Health & Fitness

I was in agony every time I ate until docs discovered truth, says Real Housewife Jane Rayner

Fed up Real Housewives of Jersey star Jane Rayner visited a new ‘Poo HQ’ TV clinic in a desperate bid to try and discover what was wrong with her bowel.

She was at the end of her tether, suffering from debilitating stomach pain and constant trips to the toilet after tests ruled out bowel cancer. 

Channel 4

Real Housewives of Jersey star Jane Rayner visited a new Poo HQ TV clinic as part of Channel 4 series, Know Your Sh!t: Inside our Guts[/caption]

Channel 4

Jane was told that scar tissues from an operation could be causing her bowel issues[/caption]

The first-of-a-kind gut clinic features in a new Channel 4 series, Know Your Sh!t: Inside our Guts.

It’s airing every Tuesday evening, with Jane appearing in episode two, and is aiming to raise awareness and tackle gut problems. 

And to Jane’s utter amazement within minutes of arriving at the ‘Poo HQ’, she had a potential answer.

She was told scar tissue left from keyhole surgery she’d had eight years ago to untangle her intestines was almost certainly causing the pain. 

The reality TV star, now 58, first started feeling ill nearly 20 years ago every time she ate any food.

She would regularly find herself doubled over in pain with a tummy ache as well as diarrhoea. 

TANGLED INTESTINES

After cutting out dairy from her diet, Jane went to the doctors and discovered in 2014 that she was suffering from a Paraduodenal hernia, meaning her intestines were all tangled up. 

“Life became almost impossible,” she admitted.

“They discovered my intestines were wrapped around my pancreas and so food was having difficulty passing through. 

“I was told it was very unusual and they had never seen it at my age.

“I needed to have keyhole surgery lasting a couple of hours to untangle them all.” 

Relieved the operation went smoothly, Jane thought she would be symptom free but a few months later, the pain returned. 

“Pretty much every time I ate I would have terrible pain again down my sides and I would need to go to the toilet a lot,” she revealed. 

“My poo looked like cowpat and sometimes, I couldn’t even go for a walk some days because I was in so much pain.

“It was really stressful.” 

In 2012, Jane’s mum died of bowel cancer and understandably, the return of the stomach pain made her fear she now had cancer too.  

“My mum suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but didn’t have any of the typical symptoms associated with bowel cancer,” she added. 

“There was no blood in her poo. By the time she had tests, it was too late. 

“She got diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer and five weeks later she died at the age of 72. 

“I was worried and stressed out fearing that I now had bowel cancer too.” 

Thankfully tests ruled out the deadly disease and a relieved Jane tried to put up with the pain. 

But fed up with constantly feeling ill, she decided to apply to go on Channel 4’s new health series after spotting an advert looking for people suffering from gut issues to come forward. 

To her delight, she was invited to attend the new TV ‘Poo clinic’ headed up by dietician Sophie Medlin and Dr Rabia Malik. 

The two experts advised Jane she probably had scar tissue, called adhesions, left from the original surgery.

She was recommended by Sophie to go on a residue diet – which doesn’t feature very much roughage or fibre – of soups, smoothies and soft foods to help relieve her symptoms. 

Two days later, Jane was pain free.  

“I kept thinking it might be IBS but as it never seemed to go away, I decided to apply to go on the programme,” explained Jane. 

“As soon as they told me they thought I had scar tissues, it all completely made sense. 

LIFE CHANGER

“I gave the residue diet a go and within two days I had no pain.  

“We filmed the series last July and afterwards I went to see another consultant, who confirmed I did have some scar tissues left.  

“This diet has revolutionised my life. I have felt so much better on it. 

“I will have soggy cornflakes for breakfast, soup at lunch and soft food like soft fish, courgettes or I overcook fruit.  

“Christmas was obviously hard as you can’t not eat Christmas dinner and I felt the pain again, but at least I know now what to do.” 

Jane is having some more tests to determine if she can have another operation to remove the scar tissue. 

She added: “[The consultant] doesn’t know how stuck it is going to be, but hopefully more keyhole surgery will help remove it.” 

She said she hoped by sharing her story on the new Channel 4 series it would inspire anyone with bowel issues to visit their doctor. 

“Lots of things can go wrong and any pain should be checked out,” said Jane.  

Going on to pay tribute to The Sun’s Deborah James for her bravery in trying to fight bowel cancer, Jane added: “Bowel Babe was incredible.

“She fought so hard and she was so brave. I really admired her.” 

Campaigner Dame Debs, who died in June 2021, raised more than £7million for cancer research thanks to her Bowelbabe Fund, smashing taboos and bringing bowel cancer symptoms to everyone’s attention with The Sun’s No Time 2 Lose campaign..

Know your Sh!t: Inside Our Guts runs every Tuesday on Channel 4 at 8pm. 

ITV

Jane stars in The Real Housewives of Jersey and has had gut issues for 20 years[/caption]

KNOWING BOWEL CANCER SIGNS COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE

BOWEL cancer is the fourth most common form of the disease in the UK – but the second deadliest, claiming around 16,000 lives a year.

Yet it can be cured, if it’s diagnosed early enough. 

Fewer than one in ten people survive bowel cancer if it’s picked up at stage 4, but detected at stage 1 – before it’s spread – and more than nine in ten patients will live five years or longer.

There are two ways to ensure early diagnosis, screening and awareness of the symptoms.

Brits have been subjected to a postcode lottery when it comes to bowel cancer screening, with tests sent out in Scotland from 50, while people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have to wait until they are 60.

That’s why The Sun launched the No Time 2 Lose campaign, calling on the Government to lower the screening age, to save thousands of lives a year.

In the summer of 2018, Matt Hancock agreed, in a victory for The Sun and campaigners – yet three years on and screening at 50 has yet to be widely rolled out.

While screening is an important part of early diagnosis, so is knowing the symptoms and acting if you spot the signs.

The five red-flag symptoms are:

  • Bleeding from the back passage, or blood in your poo
  • A change in your normal toilet habits – going more or less often for example
  • Pain or lump in your tummy
  • Extreme tiredness for no real reason
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you’re worried, don’t be embarrassed and speak to your GP – doctors see and deal with bowel problems all the time.

Source of data and images: thesun

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