Growing up with FCS
Adolescence can be a very difficult time for anyone, but having FCS can add a whole extra layer to the experience.
At this stage in your life you might find that having FCS looms larger. You will find that there are more opportunities for you to make independent choices about what you eat, and you may find yourself making decisions based on what feels easiest in here and now, rather than focusing on the impact of your choice on your health at some point in the future.
It's possible that your friends will be encouraging you to have experiences that are more difficult for you to participate in because of your concerns about food, and you may find that your parents are worrying about you and the choices that you are making which may feel like them nagging and trying to stop you having fun.
If you've been lucky and not experienced many symptoms with your condition, you may be questioning why you need to be so careful and want to test out what your limits are.
Having FCS can make you feel different from those around you, and engender feelings of isolation and loneliness. Talking to close friends about how your condition impacts your life so that they can support you, can really help to minimise these difficult feelings.
Leaving home is a major experience for any young person. It's the time when you start really being responsible for yourself - for managing your daily routine, doing your own shopping and cooking, paying your own bills, and many of the other daily decisions you will need to be making.
It can be a very exciting and enjoyable time, but it can also be stressful, especially if you're finding that you need to be preparing all your own food and managing all the conversations with others about what you can and can't eat as you meet new people and find yourself in new situations.
It's important that you are able to be assertive about your dietary restrictions so that you don't feel pressured into eating what you can't. Finding an easy way to explain to people that you have a rare condition that can make you seriously ill if you eat fat, can help avoid embarrassing situations where you have to refuse inappropriate food.
Having a repertoire of meals you can easily make and feel comfortable sharing with people who don't have the condition is also important. As is a repeirtoire of quick snacks and fillers to avoid getting hungry when you will be at higher risk of not making good decisions about what you eat.
New relationships and working
As you grow older you'll may also be meeting many more people and sharing new experiences with them, whether through finding a job, travelling, or through further education.
You may also be meeting someone with whom you want to share your life. Being honest about your restrictions and what you need to do to manage your symptoms, and if you are a women, any concerns you have about how your pregnancy will be affected, will help you to ensure that the person you chose will be better able to support you to be healthy in your life together.
If you think your FCS might be a problem in the work that you do, be clear with your employer about what adjustments might need to be made to ensure you are able to do your role (you may ask not to do unnecessary travel for example, or ask for a regular shift pattern to help you manage your eating). Good employers should be prepared to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your needs.