Ex-TOWIE star Abigail Clarke, 25, has cured her crippling irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with probiotics.
Abigail has suffered with a painful and sensitive gut for as long as she can remember, but was only diagnosed with the condition a few years ago.
Aside from affecting her work and social life, Abigail was trolled on twitter over her bloated figure.
She told MailOnline: ‘People would write on twitter that I’d gained weight but they didn’t realise I was just bloated
‘The comments made me feel horrible. I didn’t want to go out, I felt fat and disgusting and different to everyone else.’
Ex-TOWIE star Abigail Clarke, 25, battled crippling irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for years
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition of the digestive system.
It affects around one in five people at some point in their lives.
Women are twice as likely to suffer as men.
The cause is unknown but may be linked to gut sensitivity and food intolerances.
There is no cure.
Some sufferers find relief through avoiding any trigger foods, exercising and managing stress.
Source: NHS Choices
Abigail was so desperate she made drastic dietary changes, but nothing brought her relief from her agonising symptoms.
She said: ‘Initially my GP thought I suffered from gluten intolerance and put me on a gluten-free diet.
‘However, after time I began to realise that it wasn’t just gluten that affected me but pretty much anything would trigger my stomach to bloat or hurt badly.
‘I could never have a curry or grab food on the go in case it had mayo or chutney in it and would set me off.’
Earlier this year, Abigail’s stomach cramps were so painful that she ended up in hospital on a drip.
Her condition had a huge impact on every aspect of her life.
Abigail had to endure cruel taunts about her bloated figure on social media thanks to her IBS
‘My job as a fashion PR and being in the public eye meant that I was invited to lots of events; I also had a busy social life. But very often I would have to pull out last minute, even though I really wanted to go.’
Her IBS even got in the way of Abigail’s love life.
She said: ‘I used to be in relationship and it would cause arguments because I didn’t want to go out as I felt so bloated and disgusting and unsexy.’
Abigail says she feels much more body confident now her IBS symptoms are under control
Probiotic supplements have finally given Abigail the relief she’s been craving.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are thought to restore the natural balance of microbes in the gut, which may reduce flatulence and bloating.
Abigail cut out some types of food, but finally found relief after taking probiotic supplements
Abigail said: ‘Now I feel like I’ve turned a very big corner, thanks to taking a probiotic called Alflorex.
‘Its changed my life, it’s completely settled my stomach, I can eat anything now.
‘It’s so nice to feel sexy in a tight dress!’