In this week’s episode, Ulcerative Colitis fighter, Molly Dunham-Friel, shares her journey battling Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). One year after her Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis in 2012, she was diagnosed with IBS, and in 2018, SIBO was added to her list of gut conditions.
Over the past year, she’s tried a number of different diets, acupuncture, exercise, talk therapy, medications, supplements, frequency specific microcurrent therapy, detoxing foot baths and much more in an attempt to help heal her gut. She talks about the long and winding journey that battling gut conditions is and shares everything from the various diets and medications she’s taken to the lasting food fear and anxiety that still remains.
Throughout her entire IBD journey, Molly has been determined to find her best health–looking to thrive rather than just survive. Early on, she went through multiple gastroenterology clinics until she finally found one that made her feel like she was being heard and working with the staff, rather than just given medications and dismissed until the next appointment.
Her persistence for better care grew over the years as she became passionate about advocating not only for herself, but for others in the IBD and IBS communities. She’s been an active volunteer with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, moderating local support groups and supporting events, and this past summer, she even met with her local government representatives to discuss the needs of IBD patients and issues in the healthcare system, such as medication and procedure costs.
Though she admits she doesn’t have all the answers and the journey is full of twists and turns, she continues to fight, constantly seeking ways to improve her gut and overall health, and live life to the fullest.