‘Always had to be near a toilet’ – man with chronic illness that kept him at home

'Always had to be near a toilet' - man with chronic illness that kept him at home

Crohn’s disease describes a chronic condition in which part of the digestive system becomes inflamed. Around one in 323 people in the UK suffer from the condition, and Sas became one of them in his 30s. Although most people are usually diagnosed at a young age, Sas experienced a sudden onset of symptoms later in life. The symptoms became so severe that she hardly left the house for 18 months.

Sas, who lives in Brighton, explained that it all started with chronic fatigue. He said: “Chronic fatigue was probably one of the symptoms I had very early on, but I didn’t really realize what it was, if that makes sense.”

Six months later, his stomach was the next part of his body to take the hit. Sas recalled: “I started having really bad stomach cramps and couldn’t keep food down.

“At one point I was in and out of the toilet every 20 to 30 minutes.”

His symptoms escalated to the point where he ended up being “essentially” housebound for 18 months. “It always had to be near a toilet,” Sas added.

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The 38-year-old was unable to leave the house for too long without knowing if he will have access to a toilet.

The NHS explains that one of the main symptoms of Crohn’s disease, diarrhoea, can be impossible to predict as it can come on ‘suddenly’.

The health service notes that other telltale signs include:

  • Stomach aches and cramps (often in the lower right side of the abdomen)
  • Blood in your poop
  • tiredness (fatigue)
  • Weight loss

In Sas’s case, losing weight eventually became the “key indicator that something is wrong.”

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He said: “I’m naturally a big guy, so it’s easy for me to put on weight and muscle.” However, the condition caused him to lose weight.

Since her symptoms were caused by intestinal problems, Sas thought she was suffering from food poisoning. However, his mother pushed him to see a doctor.

Sas said: “The doctors, to be honest, didn’t have much of a clue and it was only through my persistence and my mum staying on my case that I pursued it to the end.”

Unfortunately, Sas’ journey to final diagnosis was long and bumpy. It took over two years to finally figure out what was causing the problems.

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Slowly adjusting to his diagnosis, Sas began experimenting with things like turmeric. He said: “My mum is Persian and cooks with a lot of turmeric, so it’s something I’ve eaten all my life.

“Turmeric has amazing anti-inflammatory properties and is kind of an immune booster.”

Inspired by the effects of turmeric and his research, he began making his own supplements which eventually led to the launch of his supplement business The Gut Co, which targets digestive issues.

Years later, Sas feels “really good” and works out six days a week while also running The Gut Co.

He added: “There are a lot more people in the world who are dealing with far worse things than I am dealing with on a day-to-day basis, so the reality is that I feel blessed rather than restricted by this condition.”


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