Symptoms of chronic disease featured in BBC show's heartbreaking scene

An elderly woman is sitting on the sofa at home, holding her stomach with her hands. Feels the pain of internal organs, indigestion, poisoning, menstrual pain.
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

The BBC has shared a heartbreaking scene from one of its hit TV shows, Boiling Point. In the clip, which was shared on Facebook, a character called Robyn (played Áine Rose Daly) is seen suffering from an unfortunate event due to her health.

The footage sees Robyn, who suffers from Crohn’s disease, attend an audition while experiencing a painful flare-up. She frantically searches for a nearby toilet but fails to make it in time.

The show has raised awareness of the disease, which affects people of all ages. According to the NHS, Crohn’s is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), where parts of the gut become swollen, inflamed, and ulcerated, because your immune system is attacking the gut.

The inflammation can be found anywhere from your gut to your bowel. This can cause pain, diarrhoea, weight loss and tiredness.

It’s a lifelong condition and can be unpredictable for some people. Most people have times when symptoms are largely under control known as remission and flare-ups where symptoms are more active.

Symptoms of Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s & Colitis UK has shared a list of the most common symptoms experienced by people with the condition. It also explained advice for how to manage them, should you need help.

If you’ve not been diagnosed with Crohn's or Colitis, the organisation has its own symptom checker, which can help you determine whether you should speak to your GP or a doctor. Common signs include:

  • Diarrhoea

  • Constipation

  • Fatigue

  • Flare-ups

  • Dehydration

  • Bloating and wind

  • Bowel incontinence

  • Joint problems

  • Increased risk of developing osteoporosis

The NHS has also noted other symptoms that some people with Crohn’s may experience. These include weight loss, blood in your poo, high temperature, nausea, sore eyes, patches of painful and swollen skin, and mouth ulcers.

Someone with Crohn’s may experience periods where their health is fine, but when their symptoms return, it’s known as a flare-up. Symptoms may vary over time and will depend on where Crohn’s is in your gut.

Crohn’s & Colitis UK explain that flare-ups may present as:

  • Going to the toilet more than five times in 24 hours – or more than is normal for you.

  • Loose poo or diarrhoea with any blood or mucus for more than three days.

  • Pain in the tummy area.

  • Just generally feeling worse, especially if you have a fever.

If you’re worried about Crohn’s, you should see your doctor or a GP if you have blood in your poo, diarrhoea which lasts longer than seven days, frequent stomach aches or cramps, or have lost weight for no apparent reason.

Treatments for Crohn’s

Currently, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but it is possible to receive treatment to help you manage your symptoms. When you’re receiving treatment, you’ll usually have a team of health professionals to assist you. These include a GP, a specialist nurse, as well as specialist doctors.

Crohn’s & Colitis UK has an extensive list and details of the various types of medicines used to treat the condition. The main treatments are:

  • medicines to reduce inflammation in the digestive system – usually steroid tablets

  • medicines to stop the inflammation coming back – either tablets or injections

  • surgery to remove a small part of the digestive system – sometimes this may be a better treatment option than medicines