Monday, March 13, 2017

Background Story to my digestive problems

My earliest memories of digestive problems are probably when I was about 11 and what doctors described as colic (something which I’d also had as a baby). I vaguely remember being given some anti-spasmodic drugs, but that was all. Then there was an episode of right-sided tummy pain which was described as a grumbling appendix, but this settled. The worst of my digestive symptoms coincided with my menstrual cycle and I remember spending at least one day per month in the school sickbay with a hot bottle in agony with coinciding period pain. My gut symptoms otherwise did not persistently appear until I was a young adult in my early 20s. 

Endometriosis and Bowels
I was diagnosed with endometriosis in my mid-twenties following a diagnostic laparoscopy, and there is no doubt in my mind that this continued to badly irritate my gut – although I never had endometriosis that migrated to my colon as can happen for some women. The pain, however, was unbearable and there were times in my early 30s when I was in fact hospitalised for pain management. Eventually I was put on drugs that artificially stopped my periods and I was on these for a number of years until I decided that in the event I was definitely not going to have children that in agreement with my doctors,  I would prefer to have a hysterectomy which happened in 2014 in my 40th year. I underwent a total hysterectomy (removal of ovaries, uterus and cervix) – the outcome of which contributes to my on-going story. I write about my endometriosis here:

My gut problems started to increase again. By now it is 2011 and I was in my late 30s. My periods were still artificially stopped, but I was suffering increasing problems with constipation and tearing pain on defecation which turned out to be the result of an anal fissure which was surgically repaired, yet problems persisted upon evacuation and I was given a colonoscopy which showed I had mild diverticular disease – yet I was very young to have diverticulosis. I then went on to have three episodes of full-blown diverticulitis requiring hospital admissions for IV antibiotics. I had long since stopped smoking, but was often experiencing a feeling of being overfull requiring regular anti-sickness medication and I would often feel that my guts were ‘loaded’ which was borne out by plain x-rays which would show a loaded colon – more often coinciding with episodes of diverticulitis. I had colon transit tests conducted – which involved stopping laxatives and eating three different pills (one each day for three days), which contained shapes that would show on plain x-ray. My test result was normal with some faecal matter remaining in the rectum only. In early 2014 I had my total hysterectomy and then things progressively worsened. 

In addition to gut problems I was diagnosed with hypermobility Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and other conditions followed including depression, Fibromyalgia and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS). I documented a great deal of my journey in physiotherapy in the following blog: 

Finally, I am also a several times published author with books about Hypermobility, Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders, hypermobility Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and also the Bowen Technique. I am a  Bowen Therapist and have a busy practice in King's Cross Central London. Full details about me can be found here  
I am proud of my achievements despite my very obvious health complaints.  


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