Interview excerpt: Charlotte describes her symptoms of IBS and the impact these had on her life.
For about nine months I couldn't work, when I was first diagnosed with the IBS. So it was so severe at the start that I couldn't really pull myself up a flight of stairs. Because it actually affects all your leg muscles as well, you know, sort of your lower body, just everything just - it's spasming, it's weak. And [I was] hypersensitive to smells, nauseous all the time. Never mind the bowel issues [laughing]. And so it's just completely debilitating. You know, mobility was affected. And confidence. You know, and anxiety levels would go up because you know when you leave the house you're going to be assaulted by smells, and you're sick, and you're round other people, you're on public transport. So, and then you don't want to be away from a loo. You need the immediate proximity, because you don't know at any time. You can't really socialise, or go places to eat, because everything you eat might be a problem. So it, it really affected every aspect of my life, which is why I really couldn't work for nine months.