"Poor GP care and poor information for irritable bowel syndrome"

(as the patient),

I am in my 30's and about 2 years ago developed severe bowel problems which resulted in having to leave my job and career due to lack of toilet facilities in the hospital department that i worked & lack of support from my Council employers. It took my gp nearly 7 months to prescribe a simple but effective drug called immodium which helped me. Initially the gp's first reaction was to prescribe sedatives and then anti depressants and then a psychiatric nurse and the a referral to psychology who did not accept the referral. I did not want nor need any of this but felt i had to barter with my gp. I dreaded each visit and was made to feel powerless. I have been extremely disappointed with the service i have received by my gp and subsequently from the hospital who did not offer much practical support at all and to date i have never given a stool sample. Luckily, I am now able to speak up and researched my symptoms alone. I payed privately for alternative support which helped me but whenever i mentioned this to my gp or hospital i was ridiculed for wasting my money 'as there was no evidence to suggest this worked etc'. Walk in my shoes and plenty of others shoes and then come back and say this to me! I now manage my problem very well and without any medication. I have felt embarrassed, ridiculed and angry at the way the last 2 years have been managed as I feel i could have got there a lot quicker with understanding and pratical advice. In my experience, the services for people with irritable bowel are appalling and i feel sorry for those who are unable to pay privately or are unable to access information alone and without support. I would like to thank my family and partner for their uderstanding and the IBS Network who gave me hope. I am now back working and beginning to enjoy life again.
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It sounds like you had a tough time getting the treatment and support you needed. We are very aware of the problems that many people can have getting the right help in your situation. It’s great that you were able to find solutions, and that you had support from your family and The Gut Trust (formerly IBS Network) when you needed it most. We know how hard it can be to try to manage situations like this on your own. We hear time and time again that people with IBS thought they were the only one with the problem and that they would have to manage alone. We wish you the best of luck with the continuing management of your problem. If you would like anymore advice or information about how other people in a similar situation manage, please visit our website Penny Nunn Development Director
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