About 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder and depression. I was bounced from doctor to doctor, with one threatening to admit me into the hospital if I didn’t put on weight. Suffice to say this approach was not helpful, further worsening my state. Finally after much persuasion I agreed to see a psychologist, and I got very lucky as for the first time someone listened to me with empathy and no judgment. That was exactly what I needed, I slowly got better. This experience sparked my passion for health and neuroscience.
Fast forward to about 5 years ago, after writing my masters thesis on digital health I became really interested in starting something in the space. Then about 3 years ago I started having constant gut issues, and acne breakouts. My gut problems got worse and started to significantly impair my life. The anxiety of worrying about when my symptoms would be triggered only perpetuated this vicious cycle.
I felt lost and helpless not understanding what was causing my symptoms. I became scared to eat, I didn’t want to go out and lived in constant worry, not knowing what or when would trigger the next flare of diarrhoea or severe abdominal pain. After seeing several doctors with no conclusive results, and long waiting times for further diagnostic testing, I was forced to self manage and figure things out on my own.
So I did my own research, read medical journals, experimented with different approaches and I was able to successfully manage my symptoms. Understanding that stress, certain foods and lack of sleep were triggers put me in control of my gut and gave me back control of my life and my time. The same skills that helped me cope with depression all those years before, helped me reframe the stress triggering thoughts. My personal experiences of suffering with gut issues and how lonely I felt, is the reason I was inspired to build Aerhealth to provide a supportive platform to help others navigate the complexity, taboo and difficulty of living with gut conditions.
Founder of Aerhealth