A woman is shown in three different scenarios: wearing skinny jeans with the top button undone under a spacious top, wearing a midi skirt slightly above the waist, and wearing wide-leg pants that have a hot water bottle tucked into the waistband.

My Uncomfortable Truth About Bloating

I spend more time than I care to think about nursing a bloated stomach. If I had to guess, I’d go for about 70% of my day.

Bloating and IBS

Bloating is one of my most frustrating symptoms and can have a huge impact on my body confidence. Bloating can be caused by eating foods (beans and broccoli, I’m looking at you) or fizzy drinks which create excess gas, alongside erratic propulsion of contents through the bowel, which I imagine is pretty common with IBS.

Because of the dreaded bloat, I’ve been offered a priority seat on a busy commuter train and asked when I was due. I’ve even tried wearing pregnancy jeans before, donated to me by a best friend who thought they may help. SO COMFY! I detest the feeling of being restricted in clothes and always consider whether the items I wear can move and stretch with my body, as it needs.

It’s a lot to think about and can consume a lot of my thoughts. So much so, I want to take a minute and explain how it makes me feel.

Because of uncontrollable bloating…

I’ve been given priority seats on the train

The embarrassment that comes with being offered a seat on a packed commuter train because one kind stranger thinks the bloated stomach you’re trying to conceal, is a pregnancy bump. In these situations, you have two options. First up, you respectfully decline, stating that you’re fine standing, with a swift thanks. Or, you could do as I do and graciously accept the seat – you’re likely to be feeling fatigued and in pain with your IBS anyway – and then immediately distract yourself so you don’t have to answer any questions about due dates.

I have a love/hate relationship with skinny jeans

As in, I love them but my IBS hates them. I tend to favor a high-waisted cut and that’s even worse. To have restrictive denim putting extra pressure on a tummy which is growing rapidly, ouch! Which explains why I favor pairing them with an oversized jumper or voluminous top, so no one will spot that fact that I've undone the top button.

I live in clothes that have an elasticated waistband

That usually tends to be in the form of midi skirts. I find they sit high enough on my waist to be problem free. Plus, if they’re pleated, they drop flatteringly over the hips and stomach, hiding everything I don’t want showing. I live in them. I physically shudder at the thought of having to wear something form-fitting.

I always have a hot water bottle to hand

I rely on my furry hot water bottle to provide comfort, the heat taking my mind off my swollen and very often, painful tum. I tend to wear it tucked into my elasticated waist. That’s a look right there.

How do you deal with bloating?

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