Deborah James - Let's talk about poo!

Posted by on 3rd March 2020

Deborah James, A.K.A Bowel Babe shares her personal story & talks all things fibre & poo.

@Bowelbabe is my alter ego!!

Deborah James FibreFit

Okay, I get you may not want to… But talking about it, and not being embarrassed to talk “toilet” might just save your life!

I’ve been supporting the Ryvita FibreFit campaign for the last year - and together with Ryvita, I couldn’t be more passionate in getting people to talk about fibre - and poo! And here’s why!

3 years ago, at the age of 35, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Bowel Cancer. At the time of diagnosis, I was (and still am!) a busy working mum of 2. I was a deputy headteacher of a secondary school and life was - busy! I’d had a change of Bowel habits (going to the poo often, cramping, blood), but I put it down to stress. I was losing weight - but I put that down to working out 5 times a week. In fact, it was all much more sinister than I ever thought. The Cancer diagnosis blind-sided me. It had already spread, and I’ve spent the last 3 years undergoing numerous operations and daily treatment. I’ve had to learn to live when I should be dead (when Bowel Cancer is caught early though, it’s very treatable).

Since my diagnosis and knowing how important looking out for our bowel really is, the teacher in me went on a mission to educate people about Gut Health! To remind people that it’s okay to talk about poo. And to get you to ask what’s normal and what’s not - it might be the difference between getting things caught early - or wondering if you have a future at all.

What is a good poo?!

The key thing is knowing what is normal for you and not to be embarrassed to talk about it. Are you a one time a day kinda person, or do you go 3 times a week? The Bristol stool chart is a great place to start. Where are you on the scale? Check it out here.

Keeping an eye on your poo is really important. Check regularly for changes, and for blood and make sure you see your GP ASAP if you have any concerns. 

Why is fibre important?

Through Ryvita, I’ve also learnt just how important fibre is to keep our gut healthy and happy. 9 in 10 of us don’t eat enough! We should be eating 30g a day - are you eating enough? Take the Ryvita Fibre Quiz to find out.

Half of all Bowel Cancers can be prevented through life style changes - and nearly a third of diagnosis can be attributed to a lack of fibre in the diet. From someone that has to go through the struggles of living with Bowel cancer - any small steps that I can encourage others to do that might just prevent them from going through the same is so important.

The #30in30 is a great way to get you thinking about and eating more fibre. I’ve even made my kids join in! And yep my kids LOVE talking about poo! Now you know how important it is, come and join me in getting FibreFit.

Debs A.K.A Bowel Babe x

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