A woman with Crohn’s disease has bravely revealed her ostomy bag to the world after having three operations to remove part of her colon.
The Imgur user, known as unicornpoops228, shared a photo of herself online with her ostomy bag proudly on display.
“For many people with an ostomy [bag], body image and self esteem can be a big hurdle,” she explained.
“Suddenly there’s a bag of poop hanging off of you, and it’s not the easiest thing to conceal. It’s something I’ve been struggling with since my surgery.”
With the help of the #GetYourBellyOut social media campaign, she managed to face her fears and bare her ostomy with a huge smile on her face.
Her photo has since been viewed more than 78,000 times.
Crohn’s disease is a relatively uncommon condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system. There are currently at least 115,000 people living with the condition in the UK, according to the NHS.
Symptoms typically include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fatigue, unintended weight loss, and blood and mucus in faeces.
Writing on Imgur, unicornpoops228 said she was sent for emergency surgery back in July to repair a perforated bowel caused by Crohn’s Disease.
“I had 14 inches of my colon removed and spent 39 days in the hospital. After many complications and another two-week hospital stay, I had surgery for a temporary ileostomy,” she added.
The Imgur user said the internet provided her with lots of laughs during this difficult time and it was then that she came across #GetYourBellyOut, a social media movement encouraging people who have ostomy bags to show them off with pride.
“When I first got my ostomy, sharing a picture of my belly would have scared the crap out of me,” she explained.
“I’m hoping this can spread awareness and encourage other ostomates to get their bellies out.”