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Freedom from IBS Hell - from Living with IBS to Becoming Symptom Free

by Zoe Salmon Corrie(more info)

listed in ibs, originally published in issue 240 - August 2017

No that’s not a pregnancy bump - that’s my IBS!

 

Zoe shares her IBS story here- https://youtu.be/1e0h2S_s5kM  

 

 

Background

Former Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon-Corrie has it all, or so it seems. Recently married Zoe radiates natural beauty; is gracious, bright and successful. Her animated enthusiasm is simply infectious, her good humour is enchanting. But she, like all of us has her own personal mountain to overcome. In her case it’s one that would strip most people of their sense of dignity, leaving them unable to function in this frenzied world of ours. She suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Zoe’s IBS Story

  • Zoe’s story may seem like that of the quintessential modern day princess. But there is an ogre lurking in the shadows of her world and it’s one that many, many people face. It began when she was just 17 and working in a dress shop to make pocket money while studying for her A-levels;
  • “I suddenly collapsed with the most awful abdominal pains,” she remembers. “I didn’t know what was happening to me;” 
  • The next day she saw her GP who thought she might have reacted badly to some food she had eaten, some hours before the attack.  However, a month later, Zoe had another attack, this time, immediately after a meal. And that was the start of years of insecurity, living with the fear that she could be face an attack at any time, in any place for whatever reason;
  • Following a process of trial and error, she came to the conclusion that she was suffering from IBS;
  • She tried every remedy under the sun, including probiotics, and supplements; she also experimented with different diets, all to no avail;
  • One of the worst symptoms for Zoe was bloating as a result of her IBS. The bloating made her look “several months pregnant” and she confesses press have asked her in the past if she is in fact pregnant;
  • “When you have IBS you can get the most excruciating pain,” Zoe explains. “You get terrible cramps which are caused by a complete blockage; this means you can also get bloating, diarrhoea and constipation;
  • Once, I was at a friend’s dinner party when I got an attack I had to lock myself in the bathroom. They were calling me but I couldn’t even speak, it was so bad.” When spending time with friends, Zoe would just “hope for the best” that an attack wouldn’t happen but when it did, she would have to find a bathroom immediately and then rush home at the best available opportunity in between attacks; 
  • “Another time soon after I met Will, we were in Spain, traveling by taxi when I got an IBS attacks. I was in so much pain I was covered in perspiration. Back then I still hadn’t told him I suffered from IBS;” 
  • Zoe’s very worst attack happened at Amsterdam’s airport, on her way back from the Island Challenge. “I was the only one going on to Belfast,” she explains, “when I got an attack that lasted 10 hours. There was absolutely no way I could get on that flight. If you’d paid me £1m, I couldn’t have crawled on to that plane, even though it’s such a short journey. People just don’t seem to understand what it’s like for people with IBS.” Zoe’s worst nightmare was to suffer an attack at work so she would eat “extremely cleanly when at work” and would have to opt for dairy and gluten free foods;

 

Zoe Salmon IBS Story with Alflorex 3

  • Shortly after that dreadful experience, Zoe started to take a natural, over-the-counter probiotic supplement, called Alflorex. It was coming close to her nuptials, and she was prepared to try anything. “I wanted to be able to eat whatever I liked on my wedding day,” she says. “I’ve now been on Alflorex for three months. On my wedding day I did eat whatever I wanted without nasty consequences. And on honeymoon, I had pizza, ice cream and Prosecco just about every day, and I still didn’t have any problems, and I haven’t had any symptoms since;” 
  • Zoe believes the secret to Alflorex, lies is the fact that it’s a precision probiotic, which specifically targets problems in the digestive tract, especially when symptoms of IBS are present. It has been clinically proven to relieve symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, passage of gas, bloating and bowel habits; 
  • “There have been several occasions recently, such as a visit to France, when I thought I was sure to get an attack, but I haven’t had one. I feel so much more relaxed and confident being IBS free” Zoe says, the relief tangible in her sweet lilt;
  • Zoe has become more open in recent times about her IBS with friends and even has learned that some of them also have been suffering in silence. This is why Zoe is keen to spread awareness. “It’s good to know that none of us are alone and that with Alflorex working for me, I hope it works for other sufferers too.”

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About Zoe Salmon Corrie

Zoe Salmon Corrie was one of four children who grew up in Bangor. One year into her law degree at Queen’s University Belfast, she was crowned Miss Northern Ireland and suddenly her life took on a whole new dimension. It began by taking a year out from her studies. These days, the job is all about doing charity work. The diversity of the engagements was stunning. Zoe is still involved in some of those causes, especially Action Cancer, Northern Ireland’s leading charity. Winning the title opened doors for Zoe; modelling was one of them. The day Zoe became a fully qualified lawyer, she noticed an advertisement in a newspaper for a presenter for that iconic children’s programmes, Blue Peter. With a lifelong love of singing, dancing and performing, she couldn’t resist. Following four intensely rigorous interviews, she got the gig, and so began yet another departure in her seemingly charmed life. She was offered the opportunity, to present her own game show, called Hot Rods, for the BBC. From that flowed other television opportunities, such as Dancing on Ice. Having been coached by Torvill and Dean, she says she was the only girl ever, to score a 6, the highest mark possible, in one particular routine. Her most recent exploit, was the Island Challenge, with Bear Grylls, when she and some other contestants had to survive on an island in Central America. When it came to falling in love, Zoe chose a local lad -  William Corrie from Northern Ireland. Read her biography at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z%C3%B6e_Salmon You can follow her on Twitter @Zoe_Salmon and watch Zoe’s story here- https://youtu.be/1e0h2S_s5kM

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