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I wanted to talk about something today that isn’t particularly the most sexy subject, in fact, it’s something we’re really reluctant to talk about. It’s a bit awkward, embarrassing and I may even mention the word poo at some point – ooh, I just did. And even though words like ‘PUBERTY’ and ‘SPERM’ make Dexter die a thousand deaths inside – he is 12 after all – it’s neither of those topics. Today (Matthew), I’m going to talk about …. *drumroll* … digestive health.


When I was in my 20s, I suffered quite badly from IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome – except I didn’t know what it was at the time. I just knew that my, ahem, bathroom habits were uncomfortable and painful and I was too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it. I also had/have endometriosis, and suffered in silence for seven years thinking that it was ‘just’ IBS. Combine the two issues together, and I’m amazed I kept it together as well as I did. I was a young mum, I worked full-time in London and I was married … and in a lot of pain for years.


Fast forward 20 years and I’m a single, 46-year-old mother of two, and even though I’m still not a fan of going to the Dr – it’s all just time and effort I often don’t have – I don’t ever want to be in that position again, so I get everything checked out now at the first sign of pain.


If I had my youth over again, oh the things I would do differently. (Not get married aged 20 for one …) but that aside, to deal with my IBS, or any medical issues I went through, I’d ask for help a lot quicker and a great place to start would be my pharmacy for over the counter medicines. I know there are a lot more products now that deal with issues such as IBS, but there were some back then too, I just couldn’t face that awkward conversation:


Me:                  Hi. I’ve got terrible wind, I fluctuate between having diarrhoea and constipation and I have a really attractive swollen stomach. Can you help?

Pharmacist:     Yes. Take these pills.

Me:                  Oh. Erm. That was easy. Cheers.


I’m an idiot. Why didn’t I just ask for help?! For those five seconds of embarrassment.


I guess what I’m trying to say is that yes, it’s embarrassing, even as a middle-aged woman, but don’t suffer in silence. There’s help out there and it’s dead easy to access – IMODIUM SUPPORT AND ADVICE – you’re all in the same boat, so there’s no need to be shy. Just get it sorted I say. There are plenty of treatments for lots of every day conditions so do as I say, not as I did, and get anything and everything checked out ASAP – that’s a (loving and friendly) order.


kate sutton


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