Is it possible to live ‘normally’ with IBS?

READER’S LETTER

“I know what one has to go through every day because my husband suffered under Crohns Disease for over a year until we found a cure for it,” a reader says.
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I was watching the news on TV1 the other night and Mandy Lloyd reported a case of a young lady, Danielle Barber, being afflicted with Crohns Disease since she was 19.

It must be so hard for a young person to be afflicted with Crohns. While I am not a victim of Crohns Disease, I know what one has to go through every day because my husband suffered under Crohns Disease for over a year until we found a cure for it.

Initially he was prescribed a sulphur drug to control his affliction but that had no effect whatsoever and the side effects totally changed his personality. His gastroenterologist told him that the drug was just to control the problem and, should the medication prove ineffective, he will be prescribed either a stronger dosage or a stronger drug to keep the disease under control.

As the body gets used to the drug and control is ineffective, the afflicted part of the colon will be removed by surgery as, once the disease is there, there is no cure, just medication to control it. When the means of control doesn’t work, again the infected colon will be operated on.

In time to come, his colon will be only as long as his two thumbs joined together which will make the dash to the toilet a matter of great urgency or [he’ll need] an ostomy bag that he will have to carry around him at all times. ‘What kind of life is that?’ he asked himself.

He was sent for a colonoscopy by his gastroenterologist to determine what further steps needed to be taken. The print from the colonoscopy in 2002 showed his colon riddled with ulcers, heavy signs of infection and the colon was red and inflamed.

At the time, I was working for a honey company in Nelson and at a demonstration stand in one of the pharmacies, a pharmacy staff had told me how she enjoyed the ‘Honeydew honey’ that Nelson had sold to them and how good she found the product for her IBS.

We had been out in the weekend and missed renewing his medical prescription, so there was panic all around him.

To cut a long story short, I got my husband to try the honey before dinner and he was immensely impressed with the taste of the honey as well as the effect on his bowel as he didn’t have to race to the toilet after he swallowed his last mouthful of food. He then decided to take another teaspoon of the honey before going to bed. He slept like a baby that night.

The next morning, he felt so good, he decided to have another spoon of the Honeydew honey before taking his breakfast and going to work. After work, he went to have his prescription renewed, but he never took the medication again but decided to stay with the Honeydew honey.

Six months of being on the honey and a year from his first colonoscopy, he was due to go for a second colonoscopy, which he did in the year 2003.

His specialist was stunned with the results as the endoscope pictures showed no ulcers and according to the specialist, his colon had no sign of ulcers or infection and was ‘pink and healthy, like a baby’s brand new colon’.

Seventeen years on and he is still healthy and well, thank God.

Margaret Scott
Pakuranga