Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Louise Stock, 30, was barely able to walk and off work for six months
A female bodybuilder has told how a debilitating illness made her lose three stone in a month, nearly led to cancer, and almost killed her.
Mum-of-two Louise Stock dropped to just 7st at the worst point after developing pancolitis – a disease which spreads throughout the large intestine.
After a marriage break up, the 30-year-old hit the gym to get over it and was at the peak of her physical fitness last May when struck down with the condition.
It was just three months before she was due to take part in her first bodybuilding contest after nearly a year of training.

Instead the business advisor from Bargoed, south Wales, was left dangerously underweight and barley able to walk so could not take part.
She said: “The disease hit me hard. I was losing weight rapidly and was admitted to hospital six times. I was going to the toilet 20 times a day and was unable to eat and drink.”
The condition, which is a form of ulcerative colitis, causes severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea and rectal bleeding, and made her feel constantly drained.
Ulcerative Colitis is one of the two main types of inflammatory bowel disease.
The other is Crohn’s Disease which caused former TOWIE star Sam Faiers to drop to 7st in the Celebrity Big Brother House in February 2014.
Things got worse when she developed hospital bug Clostridium Difficile and a dilated colon, which saw her lose three stone in four weeks.
“It was horrific. I was treated with intravenous steroids and immune suppressant drugs. I dropped to 7st,” she said.
The disease weakened her immune system and led to her developing pre-cancerous cells on her cervix which needed urgent surgery and follow-up chemotherapy.
She now suffers with arthritis in her knees and swelling in the joints which has completely knocked the self-confidence she built for herself during weight training.
“I’ve had to take six months off work,” said Louise, who also has bipolar disorder.
“Before this hit I was a bubbly, outgoing, busy person. I loved going to the gym, going on days out with the kids – and now a barely leave the house.
“I have no confidence. I have to fight to get out of bed in the morning. Every time I eat I have to take medication. It’s really a life-changing disease.”
The doting mum, who has a six and 11-year-old, fears she may need her large intestine removed should her steroid medication fail to improve her condition.
“It means I may need a colostomy bag – that would be a massive challenge. This disease is so debilitating and cruel. I am just one in over 261,000 people affected by this.”
She is now determined to overcome the condition which almost claimed her life.
She said: “The gym completely changed my life. It wasn’t just about getting fit. It became a new family for me.
“The exercise made me more confident physically and made me feel much better about myself.
“I am now back up to my normal weight and I won’t give up without a fight.”
One of her closest gym friends, award-winning bodybuilder Michelle Dempsey, is planning on shaving off all her hair on April 17 for charity Crohns and Colitis UK.
Louise has also taken inspiration from English bodybuilder Blake Beckford who was crowned champion of a national fitness competition despite being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2003.
“Many people think that this disease is just diarrhea, they are so wrong,” she added.
“There is a lack of publicity around this condition compared with cancer.
“In some ways I’m lucky. I’ve seen babies with the condition who need feeding through tubes, and teenagers missing school because they’re in so much pain.
“But I have fantastic kids. They understand that mammy cannot do many things she’d like. They’re as good as gold.”
Courtesy of: Mirror

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