Crohn’s Disease: Q and A with Loïs Mills of ‘Gut Instinct’ by ManageDigestion
Loïs Mills is the face behind the blog ‘Gut Instinct’. She is a 25 year old from London. Her Blog and Youtube channel are all about her diagnosis and subsequent life story about living with Crohn’s Disease. She is a strong advocate of talking about all the things people think are taboo about poo. She has an avid following on youtube and has grown substantially over the past 8 months. If you are not following her yet, then click here and Subscribe to her. We recently had the chance to interview her about her blog.
Q: When did you first think you had Crohn’s Disease or realized something was wrong in your body?
Loïs: I first noticed that there was something wrong with my body back in 2014. I had just started a business and opened my own shop in October that year and by December noticed that I was constantly suffering with stomach cramps and that I was visiting the toilet all the time. Originally, I just put this down to stress, as I was working 7 days a week and living in a new county with my first store, so thought maybe it was natural that my body was playing up!
By the time my birthday came round in April 2015, I knew that I was really unwell. I started to go the doctor, but as I’ve heard with most Crohn’s Diagnosis, you are told to change your diet for a month etc etc. This played out back and forth for a few months, before I demanded that I be seen by a specialist as I was struggling to keep my business open being so sick.
I was referred to a bowel cancer screening in the Hospital and from there was finally on path to my diagnosis. I was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s in October 2015.
Q: How has Crohns Disease affected your life?
Loïs: Crohn’s has had a massive impact on my life! It was one of the reasons that I, unfortunately, had to close my shop, as I was too unwell to keep it open and shoulder the stresses of having my own business. Since then, it is pretty much a weight on my mind most days. The thing with an invisible illness is you carry a burden that no one else can see. I am very fortunate that I work for a small Agency that are amazing with my condition – they are flexible with my numerous hospital appointments and sympathetic when I leave multiple times throughout the day to go to the toilet!
In other ways, it has made me look at the world a bit differently. I am unfortunately not able to be as ‘wild’ as I used to be and I struggle a lot due to the hair loss and other nasty side effects that come with Crohn’s and my medication. But, life is what you make of it, so it’s just about trying to find my ‘new normal’.
Q: What’s the number one thing Dr’s don’t tell you about having Crohns Disease?
Loïs: One thing that Doctor’s don’t tell you about Crohn’s is the fatigue! I can sleep for at least 8 hours a night and still wake up and feel as if I’ve been hit by a bus. I often find myself pushing through a ‘fog’ like state of mind throughout the day and it makes it very hard to stay social and active when your only motivation is to get back into bed!
Q: What made you want to launch your Youtube Channel?
Loïs: I wanted to launch my YouTube channel, Gut Instinct because when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s, there seemed to be limited information available to me. Other than dusty medical websites, I struggled to find anything (or anyone) relatable, which increased the feeling of isolation and stigma attached to the condition. I’ve always been a chatty, enthusiastic and open girl and I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to ‘fill a space’ so to speak and hopefully then be the voice for Crohn’s that I was desperate to find a year or so ago.
Q: Where do you see your channel a year from now?
Loïs: A year from now, I would love my channel to not only be successful within the Crohn’s community but also within the wider space. The amount of positive feedback I’ve had from people who don’t have the condition but have had their eyes opened to it and learned something from my videos is amazing, as I feel like the increased awareness can only help sufferers and means that more people can understand from a relatable and realistic perspective. As Crohn’s is an invisible illness, I hope my channel will inspire people not to judge people who ‘don’t look sick’. On top of that, I just hope to reach more and more people and create a community together with each other’s journeys. One day I would love to write books too! Oh, and a cure wouldn’t be bad either…!
For more information about Loïs Mills, Check out her website: www.loismills.co.uk
Subscribe on Youtube Channel: Gut Instinct
Follow on Instagram: @LoisMills
Like Her on Facebook: @LoisMillsBlog
Follow on Twitter: @LoisMillsX