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I’m a female in my 40’s and I first developed gastrointestinal problems in 2008 after about 3 viral gastro bugs at end of 2007. I first noticed IBS-D when I used to be out exercising daily and I’d have to run back home because I needed the toilet. I’d always be in a panic as the pain was so bad and I’d be worried about the possibility of an accident occurring in public. IBS tends to play up for me in the mornings and usually when I’m trying to get going out the door too which causes a bit of stress for me at times. Also I have what I consider my bad IBS days where I’m in pain with it most of the day, I do have other days where I barely notice it and I consider my bowel is behaving for a change. Since getting IBS, I’ve developed other gastrointestinal problems too that are quite severe for me. So I’ve been also been diagnosed with gastrooesophageal reflux disease, oesophageal visceral hypersensitivity, a motility disorder of my oesophagus, sliding hiatal hernia, supra gastric belching, aerophagia. As a result of the reflux and chronic burping I have, I have been diagnosed with 2 voice disorders in January 2013 (although the problem started beginning of 2012) which are reflux laryngitis and muscle tension dysphonia. All of the above things have just made my life a lot more difficult and challenging. It has impacted every area of my life. I’ve been stared at and laughed at a fair bit. I’ve had mothers often tell me “excuse you” when I’m waiting in queues because they’re trying to educate their children that I’m being rude for burping (even though I do so with my mouth closed which hurts me more).

I’ve learnt to ignore the ignorance of people, but it did get to me at first and sometimes it still does. I obviously don’t have the voice to explain myself all the time. I also live with other chronic conditions I need to manage too. So these days rest is very important and I tend to crash every couple of days where I don’t function too well and need extra rest.

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