Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
A woman shouts gleefully through a bullhorn.

5 Embarrassing Things About IBS That I’m Not Ashamed of

The total unpredictable nature of IBS can be extremely embarrassing at times. Over the years I’ve come to terms with the fact that my body may let me down, sometimes in public, and I’ve decided to own that. To call it out. Because for me, that makes it more normal.

The gut gurgles

I’ve never heard a sound quite as aggressive as the gut gurgle. The gurgle that lets you know something isn’t quite right. It always roars into action at those really quiet moments, while watching a film, chatting at the hairdressers, or just as I lay down in bed. The only way to respond is with a laugh, there it goes again. Unless it’s my find-a-toilet-quick warning, not so much laughter then.

I’ve a very gassy being

I can’t help it, I’m a very gassy human. My stomach bloats a lot and usually only deflates after I’ve let the wind out, which can take hours. I sometimes wish I had a little valve to speed the process up. In all honesty, I even burped while typing this sentence. That’s how bad it’s got. I’ve written before about how I find farting a minefield, so I always find it safest to lock myself in the loo when relieving that gas. You never know.

I’m the go-to person for poo chat

If any of my friends or family have a slightly dodgy tummy, need IBS advice, or want to discuss their bowel movements, I’m the one they flock to. And I don’t mind one bit. There’s no shame in talking about poo and I’m more than happy to disclose how many times I go a day. In fact, the more we talk about it, the better.

I’ve worn maternity jeans

Despite my stomach often being painfully bloated, I still love a skinny jean. But, more often than not, I have to pop that top button to stop it from digging in. After my best friend had her baby a few years ago, she donated her maternity jeans to me to try. Damn, were they comfy. That elasticated, stretch waistband was dreamy.

I can go anywhere

When the need strikes I have to use that toilet immediately. Which means I’ve had to go everywhere and anywhere. Plane toilets, pubs, clubs, at weddings, work offices, round other people’s houses. You name the place, I’ve probably emptied my bowels there.

All of these things could be deemed embarrassing but when you have IBS, they just become a way of life. Part of the norm. And the more we talk about them, the less taboo they become.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Sheila Perry
    4 months ago

    Very helpful and encouraging. We have to simply deal with what is without losing our sense of self. Thank you!

  • Kelly Dabel, RD moderator
    4 months ago

    So glad this was helpful Sheila. Thank you for commenting and being part of our community. Best, Kelly, Team Member

  • Loving1
    4 months ago

    I get extremely gassy and I am making a long list of foods that are troublemakers; broccoli, all beans, cauliflower, green peppers, tomato based Italian and Mexican dishes. The list never seems to end!

  • tmholland moderator
    4 months ago


    The list is a great idea and no, it doesn’t seem to end, does it? Thank you for sharing. -Todd, Team

  • penny1951
    4 months ago

    I laughed when I read your post. Not out of disrespect but remembering the different places I’ve had to “stop” to quickly poop. The worst was I parked on the side of a main road ran down in the gully and went. I wasn’t sure if anyone could see me. To continue on home only to have a major “accident “ before I could reach the toilet. I think we all know where every rest room is!

  • tmholland moderator
    4 months ago

    You are correct @penny1951, we all do know where EVERY rest room is. Thank you for being open and sharing your story. And, by the way, you are not the only person to retreat to a gully :-). Hope you are well today. -Todd, Team

  • Jewels
    4 months ago

    I hear ya.. but I don’t bloat around my jeans but by about mid afternoon I can’t stand to have my bra on. I rip it off..hopefully I’m at home. Is this typical too? To be bloated up higher?

  • Poll