Beauty Queen 22 Struck Down Ulcerative Colitis, has urged other young people with ulcerative colitis to not suffer in silence.
Ulcerative Colitis is a condition that causes inflammation and ulceration of the inner lining of the rectum and colon (the large bowel).In UC, tiny ulcers develop on the surface of the lining and these may bleed and produce pus.The inflamed colon is less able to absorb liquid and this can lead to a larger volume of watery stools. Also, because the colon cannot hold as much as usual, you may have very frequent bowel movements (six or more a day).The condition affects men and women equally.Viruses, bacteria, diet and stress have all been suggested as environmental triggers, but there is no definite evidence that any one of these factors is the cause of UC.It’s estimated that Ulcerative Colitis affects about one in every 420 people in the UK.
It’s more common in urban rather than rural areas and in northern developed countries, although the numbers are beginning to increase in developing nations.
UC is also more common in white people of European descent, especially those descended from Ashkenazi Jews (those who lived in Eastern Europe and Russia)
Despite controlling the condition with medication, Amber Gamble suffers frequent flare-ups which cause diarrhoea, blood loss and crippling fatigue.
But Miss Gamble, a fourth-year journalism and hispanic studies student at Sheffield University who is preparing to compete in an international beauty pageant competition, has refused to let embarrassing symptoms hold her back.
She said: ‘When I was diagnosed aged 15 I was shocked. No-one in my family had suffered with bowel disease so I didn’t know anything about it.
‘To be told I had a condition which I would just have to learn to live with was overwhelming.’
‘Over the years I’ve learned not to dwell on my circumstances, I just have to keep pushing forward.’