top of my year.
But in 2017 I had my first flare, which I am still trying to beat 10 months later. I stopped responding to first line treatment, became dependent on steroids and developed an intolerance to immunosuppressant therapy. Now I’m trying 6MP, a form of chemotherapy, before Biologic at-home injections. All this has been in Paris where I am studying for a Masters in Human Rights Law - it hasn’t been easy!
IBD can be unpredictable. It has caused me pain, weight loss, excessive hair loss, arthritis and crippling fatigue. Though I’d give anything not to have Colitis, I’m grateful to it for teaching me the value of health, the beauty of hair regrowth, the importance of surrounding yourself with true friends and the bliss of stable mental health.
My message to the newly diagnosed would be not to let this stop you from pursuing the life you would want for yourself, if IBD didn’t exist. IBD can be a life- limiting disease but I hope my story helps other young people realise that the extent to which it limits your life is up to you. IBD can control a lot of things but don’t let it control your dreams!” Emily and Crohn’s and Colitis UK - Fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜

This is my son Brandon he was diagnosed June 2017 with Ulcerative Colitis. He's autistic with learning difficulties and extreme anxiety issues. It's been a very long year so far trying to get the right medication for him and for him to understand way he needs it. And it's been a struggle and scary times for me and his dad. We are hopeful for the future. We will keep fighting for him. He is our warrior and we love him dearly. Thanks to Crohn’s and Colitis UK I've learnt a lot about this condition ❤
💜Nicky, Brandon and Crohn’s and Colitis UK - fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease 💜

My name is Joe and I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 2008, whilst I was in my last year of high school. While trying to sit my GCSE's, I was suffering from a searing pain in my anus and after repeated visits to the doctors, misdiagnosis and sitting my exams with cushions and pillows, it was determined by the Gastro team that I had a complicated anal fistula and needed immediate surgery. After surgery and my body at this age going through changes anyway, I had daily house visits from nurses to redress my wound and clean the anal drains. This was hard to comprehend at the young age of 16 years old. I dropped to 8 and half stone and was on 100 tablets a week including steroids, azathioprine and many more. It’s been challenging with many ups and downs but now in 2018, almost ten years later, I take 50mg of azathioprine (just one tablet!) and have regular 8-week infusions of infliximab. Now I am in charge of my Crohn's, it is not in charge of me! I wrote a blog online a few years ago and the reaction I got was amazing - people now reach out to me for advice and help and I have achieved exactly what I wanted! Not to mention the fantastic understanding from my other half, family and friends. Only fellow Crohn’s warriors will understand how A Levels, University, and now a full-time job can be with this condition but stay positive, keep moving forward and eventually you will win! 💜Joe @jfvision and Crohn’s and Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜

My Name is Holly, I’m a 21 year old professional dancer. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis back in 2015 just after my 18th birthday and right in the middle of my second year of professional dance training. During my time at college I had two major flare ups however throughout all this time I missed minimal if not any time at college and continued to push through my training. Despite the fatigue I attended extra early and sometimes late classes, often leaving the house at 7:30am and not returning home till 6:30pm. So I slept most of the weekends to recover. This is not something I spoke about often especially with my teachers as I didn’t want them to see me as different and unable compared to the rest of my peers. In July 2016 I graduated with a Level 6 Diploma in Professional Dance and I started my third and most severe flare. I was offered multiple jobs on cruise ships all of which I had to turn down including my dream first job sailing America due to not being able to pass the medical required. It was so hard (although I was so pleased for them) to see all my friends getting jobs being stuck at home, in and out of hospital and receiving nine months of steroids and the complications of having things such as a kidney stone. Fast forward to May 2016 I was finally in remission and I was offered a contract in Malta dancing with an amazing company in two hotels. I finally was able to complete my dream of working professionally as a dancer and completed a successful summer season abroad. I am so grateful for this as at times when I was at my illest I thought this would never happen. Although I’m not shy about letting people know about my UC I’m often very quiet about the emotional effects it has caused me but with a positive mindset, a firm end goal and an amazing support system behind me I never gave up despite knock back after knock back. Now at present I’m back on the hunt for my second job and I now know anything is possible. 💃💜Holly and Crohn’s and Colitis UK - fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜💃

My name is Dave I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2006 after months of loosing weight and running back and forth to the toilet. I worked my way through all of the availiable treatments (because none worked untill infliximab was offered) and happily I got a somewhat normal life back for a while. A couple of years later Infliximab stopped working. Then I had a good five years on Humira. Things then got worse. I got told I had perianal fistulizing disease ontop of the Crohn’s. I had a colostomy for a while (before the Docs realised that my colon, rectum and anus needed to go). In Sept 16 I had a panproctocolectomy and my wounds are still not healed. Daily nurse visits for dressing changes and two monthly hospital appointments with the wound specialists. Through all of this I am still smiling and still positive, luckily I have an amazing wife and family that supports me. It could be worse!
💪💜Dave and Crohn’s and Colitis UK - fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜💪

My name is Anthony and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2015, I woke up a lot with a pain in my stomach for a couple of weeks but didn't think much of it. After going to the doctors and having the usual tests, they sent me to the hospital with a suspected case of appendicitis. After later having the operation to remove my appendix and being sent home I was later that week admitted back into hospital with an abscess the size of a grapefruit in my lower abdomen. This then proceeded to cause a fistula from my smaller intestine out through one of my appendix keyhole scars. I was temporarily given colostomy bags to wear over my scar because of the amount of fluid leaving my body. I would continue to be this way for the next year, and I dropped to about 7st in weight. After being given the correct medication my fistula cleared up and my scar healed, I was then diagnosed with fistulating Crohn's Disease. Later on in 2017 I went back into hospital as my fistula had re opened, I continued on my medication and again it slowly healed up. I used to play in a band and be very active but due to my health I missed playing a number of shows and I was pretty much bed bound. Fast forward to 2018 and I'm a lot healthier, I've put on all the weight I lost and then some and I am back to being very active. Having this condition was very hard mentally and physically and for a long time I didn't see it getting any better. With all the support from friends and family I was able to feel better about myself and get what felt like my life back. 💜Anthony & Crohn's & Colitis UK - fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in August 2015, following almost a year of scary and unpleasant symptoms, including weight loss, passing blood and diarrhoea. I was vomiting after meals and the thought of putting food into my mouth used to fill me with fear, not knowing how quickly I would need to rush to the toilet afterwards. Even without eating, I was having to empty my bowels up to 20 times a day, and so when I got the diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease, although scary, I was so happy to finally understand what was happening with my body.
I barely knew what Crohn’s Disease was, let alone knew anyone who had it, and so in January 2017 I created a blog and YouTube channel called @gutinstinct.blog which aimed to break the ‘poo taboo’ in talking about Inflammatory Bowel Disease in a relatable and humorous way.
It’s been less than two years since my diagnosis, but I have grown so much in that time. Not only am I now in remission, but I have managed to stop relying on pills to feel better and have been medication-free for 12 weeks now. I have learnt so much about myself through suffering with this disease, but am now at the stage where I am hosting events because of it!
Despite the hair loss, the insecurities, the fatigue and the impact it’s had on my body, I am finally remembering how important it is to love my body again. I want to remind people that through all the dark moments, there will always be light. We all go through a personal battle with IBD, both physically and mentally, but the community that I have found here is incredible and has helped me every step of the way. I hope I can give back the same. 💪💜Lois and Crohn’s and Colitis UK - fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜💪

Hey, my name is Jamie and I have battled Ulcerative Colitis for seven years. It’s been a very hard journey with ups & downs, but one thing Colitis has done is made me a much stronger person👍 Last year I had surgery for an Ileostomy bag which has been the best thing I did. For those who are fighting always believe in yourself & achieve your goals 🏆 💜Jamie and Crohn’s and Colitis UK - fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜

My name is Nicky and I’m from Scotland. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease 10 years ago and at first I was really scared. I had a friend who had it and knew they were always in hospital having operations.
During time a lot of my friends thought I was being dramatic as I looked healthy enough. As you can imagine it was deeply frustrating and I ended up drifting away from that group. I felt alone and like I was a faulty package. I had my family who were great but I didn’t want to be mothered.
It’s hard when it causes anxiety to flare up and you do everything to protect yourself so push people away but try get help with that. You’ll miss these people!
Since then I have gained a lot of respect and pride for myself. I’ve realised just how strong I am and what I’ve had to fight and get over. I’ve lost several jobs due to the condition and lost one as recently as two months ago. However I find this an exciting new challenge for me to take on. I won’t let this disease define me. If it wants to be in my body then it has to go with the way I want to live my life.
I’m started putting more positive posts up about autoimmune diseases so people can see what can be done regardless of the disease and feel motivated. I want people to share stories of their goals and successes.
If it wasn’t for Crohn’s I wouldn’t be the person I am today so that I have to say thank you to it! 🏆💜Nicky and Crohn’s and Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together💜🏆

My journey with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) began when I was 17. I woke one night with horrible stomach pains & ran to the bathroom. I looked down at the toilet bowl to see bright red blood.
We went to the hospital where we were met by a number of doctors & nurses, who all awkwardly wanted to know all about my bowel habits. I was going to the bathroom up to nine times a day, which I thought was normal. They found a few haemorrhoids & diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Seven long years later, I woke and tried to get out of bed but collapsed - the pain in my joints had flared up so my mum drove me to the GP. I had bloods taken to rule out arthritis or infection & it all came back okay. My GP arranged for me to have a colonoscopy. Unfortunately they only looked at half of my colon & nothing was found so I was reassured that it was IBS.
A year later I met my amazing partner Samual. After a few months of dating, I moved to Kent to join him. I was so stressed about not having a job, money & being away from family that I lost my appetite. I was now being sick, the pain in my joints had flared again & I was bleeding from my rectum.
I was sent for a full colonoscopy & MRI & the results from them showed ulcers within my small bowel & that 40cm of my large bowel was very inflamed.
After years of searching for answers, I FINALLY got my diagnosis of IBD. I was left in tears, worried that my life was over & that my partner would leave me; I was broken.
Since my diagnosis I panic when out in public in case I need to find toilets quickly. I can be quite snappy & because my illness is invisible I tend to give too much thought to what others think about me.
My place of work has been so understanding whenever I'm having a bad day & luckily my diagnosis hasn't had too much of an impact upon my social life, although there have been times when I've had to cancel plans or leave early due to fatigue.
My advice to others would be to keep up with regular hospital appointments, encourage friends & family to do their research & always be honest about how you're feeling. 💜 Perry & Crohn’s & Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together💜

My name is Aileen, I live in Scotland and I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the end of 2016. I suffered with symptoms for about a year before I finally went to the doctors. After tests I was quickly put on a high dose of steroids to try and calm my symptoms down, this worked for me in the short term but I gained a lot of weight. For the next year I tried several different medications, from injections to tablets - most of which made me worse. I suffered with back pain, mouth ulcers, painful and frequent trips to the loo, extreme fatigue and becoming anaemic. The physical symptoms of this horrible disease is just one side, the emotional impact was just as painful, not only affecting me but my boyfriend, family and close friends. Finally I was admitted to hospital in October 2017 due to suffering from a very bad flare. After 5 days of IV steroids and still no improvement I was advised that there was nothing they could do to save my large bowel and I was put in for emergency surgery. I now have a stoma and I am learning to live my new life which has definitely improved in the last three months since my surgery. I would be lying if I said it’s been an easy adjustment for me, however the pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to having a stoma. I still can’t believe how quickly everything happened but I am truly a lot more happy and healthy now. My advise to anyone newly diagnosed or struggling to find medication which works for them is to stay positive and take each day as it come - and most importantly if surgery is on the cards see it as an opportunity as it improves your level of living 100%!!! Its not a negative thing, it gives you your life back.

I am now looking forward to a fun filled year with my amazing boyfriend, family and friends. With family weddings, birthdays and I am planning on running a half marathon in July for Crohn’s and Colitis UK! If I can pull through all of this happier and stronger, anyone can 😊 🌟💜Aileen and Crohn’s and Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜🌟

I was first diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2009 when I was 18. Leading up to my diagnosis, I had spent months going back and forth to my doctor with severe diarrhoea and blood loss, and each time I was turned away with a “bug” and given various antibiotics. I spent my girly holiday in Greece taking Imodium and worrying constantly that I wouldn’t make it to the toilet in time, along with being in agony 24 hours a day. I felt constantly weak and sick from dehydration and the loss of blood, and not knowing what was causing it all was incredibly worrying! A few weeks after I returned, and after being given another lot of pain killers, I was unable to keep food down. A final trip to the doctor saw me admitted to hospital, where I stayed for three weeks, and was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. I needed a blood transfusion as well as IV steroids to try to control the flare up. It was a huge relief when I was finally allowed home a few days before my 19th birthday! Now, almost nine years on, my Colitis is well controlled with medication and I consider myself extremely lucky that I have found a treatment that works for me. It’s been amazing being able to read other peoples stories through Crohn and Colitis UK!
💜Jess and Crohn’s and Colitis UK – fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together💜

My name is Naomi, I am 18 years old. I was first diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2013 when I was 13 years old. At 16 suddenly medication had stopped working I tried every medication there was and dealt with the side effects such as losing weight, hair loss, mouth ulcers, losing a lot off sleep etc. Toilet visits increased to 20-30 times a day. . I was losing so much blood and couldn’t hold any food down. I felt weak 24/7 so I started coming to terms that medication wasn’t working and that my only hope was having to have surgery to have my large intestine removed. I was only 17 it was a hard decision and I was afraid but I had family and friends by my side especially my mum💜 My surgery is now a year this month and I am so grateful for how my life has changed and I take every opportunity that comes my way💪🏻 💜Naomi and Crohn’s and Colitis UK - fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together 💜

I was only diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in November last year, however I suffered the consequences of this disease for many months before diagnosis. The main low point of my life was supposed to be the happiest point of my life. I travelled to Australia to play cricket for seven months, however I suffered from a dreadful flare up for one whole month and ended up losing nearly three stone in this period of time. I arrived back in England in October and began my rehabilitation. I’m on the incline in my journey to fighting this illness, making great progress in my physical appearance and my mental state of mind. It's an incredibly difficult situation to be put in for anybody, however for a 19 year old boy where you should be in your social prime, it's hard to come to terms with and sacrifices have to be made to allow your future to be sustainable.
I hope to get to the point where I can go to University with a more positive attitude and I hope to return to Australia to fulfil my aspirations. 💜Max and Crohn’s and Colitis UK - fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together💜

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2009 and had my Ileostomy in March 2011. Thinking that my life went from going the toilet 20+ times a day to being able to live my life, don't get me wrong it was a huge life adjustment but its the best thing that ever happened to me. Don't give up on your dreams. This isn't just a bag this magnificent thing saved my life and without it I wouldn't be writing these words. Embrace yours scars we are warriors and we should wear them with pride!
💜Rebekah and Crohn’s and Colitis UK - fighting Inflammatory Bowel Disease together💜

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