In Conversation With Siobhan O'Connor: Life With An Invisible Illness



I spoke to the lovely Siobhan O'Connor, GB Olympic Swimmer, who suffers with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) named Ulcerative Colitis. Siobhan was brave enough to share her story with us, and the importance that a healthy, well-balance lifestyle has on her symptoms.

 

Here is a little snippet into our conversation:

 

How did you get the diagnosis?

"I was picking up injuries that were unexplained. I had lots of other issues like joint and vision problems that once I got the diagnosis, they all started to improve. I was experiencing so many symptoms which I don't know how I thought were so normal for so long. The urgency and frequency to go to the toilet was unbearable and I felt so fatigued, no matter how much sleep I got"

 

What is 1 thing you wish people did know about Ulcerative Colitis?

"Someone can be really struggling but not show it. It's an invisible illness so people say 'you look fine so surely you're not that ill. You can look healthy from the outside but really be struggling with it on the inside. Don't battle with it on your own or bottle it up."

 

Do you find nutrition plays a role in your condition?

"Yes definitely, people's condition are as individual as their fingerprints so no one experiences the same journey. For me, food does play a role and your meals, soups and juices are perfect for people with IBD because they're already broken down and easy to digest but still get enough fibre."

 

Listen to the full chat below:


 Are you up to date with episode 1 of our 'In Conversation With' series? Catch up here.

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