BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 30

BALANCE
PROMOTION

"THERE'S POWER
IN SHARING"
For Olympian Siobhan-Marie O'Connor, living with
Ulcerative Colitis wasn't the issue. Talking about it was.
This article
has been
sponsored and
developed in
association
with Pfizer©

W

e're constantly told it's good to
talk. But whether it's a reluctance
to vocalise a difficult subject or
even embarrassment, this isn't
always as easy as it sounds.
So, it's not difficult to be inspired by Olympic
swimmer Siobhan-Marie O'Connor, who was not
only the youngest swimmer representing Team
GB at the 2012 Olympics before winning silver
four years later in the 200m Individual Medley
at Rio 2016, but also manages to talk about her
experience with Ulcerative Colitis (UC). So
there is no one better to spearhead the Now UC
Me campaign, which both raises awareness and
encourages people living with UC to open up and
talk about the condition.
UC is a chronic and often debilitating
inflammatory disease of the bowel; symptoms can
impact people's lives both physically and mentally.
The condition cannot be outwardly seen, but has
a huge influence on the quality of everyday life,
with symptoms including diarrhoea, abdominal
discomfort, rectal bleeding, nausea, vomiting,
weight loss, fatigue and urgent bowel movements.1-4
What's more, patients often feel embarrassed to
speak up about having these symptoms. While UC
might be life-altering, it doesn't mean patients have
to abandon their life goals. Just look at Siobhan.
"I was only just coming in to my swimming
career and starting to believe in myself. I didn't
want UC to knock me backwards," says the 23-yearold. "There are days where it creeps up on you and
you feel tired, drained and don't want to go out."
Siobhan urges those affected to talk. Sharing and
getting things off your chest can have a profound
effect on one's sense of wellbeing.
Siobhan, the Pride of Bath, adds: "Because it's
invisible, people don't know
what's really going on. There's
real power in being able to share
what you're experiencing. When
I hear other people talking about
UC, it gives me the strength to
then tell other people about it
and say what's really going on."
To find out more, visit
nowucme.co.uk
The Now UC Me disease awareness campaign is developed
and funded by Pfizer© PP-PFE-GBR-1933 September 2019

30

I T ' S T I M E TO TA L K
The stats inspiring the Now
UC Me campaign 5
A survey conducted by
Pfizer UK comparing patient
and physician perspectives
on communication about
and management of
Ulcerative Colitis, offers
a glimpse into the impact
of this chronic disease:

* 3 in 5 patients feel like
UC controls their life
* 83% of adults agree that
UC is mentally exhausting
* Nearly 2 in 3 (63%)
patients reported missing
social events

* More than half of patients
surveyed feel like they
would be more successful
if they did not have UC
* 21% have experienced
an impact on their family,
including avoiding/ending
relationships

References:
1. Mowat C, Cole A, Windsor A, et al. Guidelines for the management of inflammatory bowel disease in adults. Gut 2011;
60:571-607.
2. Irvine EJ. Quality of Life of Patients with Ulcerative Colitis: Past, Present, and Future. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
2008;14(4):554-563.
3. Adams SM, Bornemann PH Am Fam Physician. 2013 May 15;87(10):699-705.
4. Hanauer SB. Inflammatory bowel disease. N Engl J Med. 1996;334(13):841-8.
5. Pfizer data on file. April 2018. (REF-GIP2859)


http://nowucme.co.uk

BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019

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