A stunning Australian model, Alyce Crawford, a former “Australia’s Top Model” contestant spends a lot of time in a bikini, for both work and play. Though Crawford may be renowned for her spectacular abs, she made news for another reason.
The Instagram model began experiencing severe abdominal pain and bloating in 2013 which greatly affected her social life and mental health. She was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a painful gastrointestinal condition.
Some common symptoms of IBS include gas, bloating, constipation, cramping, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. It is a lifetime condition with spells that can lasts for hours, days, or even weeks.
Crawford shared a shocking post with her 20,000-plus followers on Instagram, revealing her past struggles with IBS. The before-and-after images show the real-life impact of her severe IBS bloating.
READ ALSO: Best Home Remedies for IBS
Crawford reveals in her post that she hasn’t felt completely healthy in almost three years, and that the extreme bloating forced her to take a break from her modeling work, as she sought advice from experts — including two gastroenterologists and two naturopaths. However, she got no solution and her bloating persisted.
Crawford continued to experience both physical and mental complications as a result of her condition, including an inability to eat food.
According to her, “I developed food anxiety, eating became a fear of mine because it seemed no matter what I was eating or drinking, even water and tea were making me sick.”
A friend of Crawford’s who lives with Crohn’s disease recommended her to a specialist, and a solution for her bloating and pain: the FODMAP diet.
“FODMAP” stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols — scientific terms for a group of carbs that are commonly linked to digestive symptoms like gas, stomach pain, and bloating.
Cutting out FODMAP foods can help relieve IBS symptoms, according to several studies. This means some foods will need to be avoided. These foods include wheat, yogurt, wheat, soft cheeses, legumes, onions, honey, and a wide array of fruits and vegetables.
Crawford confessed that following a restrictive diet hasn’t come easy. “I will not lie, it can be hard to follow as there is a lot of food that you need to avoid (garlic, onion, avocado, cauliflower, honey just to name a few).”
And, sometimes, she allows herself to indulge in a favorite food that might trigger her symptoms, like a recent taste of guacamole, which instantly made her to bloat.
However, Crawford is determined to put her health first, she wrote:
“At the end of the day, feeling well and healthy always makes me happiest, so 80-90 percent of the time I choose my health and happiness over a burger!”
So, with the help of her specialist and her determination, she’s taking control of her diet and her IBS.
“I was not fine with living the way I was and feeling sick every single day, so I chose to do something about it,” she writes.
Crawford is encouraging others who live with digestive symptoms to do the same, even if means short-term sacrifices.
“Yes, missing out at times was hard BUT healing my stomach was so important to me,” she writes. “I knew the longer I did the right thing for my health, the faster my stomach would heal and I would therefore be able to enjoy in the long run.”