Dominique Nugent shared a heartbreaking video on social media this week.
The influencer explained that over the last few months, she had been diagnosed with an autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease called Ulcerative Colitis.
She shared clips of her in hospital as well as images of her bloating and going through treatment for the illness.
Dominique wrote: “A couple of months ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease called Ulcerative Colitis. I had been suffering with severe symptoms that were affecting my everyday life for over 2 years.
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“The symptoms had gotten so bad that I had stopped going to the gym, gave up jogging and couldn’t really even go for walks. Every time I had to leave the house I was on edge and stressed thinking if I’d make it to the next place. I could go from looking normal to 7 months pregnant in the space of an hour with painful bloating.
“Hot water bottles and heat patches became my best friends. I couldn’t remember the last time I actually slept through the night, was dropping weight, my clothes were falling off me and my mind was constantly in overdrive worrying about how my symptoms were getting progressively worse.”
She went on to say that she underwent “blood tests, samples, colonoscopy’s, infusions, medications were trialled, tested and failed”.
Dominique explained that “being admitted to hospital was a turning point for me”.
“My consultant said for 1 in 4 people with ulcerative colitis, surgery is the only option. He gave me some podcasts to listen to and I tried to research my options. I was so sad thinking my body knew how to attack itself better than respond to medication that would help my condition.”
“I was put on a biologic drug just after Christmas and taught how to self inject. I know it may sound a bit extreme but it’s honestly given me my life back.”
“It’s a fairly new diagnosis and I’m definitely not qualified to give advice on it to anyone else. I was so embarrassed to talk about it and I think that’s how I left the symptoms go on for so long without seeing a doctor,” she explained.
“It has taken me a while to get my head around the fact that it’s a chronic illness and that it’s something I’ll have to manage and probably be on medication for my whole life. I think there is a real stigma around bowel diseases but I always find that if sharing our stories and experiences can help even one person going through the same thing feel a little less alone than it’s worth it.”