A glamour model was almost killed by a rare illness that “froze” together her organs after she went undiagnosed for 10 years by doctors – who thought she had IBS.
Lads’ mag star Carla Cressy has been left badly scarred by her battle with endometriosis, which fused together her uterus, bowel and intestine.
The 26-year-old, from Leigh-on-Sea, fears she will never have kids after the agonising condition forced her to endure six-week painful periods.
She was also forced to give up her career after enduring three major operations that left her stomach badly scarred.
Carla had to undergo an emergency caesarean section – normally used during a traumatic labour – to tackle the condition.
Once voted one of the 100 sexiest women in the UK, she is now campaigning to raise awareness of the early warning signs of the condition.
She said: “Endometriosis almost killed me this time last year and has put me through hell ever since.
“It’s so severe now that I’m no longer within the four stages that range from mild to severe.
“Despite the pain I am doing all I can to help other women suffering with this crippling condition.
“I can’t bear the thought of anyone enduring what I have had to go through, if I can stop one person from experiencing the pain, it’s all worth it.”
Endometriosis occurs when womb-like cells are found elsewhere and each month these cells react in the same way – building up and then breaking down and bleeding.
Unlike blood in the womb that leaves the body during a period, it has no way to escape, causing chronic pain to sufferers.
Carla suffered from the condition from the age of 14 and the late diagnosis has left her with a lifetime of medical challenges.
She has the most severe version of the condition, giving her a “frozen pelvis” as the endometriosis causes all the organs in that area – uterus, bowel and intestines to stick together.
Carla suffers from daily agony and has a strict dietary regime of avoiding gluten and dairy products turned her life upside down.
She now lives on a carefully chosen diet of grilled chicken and vegetables along with drinks of soya milk.
But the model has now teamed up with top doctors to start Women With Endometriosis which is striving to educate more people about the illness.
A spokesman for the charity said: “We believe time, understanding, guidance and education must be given to women in order to provide an opportunity for those affected to gain control of their potential and put an end to the Endo belly bloat by educating those affected on how a changed diet and lifestyle will allow to regain control and live a more comfortable life.
“We believe if our guide to a healthier lifestyle including booth foods and pain management to avoid prescribed pain relief along with educating those early on to become educated on the signs in order to push for a diagnosis and treatment whilst giving back with the support and donations we receive.
“Don’t allow yourself to be trapped in, it is very important to stay strong and the first step is to help yourself so we can help you.”
Source: Daily Star UK