Woman whose 'mystery illness' meant she went to the toilet ONCE a week was so bloated people thought she was pregnant

October 6, 2018  18:30

A mystery illness meant a woman could only go to the toilet once a week and left her so bloated people thought she was pregnant.

Kayleigh Henning, from London, also suffered from constipation and abdominal cramps that were so severe she would spend sleepless nights curled on the bathroom floor in agony for more than a decade.

With doctors dismissing her symptoms as just IBS, Mrs Henning sought the advice of her personal trainer, who mentioned food intolerances may be to blame.

After ordering an at-home test, the business analyst discovered she was intolerant to cow's milk, egg white, lentils, yeast, buckwheat and gluten.

Mrs Henning, who is seven months pregnant, immediately cut the ingredients out of her diet and has not suffered from constipation, bloating or abdominal cramps since.

Speaking of her bloating, Mrs Henning told The Mirror: 'It was so annoying because everyone just assumed I was pregnant and wouldn't leave that alone - I was definitely not pregnant!'

Due to her swollen abdomen, she struggled to find clothes that fit her and would be extremely uncomfortable by the end of the day.

'It was pretty painful, which affects you mentally,' she said.

'I'd often find I'd experience diarrhoea on nights out and that is obviously pretty embarrassing.'

Mrs Henning went to her doctor complaining of her symptoms throughout her 20s, only to be given fibre gel drinks that supposedly ease constipation.

But the situation took a turn for the worse after Mrs Henning graduated from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

That same week, she moved from Scotland to Northern Ireland, with the stress of the move leaving her in such severe pain she was forced to go to A&E.

Her symptoms were so uncomfortable, Mrs Henning, then 22, was even left battling insomnia and depression.

But doctors just put her symptoms down to IBS.

Although IBS medication allowed Mrs Henning to have her first nights sleep in four days, she developed an allergic reaction to the drug and was rushed back to A&E.

Desperate, Mrs Henning sought the advice of her personal trainer who mentioned food intolerances may be to blame. 

Inspired by her trainer's story, who overcame similar symptoms after identifying her food intolerances, she ordered a test from the company YorkTest. 

Having already cut out gluten and dairy, Mrs Henning was surprised to learn she was intolerant to lentils given how healthy they are but admits she regularly made stews and soups out of the pulse.

She also discovered she has several 'borderline' intolerances, such as walnuts, rhubarb and avocado, which she regularly ate.

Since cutting out her trigger foods, Mrs Henning has had regular bowel movements and knows that if she indulges in one of her intolerances she will suffer the consequences.  

After ordering an allergy test for her husband Robert's Christmas present, who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, he also learnt he is intolerant to 30 ingredients, including eggs and raspberries.

Follow NEWS.am Medicine on Facebook and Twitter


  • Video
  • Event calendar
  • Archive
  • Most read




  • Find us on Facebook
  • Poll
How much money are you ready to donate each month to help infertile couples?
2500 AMD
5000 AMD
More than 10 000 AMD
Not ready to donate