Kirstie Marshall on IBS

Kirstie Marshall on IBS


Three-time Olympian, winner of 17 World Cup Gold Medals and World Champion Aerial skier, Kirstie Marshall, 32, reflects on her personal experience with IBS.

FEMAIL: When and how did you first discover that you had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Kirstie:
About two years ago I had been travelling overseas and I returned home to discover that I had an irritable bowel. It became more apparent two months after my return, when I'd expected everything to settle down, because I'm generally very fit and have a great diet. But I was then diagnosed with IBS.

FEMAIL: What are your symptoms and how long have you been experiencing them?

Kirstie:
I have abdominal pain, quite a lot of bloating and a little bit of constipation. I remember these symptoms really starting two years ago, but I've been quite uncomfortable for the past 10 years.

FEMAIL: What problems do you experience with IBS?

Kirstie:
With IBS, especially in winter sports where you are often a long way from anywhere, you have to have a sense of trust that everything is under control. And you don't have that faith at all. In fact, you're reliant on IBS not striking at a completely inopportune time, and it doesn't normally cooperate that well!

FEMAIL: As an athlete, how have you been controlling your IBS symptoms?

Kirstie:
As an athlete, you train because you want to get a result. And you can't have somebody else do the training for you. You're responsible for it. So you know that if you want a better result, you train harder. With IBS, it doesn't matter what you do, it isn't within your control. So as an athlete, you're not used to that. You understand the philosophy that as an athlete, the harder you work, the better the result. But with IBS, it doesn't matter how hard you work. You personally, on your own, won't get the result that you're after.

FEMAIL: How did you come to be diagnosed with IBS?

Kirstie:
I was very fortunate, because when I first went to see my GP, he listened to what my symptoms were and looked into them further and then diagnosed me with IBS. He didn't just tell me that I needed to eat more fruit or drink more water. He recognised that there was something quite wrong.

FEMAIL: How do you feel about this new treatment for IBS?

Kirstie:
I think it's really great that there is a new drug out there that is able to help people who have the symptoms or suffer from IBS. It gives you some control back in your life. It's terrific that there is now a real solution for a very common problem.

FEMAIL: What advice can you give people who may have symptoms of IBS?

Kirstie:
My advice is to go and see your doctor and find out about the new treatment that is now available for IBS.

People seeking further information about how to better manage and treat their condition can visit the Irritable Bowel Information and Support Association (IBIS) of Australia at www.ibsrelief.com.au

*** Read up on a new breakthrough treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.***


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