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Book Review - Sophie's Story

Sophie's Story: My 20-Year Battle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome by Sophie LeeSophies story_cover

Sophie has suffered from irritable bowel syndrome since the age of 12. In this book she offers a very real and often heart-wrenching account of what it is like to live with IBS day after day. Like fibromyalgia, IBS is often not really understood by doctors and the public alike. It can be dismissed as a psychological problem, one induced by stress, or a condition that gives you a few aches and pains and a bit of diarrhoea or constipation now and again.

Sophie wants to put the record straight and allow people to learn facts about IBS from somebody who has lived with it for many years, to dispel the myths that often surround it and to share tips and advice about treatment that she has accumulated over the years.

Sophie will have you bursting into laughter and welling up with tears as she describes the intense pain of IBS, the unpredictability of the symptoms, her frustrating encounters with doctors, her ever-growing obsession with bathrooms and the overwhelming embarrassment of bowel problems. Sophie was so embarrassed about her symptoms that she told no one about her condition for many years, not even her family. She wants to encourage others to reach out to friends and family and not to suffer alone. IBS can take over your whole life affecting your work life, social life, any plans you want to make, in fact everything you want to do and having the support and understanding of those around you is invaluable.

Over the years, Sophie has tried many different treatments, some with more success than others. She describes different supplements and therapies that are available for IBS and that may work for you. She stresses that the solution to ‘taming the IBS beast’ can be different for each person and therapies can work to different extents for different people. She has found a gluten-free diet to be the most beneficial for reducing her symptoms, and combined with various supplements is now almost symptom-free.

Sophie is the founder of the website blog www.ibstales.com where people with IBS can share their stories and experiences of treatments, the medical profession and helpful lifestyle changes. Sophie first started her blog as a way of venting her feelings and to help her track the efficacy of new treatments in the form of an online diary. She includes some of her entries in the book which really help you to get an idea of the all-consuming affect IBS can have on your life.

This is a book that gets to the heart of the matter and lets you know in no uncertain terms that you are not alone, there are treatments that can help and there are people out there who really do understand.

Sophie's Story: My 20-Year Battle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome by Sophie Lee is available from FMA UK priced at £15.99.

By Kathy Longley

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