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.

People's Stories 

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...

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