Our Members

People living with IBS often feel isolated and alone, embarrassed to seek help or talk to anyone about their condition. Many of our members have had several tough years living with IBS gradually starting to understand their triggers and learning how to manage their symptoms.  By sharing their stories here, they hope to help others who have just been diagnosed with IBS or those who are plucking up the confidence to talk to someone about how they are feeling and what they are experiencing.

Share your story and help others living with IBS Sharing your experience of how to live well with IBS can be a big help to those in our community who have recently been diagnosed or are struggling. If you are interested, please contact liz@theibsnetwork.org

People's Stories 

Sophie's story

Sophie Taylor, 23, started experiencing severe IBS symptoms the night before a business opportunity where she was showcasing her work on television. She is devastated about her IBS diagnosis, but is determined to take control of her condition, raise awareness, and is encouraging others...

Marjorie's story

Marjorie Gibson has suffered with IBS for 40 years but has recently been experiencing a period of relief, in part, she puts this down to the advice, information and support she has received from The IBS Network. She shares her story.

Sheila's story

I am 62, female, and was diagnosed with IBS in my thirties when I had a busy working life as a housing officer, driving to see many tenants and attend meetings. My initial symptoms were a noticeably bloated tummy, lots of wind pain, but worse of all, was the urgent need to go to the to...

Helen B's story

My IBS symptoms started when I was around 15. I am now nearly 35, so it’s been a long road. At first, my symptoms included bloating and abdominal pain and then, in my early twenties, it progressed to full IBS-D.

Mike's story

At the beginning of the year, Mike was not coping well with his IBS. He joined The IBS Network and started taking positive steps to understand more about his condition and the connection between the gut and brain. He is keen to share his story to help others who are struggling and in n...

Helen's Story

After 25 years of struggling with her IBS, Helen had finally found what works for her.

Here she shares her story and how she has learned to live well with IBS.

Katrina's Story

When Katrina Lander developed IBS symptoms as a teenager, she struggled to cope with her symptoms and was reluctant to travel. Now age 29, her IBS is under control, and she is happy to fly long haul. She speaks to The IBS Network about the lifestyle changes she made to better manage he...

Nicola's Story

Until two years ago, theatre director Nicola Pollard didn’t know anything about IBS. Now it’s something she thinks about every day. As her work restarts after lockdowns, she’s feeling prepared to take on the challenges that lie ahead.

Shaun's story

After struggling with IBS for most of his life, writer Shaun Levin used lockdown not only to experiment and try new treatments for his IBS, but also write a book about his experience.

Janices's story

For Janice Sadler, using The IBS Network’s helpline during lockdown was a turning point in the management of her IBS. She went on to develop her personal self-care programme, which included keeping a wellness diary, taking exercise and embracing a positive mindset.

Oliva's Story

Despite struggling with her IBS throughout the pandemic, journalist Olivia Devereux-Evans is determined not to let her IBS rule her life. Here she shares her story.

Gerry's Story

Gerry Wilson was diagnosed with IBS 15 years ago. Here he shares his story of how managing his stress and anxiety through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and The IBS Network’s self-care programme helped him take control of his health.

Mark's Story

After the pressure and anxiety of his mock exams triggered an IBS flare up, law student Mark realised he had to find ways to better manage his IBS. Here he shares his story of his diagnosis and how he learnt to adjust to life with IBS.

My palms are sweating, my mind unfocused. The ai...

Bronwen's Story

What strange times we live in. I really hope you’re coping with what COVID 19 has pushed your way and you’re not suffering too much.

Contact with others is a fundamental part of life for the majority of us. Being in isolation, or even just working from home when you&rsquo...

Ann's story

Ballet dancer Ann Wall dreamed of becoming a professional dancer, but the hard training, anxiety and pressure made her IBS symptoms worse. Here Ann shares her story of how she manages to live and dance with IBS, and how she was determined not to let IBS get in the way of her dancing dr...

Gordon's story

Too embarrassed to seek medical help, railway controller, Gordon Voller struggled with IBS symptoms for 15 years. It wasn’t until he was 42, after an attack of gastroenteritis, that he finally got a diagnosis. He explains more about his IBS and urges others to speak out, seek med...

Libby's story

Libby Stonehawk is a traveller, website developer and runner who is determined not to let her condition get in the way of her active lifestyle. She explains more about how she manages her IBS while working and travelling around the world.

Lorna's Story

Lorna Goudie was diagnosed with IBS after contracting gastroenteritis while on holiday in 2007. The diagnosis changed her life, affecting her love of travel and causing a lot of anxiety. Twelve years on Lorna is now managing her IBS and supporting others with the condition through her ...

Lena's story

IBS and university, not always a great combination!

Baked beans, drinking and late nights in the library are three fairly typical features of university life. But what happens when you’re a student suffering with IBS? Student Lena shares her experience....

Joanna's story

Joanna was diagnosed with IBS in her teens, but with the right diet and medication manages to live life mostly symptom free.

Going through all the usual bowel tests felt particularly embarrassing as a 15 year old. When they doctor sat back and told me there was ‘nothing wrong&r...

Jenney's Story

Jenney, who has been a member of The IBS Network for a few years, tells her story of living with IBS.

I was first given a positive diagnosis of IBS over thirteen years ago although I had suffered with symptoms for many years prior to this. Looking back, I’d probably suffered wi...

Claire's story

Claire, in her 40s from Derbyshire, explains how she has suffered with IBS for over 20 years but was only diagnosed four years ago.

Annette's story

Annette was diagnosed with IBS over five years ago but has had symptoms pretty much all of her life. Here she talks about how she manages her IBS.

Rachel's story

I have had IBS for over 10 years which, at its worst point, has been very debilitating. I suffered primarily from bloating, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain and exhaustion which really interrupted my working life. Then, due to the symptoms, I suffered from anxiety and was forced to give up my...

Saffron's Story

It was in the second week of our holiday in Cancun a few years ago when I finally decided to do something about my tummy. I was suffering so badly from diarrhoea and stomach cramps that I was afraid to leave the hotel room and felt completely exhausted and tired. I’d experienced the same...

Lara's story

I've had digestive problems since birth but my IBS symptoms started when I was at university and was only diagnosed with IBS a few years after that.

My IBS symptoms are quite varied with stomach gurgles, burping, nausea, alternating bowel habits, fatigue, muscle weakness, insomni...

Jane's story

So where did it all start? Was it because we only had a cold, damp, spider-filled outside loo and I used to ‘hold on’ until I got to school?  Was it because we had the landlady from hell who stressed all the family out? Does anxiety cause IBS? Does IBS cause anxiety? So many q...

Matthew's Story

I have lived with IBS for many years, ever since I was in my early teens. Initially, my symptoms were relatively mild – only flaring up on occasion but always present. Then about six years later, my symptoms got significantly worse. It was then, after several frustrating visits to see he...

Simon's story

Simon started developing symptoms of IBS back in 1995, roughly nine months after his appendix was removed. Over the forthcoming years his symptoms intensified. He was only officially diagnosed with IBS by his GP/hospital consultant in 2013.

Tom's Story

Bear with me. For the purposes of this piece, I will be referring to ‘taking a poo’ as ‘going to the toilet’ to avoid having to write it out numerous times!

Sara's story

In a ‘moment of madness’, I booked flights to New York (NY) to see my brother and his family. Readers might ask - why on earth would I consider such a lengthy trip, and what made me think that I could actually achieve this?

Jessica's story

I was officially diagnosed with IBS about six years ago but had visited my GP with abdominal pain for many years prior to that. For as long as I can remember, I've suffered with stomach pain and had been advised, when I was about ten years old, to keep a food diary. It seemed to ident...

Charlotte's story

Inspiring Body Strength: gutting into gear with IBS

I created this image; a lightning bolt to resemble the strikes of pain hitting the gut, the gradient colours as IBS is so variant for individuals – and my own love of bright c...

Nicola's Story

I have suffered from IBS for many years, and at times Crohn's Disease with varying symptoms and treatments. This time last year I was suffering from diarrhoea on average about 4-5 times a day. My symptoms have never been as severe as for many people – they never stop me going out or ...

Ruth's story

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is tricky to talk about. It can be messy, undignified and extremely embarrassing. Thankfully, I now feel able talk about it because my IBS is mostly in the past. I would like my story to provide some hope to others struggling to live with IBS. Here, I describe my...

To Read More Join today to access Members' Exclusive Content
Join Login Donate