Who Am I?
A Belly Full of comes from me, Bryony Hopkins, journalist and full time foodie. Seriously, I love food. I wake up thinking about it, I go to sleep dreaming about it and I’m always thinking about my next meal. So it’s pretty inconvenient to suffer from an autoimmune disease, which impacts my entire digestive tract. Crohns Disease has been with my since I was a child and has hugely shaped who I am, what I do today and what I seek for the future. It’s the reason this blog was born and drives most of the content I produce for myself and other outlets.
My Crohns story
At the age of four, I was diagnosed with Crohns. It is an autoimmune disease which can affect part, or all of your digestive tract. It holds no prisoners – excruciating stomach pain becomes part of daily life for many Crohns sufferers, not to mention many other more undignified symptoms. I shared my Crohns story for World IBD Day on the Huffington Post – which you can read here.
I had undergone six major abdominal operations, lived with an ileostomy, been depressed on Steroids and had my hair fall out with Infliximab. And still the disease raged on – in a horrible gut twisting way.
However, in 2016 I took things into my own hands and underwent a dramatic lifestyle change. Since an intense one month liquid diet to help put me in remission (see my Liquid Diet Diary for an account of the experience) , I have radicalised my diet by completely eliminating all gluten and dairy and cutting back massively on meat. I battled through an arduous ‘food reintroduction’ phase post liquid diet and I now have a pretty detailed understanding of what my body can and can’t tolerate. It’s truly astonishing how much it’s changed my quality of life.
I have learnt that there are OTHER things to drugs and surgery that can be done to maximise the body’s healing process – and as I learn, I am sharing with you. Recipes & health updates – find it all here!
But of course, anybody who has Inflammatory Bowel Disease knows that the journey never ends, and I still have considerable ups and downs. This blog is my platform for talking about my experiences, offering advice from my journey and reaching out to others in the IBD community.
Please note here I fully support conventional medicine and am still on medication myself for my IBD. Everything I write and recommend should be done alongside conventional medicine and advice from your specialist.
Get in contact
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Can’t wait to hear from you.
For loads more information on Crohns Disease and Colitis, visit Crohns and Colitis UK. A fantastic charity who fund vital research into IBD.