Herald cookery writer Lady Julie Edmonstone has told this week of her five-year battle with illness caused by a serious bout of food poisoning.
She believes that an oyster she had in a restaurant in South Africa five years ago caused her to be seriously ill.
She was immediately hospitalised for a week when she returned to Scotland and was suffering as many as 10 violent episodes of diarrhoea a day.
Following several stressful procedures her consultant assured her that nothing had been found to cause concern.
She was referred to five gastroenterologists who used cameras to investigate her illness and she ended up in the private Harley Street Hospital, but again she was told nothing had been found.
However, her symptoms remained the same - fatigue, bloating, nausea, continual aching stomach and general misery - and she was told that she may have Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis for the rest of her life.
Lady Edmonstone said; “Realising that the consultants had probably not read each other’s notes or thought outside the box, and in desperation, I gave in to advice from friends and family and went for treatment for food intolerance at the Mayr FX clinic in Austria, which cost me over £2,000.
“I now feel like a new person. It has been like a miracle and I am now restored to complete health and can eat what I like.”
However, before undergoing the treatment Lady Edmonstone had made an appointment through her GP at the Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Glasgow, which she didn’t even knew existed.
Despite the fact that she was feeling better she kept the appointment and told the doctor what had happened to her .
Lady Edmonstone said: “She corroborated everything I had been told and treated with, and told me it was quite normal for people to suffer from my symptoms for years due to misdiagnosis.
“I feel I wasted five years of my life due to illness and I want to tell others so they don’t have to go through the same thing.
She added: “I could have been spared much expense and stress if they had thought about the bacteria in my digestive system and referred me to the Hospital of Tropical Diseases.”