THE number of young people admitted to hospital with Crohn’s Disease, an Inflammatory Bowel Disease, has risen by 300 per cent, it has been claimed.
Nick Porter, 26, of Wimborne, who was diagnosed when he was 13, is currently taking medication and has to inject himself every two weeks.
He says: “I've had most of the treatments, though so far mercifully, I haven't had to have surgery on my intestines, though I'm fully aware that is a likelihood eventually.
“My condition has been better in the past few months, so I’ve wanted to be able to help others while I am in a position to do so I started a twitter account @awkwardIBD detailing the lighter side of IBD.”
Nick also writes light-hearted blogs about the problems Crohn’s sufferers face and aims to make people realise they aren’t alone with the things they go through.
“Your first instinct is to go out and find out as much information as you can about your condition and what can help you. I completely agree with this idea, but I will urge caution for a number of reasons.
“The internet is filled with horror stories; from ineffective treatments, horrible side effects, clueless doctors and horrific symptoms. It is all there, and almost certainly, the easiest information to find.
“But it is important to remember that everyone’s experiences will be slightly different.
The symptoms of IBD are wide and varied. Some people will have virtually no problems all their life; some people will have tremendous difficulty. Most will fluctuate in and out of these two states to varying degrees.”
Nick’s advice for anyone newly diagnosed is to be honest with those around you.
“This is probably the biggest thing I have struggled with. Whether it is bravado, or whatever you will call it, there is a reluctance because of how others will perceive it.
“I don’t advocate telling everyone you meet the ins and outs of your condition, especially if you are in school.
“It can very easily damage your relationships if you let it. You have to be able to swallow your pride, and let the people around you in. It will actually help you to be there for others, when they themselves feel they can help you in return.
“I have to fight my own body to do the things I love although I think I appreciate them more as I don’t take them for granted.”
Nick who works in air traffic control, says he is still able to lead a full and active life and to pursue his hobbies which include motor racing and football.