My name's Joseph Barr, I'm 24 years old,
I live in Coventry, I work at Warwick University as a sports administrator
and I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease January 2007.
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory disease of the gut.
It's quite common within the small and large intestine.
Basically, what it does, it just causes inflammation within that area
which can lead to internal bleeding.
I first got the symptoms around February 2006
and I wasn't actually diagnosed until January 2007.
Those symptoms can be diarrhoea, vomiting,
not being able to keep your food down,
abdominal pain, weight loss, fever.
I was just throwing up three or four times a day.
I actually went into hospital for two weeks,
where they carried out various tests.
I had a colonoscopy, I had various stomach X-rays
and I had a barium meal test in which I was finally diagnosed.
Barium meal test is I take some liquid
which goes down into my stomach
and then about 20 minutes later they take an X-ray of my stomach
and what happens is this liquid shows up all the inflammation in my stomach.
A colonoscopy is not the greatest experience, really.
They take a camera and they put it on a microscope
and they insert it into your back passage
and they go quite far up into your colon.
They video what you're actually seeing on a screen,
which I was able to watch.
Initially I had steroids.
It really made a big difference straightaway.
It took the inflammation down severely.
And then on top of that I've had some anti-inflammatory drugs called Pentasa,
which I'm on every day for the rest of my life, really.
There's no cure for Crohn's disease, so this helps to manage my condition.
When I got diagnosed they gave me the treatments for it
which could manage the condition really well,
and my life's just basically back on track.
I still do a lot of things that I used to do.
I still go out with my friends, I can still drink alcohol,
I don't need to avoid any food groups, really.
And I'm still quite active.
I play football, cricket and go to the gym as often as I can.