Carla, a finance professional with a decade of experience and a passionate runner, lives with Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis.

Throughout her life, Carla faced stomach issues, especially in adulthood. However, she thinks her first encounter with Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis symptoms likely occurred in 2015 during a significant flareup that led to hospitalisation. 

Carla's journey continues with investigation of her other symptoms, to discover the whole picture. We will update this story once we have more details. 

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Watch his full story here.

Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis Symptoms

During the hospitalisation, Carla experienced her typical symptoms: sickness, abdominal pain, inability to eat, low food tolerance, and appetite loss. She also encountered a new symptom—swallowing difficulties, as if there was an obstruction in her oesophagus.

The symptoms that I experienced with Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis are sickness - feeling sick all the time, severe abdominal pain. Obstruction in the oesophagus, so difficulty swallowing; loss of appetite: feels like you just don’t want to eat anything; tiredness, severe fatigue.

Getting Diagnosis 

a young woman in a hospital bed

Carla remembers that she faced an immensely stressful period during the Covid pandemic. Hospitalised and isolated without family or friends, she underwent numerous tests, receiving varying diagnoses from different doctors. 

She finally received the correct diagnosis of Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis in 2020 after enduring over six weeks of hospitalisation and numerous tests. An endoscopy revealed elevated eosinophils in her bowel and high eosinophil blood levels, providing clarity on her condition.

Life Impact

Carla’s condition has a significant daily impact, especially due to her ongoing struggle to find the right dietary balance. The constant fear stems from not knowing what triggers flare-ups. 

Each day, she carefully checks ingredients and lives in the uncertainty of when a flareup might strike, rendering her unable to work and disrupting her running plans.

This constant unpredictability creates a challenging experience, which takes a toll on mental health.

Living in the unknown stops you from having a normal life because you can’t plan your life properly. A fine example of me planning to run a marathon and working hard for it. And then, unfortunately, a week before, I ended up in hospital because I had a really bad flareup.

Meeting EOS Network

London Marathon EOS Network participants with medals, promoting eosinophilic disease charity and awareness

Amanda, Katie, Carla and Olena during the London Marathon Run 2024

Carla’s journey from 2015 to 2020 was incredibly challenging, marked by misdiagnoses and hospitalisations. It took a toll on her mentally and physically, especially when her last severe flareup left her physically drained and mentally distressed. The constant search for answers in the medical system, the isolation of a rare condition, and the frustration of not getting the correct diagnosis weighed heavily on her.

Carla reached out to EOS Network, desperately seeking support. She connected with Amanda and had a transformative conversation that lifted a tremendous burden off her shoulders. Finding this charity and the supportive community was a turning point in her mental and emotional well-being.

Connecting with EOS Network, particularly that one call with Amanda, helped me a lot mentally. It took that pressure away from me and made me feel normal. I was no longer feeling isolated. And I’m forever grateful for Amanda and the team because they are all so fantastic in what they do.

Carla’s Message To The Community

Carla’s message to others facing similar challenges is to keep pushing forward, advocate for yourself, and seek support when needed. She believes there is hope, even in the face of a rare and isolating condition like Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis, and finding a community that understands can make all the difference.

Through her own journey, she aims to inspire and support others in the community. Carla also suggests taking up a hobby or staying active to regain control over one’s body during flare-ups. 

Do something for yourself that helps you regain control of your body and takes your mind off it. Do something that helps.

Running

Triptych of joyful moments at London Marathon with EOS Network runners celebrating and embracing after the race

Carla's London Marathon 2024 Run For EOS Network. Meeting the other runner, Katie.

Carla found her purpose in running when she started just before her diagnosis in 2020. Running became her lifeline, providing an escape from the constant uncertainty and low feelings that came with her condition. 

Although training while living with an unpredictable condition was challenging, Carla learned to strike a balance.

She also enjoys long walks and hikes and recently completed the challenging Three Peaks Challenge, climbing the UK’s highest mountains. It was physically and mentally demanding and one of her toughest endeavours. 

I’ve learnt the balance of understanding that this is the condition. It is what it is. But I don’t let it control me anymore. I feel running helps me feel that I’m in control with my body; it makes me feel strong and resilient. I feel happy and alive, especially when I’m running with other runners in the community.


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Running safely with an Eosinophilic-Associated Disease. Tips from Carla


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