Those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome know how painful, uncomfortable and downright debilitating the physical aspects of the condition can be. But for Aussie model Alyce Crawford, it’s her mental health that’s been affected most.
“For the last 3 years, I have suffered with IBS,” she revealed in an Instagram post.
“The symptom I suffer with specifically is severe bloating. It began literally overnight while I was living in America. I woke up one morning, my stomach was extremely bloated & I was experiencing sharp stabbing pains. From that day on, my life was never the same.”
To show the extent of her distended belly, Alyce shared two side-by-side pics – one of her sculpted abs, and one in the midst of a flare-up.
“The above photo on the right where I am bloated was the stomach I put up with 90% of the time for 3 years,” she explained.
“No woman or man is ever going to feel good about themselves, while physically looking like the photo on the right,” she continued.
“Looking this way was just one of the battles, the other was how I felt. Sick, nauseous, sore, unmotivated and very lethargic.”
These symptoms left Alyce feeling like regular daily habits (like simply getting dressed in the morning) were the toughest of feats to accomplish.
“All I wanted to wear was my pyjamas & not move from a laying down position, as sitting upright hurt too much,” she said.
It wasn’t until she sought advice from a dietician who recommended FODMAPS – a strict eating plan that eliminates most carbohydrates and high-fructose foods – that she finally found relief.
“Yes, missing out at times was hard BUT healing my stomach was so important to me,” she added. “I knew the longer I did the right thing for my health, the faster my stomach would heal and I would therefore be able to enjoy in the long run.”
And while she admitted that the condition isn’t life-threatening, it continues to impact her mindset and social life.
Just last week, she penned another post explaining that she forced to cancel dinner plans because of her IBS.
“Last Saturday night I was planning on going out to dinner with my friends and boyfriend,” she wrote. “We must have called six restaurants prior to ensure there was something I could eat.”
“Although every restaurant we contacted tried to accommodate me, none of them could,” she added. “Situations like this takes the joy out of doing something as simple and enjoyable as dining out with your friends and/or partner, not to mention I hated that I was being difficult. In the end, we had to compromise so we could still enjoy our night. My friends instead came over to our house where they brought wine, and everyone ordered takeaway.”
As there is currently no cure for IBS, Alyce is learning to find the positives in her situation and take each day as it comes.
“Being patient really is a big part of the feeling better process,” she said in a recent post.
“There are days that are more frustrating than others when I’m not feeling well. Sometimes I completely feel like giving up and have “why me” moments, BUT this is when my strength kicks in!”
“When you are at your lowest remember how worthy you are, how tough you are, how capable you are and how these times are mini tests that will make you stronger in the future.”