My name is Paul and myself, along with my business partner, am the owner of Simply Sunshine. Back in December 2012, I went to see my GP as I was suffering from some pain in my lower abdomen, mainly on the right-hand side and it had been there for several weeks. It was beginning to slow me down and I needed to get it sorted. This was the beginning of two years of suffering without a successful diagnosis.
As a back note to this story, I would add that the NHS were great and I have no problem with the extensive testing and care they extended to me, albeit a little slow at times. Also over the two years I did try various diets excluding certain foods, sugars and even going gluten and dairy free, nothing worked!
So my GP took a good look at me and did some basic health checks, as a type 2 diabetic he also checked my blood sugar levels which are well under control without the use of medication. My GP suspected kidney stones and sent me for an X-ray and ultrasound, which did not reveal any stones. I had blood and urine tests which all reported normal.
In February I was referred to a Urologist where I was tested over the next 3 months for various bladder related problems, including two CT scans and a Cystoscopy, but no problems were found. However, he did suspect I might have the beginnings of a hernia.
In late April 2012, I was referred to a hernia specialist who examined me and concluded that it was unlikely that I had a hernia but agreed to see me again 8 weeks later, on returning he decided to send me for a deep ultrasound scan.
This scan did not reveal anything, but the consultant did say this could still not rule out the beginning of a hernia. After a further consultation that ran through to June 2103 they offered to carry out an exploratory operation but advised against it as they were pretty sure they would find nothing. I was given an open appointment for 6 months to see how things would go. I returned to see the hernia specialist again in late 2013 as my symptoms were getting worse.
He referred me via my GP to a different consultant who would now focus on my bowel, it took 3 months to get this appointment and I was seen by a junior who did not have any empathy with my case and dismissed any problems, but suggested I return in 3 months if things got worse, which they did.
Upon return I was finally offered a colonoscopy which I was convinced would reveal a problem, but alas it did not, my bowel was in pretty good shape and no further investigations were offered other than a further follow on appointment, which took almost 9 months to get due to cancellations by the hospital.
At my final appointment, I was told that I was being signed off and that there was nothing wrong with me, but the consultant kindly suggested I look for help for Irritable Bowel Syndrome as that was now all that was left!
During late 2014 I started my extensive research and sought advice from a wonderful nutritionist who gave me some great advice about cutting out certain combinations of food and this appeared to help at first, but long term my symptoms re-appeared.
My online research lead me to a product called Symprove, which was a bit expensive but the feedback was pretty good, I decided to take the plunge and give it a go.
I ordered the 4 Pack Mango & Passion Fruit, to be honest, I wasn't expecting much, as I had not found anything had worked thus far and I was beginning to accept my life was going to be full of pain and misery.
I read all I could find about Symprove, I knew that I would have to keep taking it for as long as 12 weeks to see an effect. After a few days of taking it (small dose 10 minutes before breakfast) I felt pretty awful, this stuff was making my loo visits even more frequent! However, I had read that this might be the case for a few days so I persevered.
I kept going and kept the faith, after the first pack which lasts about a month I had no improvement in my symptoms at all, not a thing! I felt unsure, should I continue? I had read it can take 8 to 10 weeks to really see a difference, so bought the next pack.
Eight weeks in and still no noticeable difference, this was not going well and I had now almost completely lost faith. But it was my wife that said keep going, you have come this far. So I ordered my third pack and I am so glad I took her advice. Towards the last week of my 12 weeks I started to feel better, much better! Wow, this was the best I had felt for over 2 years. I continued with Symprove for a further 8 weeks and then reduced to a smaller dose every other day.
Life was good, I felt I could eat anything and go anywhere, the freedom I felt was amazing.
In May 2015 I went on a 4 week holiday with my wife around Europe to celebrate 30 years of marriage and decided not to take any Symprove with me as I wanted to try life without it. The holiday went well and I felt great. I decided to stop taking Symprove and see how things went. Mistake!
After about 3 months all my symptoms returned, so I went back on another 12-week course, about 6 weeks in I started to feel much better, and have remained on Symprove ever since. I now take Symprove every other day and feel great.
I still get the odd “flare-up” normally brought on by overeating or very spicy foods, but there is no doubt that Symprove worked for me. I remain an ambassador for the product, but accept it may not work for everyone. If I have one single piece of advice to give, it would be, don’t give up and keep going, most people see results in the final weeks, not the first week.
If you are suffering from IBS or a similar condition, I hope you find a solution and get your life back. Symprove did it for me, it might just work for you too .