IBS: What I Wear to Beat the Bloat

I’ve been meaning to post an update on my IBS Symprove trail for a while now but for some reason or other, haven’t. I’m not sure whether this is because it’s actually going so well I’m worried it might be boring and I’ll jinx it by talking about it, or because I’m not sure how many times I can talk about my irritable gut before people stop reading.

Today I figured sod it, I’m going to post it anyway. I’m just going to attempt to make it a little more interesting by throwing in a pic and general chatter about my style and how I dress to work with my gut. Now that’s a sexy thought. Bet I’ve got you intrigued.

I have no idea how to describe my style. It definitely changes depending on my mood and the situation I’m dressing for. Ultimately though, I’m all about comfort. For the last 10 or so years, my IBS has meant that I’ve spent pretty much everyday bloated and uncomfortable, meaning I now hate the restricted feeling a tight form-fitting dress gives me. I actually shudder at the term body con. For me, those are the words of the devil when you suffer from the symptoms that I do.

When dressing I have some general rules which I stick to – I won’t bore you with them as I’ll sound like a nutcase – but I also have some shapes and styles that I always depend on. I’ll let you have them instead.

These are the items I swear by….

A-line Skirts

Aka my holy grail. I can’t go anywhere without crushing on an a-line. For my shape, it’s definitely the most flattering. It nips me in at the waist, which just so happen to be my smallest part, gently skims over my hips and then usually hits me a generous couple of inches above the knee. The best part though, is that no one will ever know if you’re suffering from a bloated stomach or secretly have a hot water bottle hidden down the front, because you can wear clothes tucked in and scruffily pulled out. Fabulous.

Over-sized Boyf Tees

I should also point out that boyf shirts fit the bill alongside jumpers. Basically anything that is a relaxed fit, loose around the middle and able to be worn with absolutely anything, skirts, jeans, dungaree dress, smart trousers, you name it. Hides everything, which is ultimately what I’m all about.

Skater Dresses

You may have noticed that I like things to fit and then flare. I don’t mind showing a bit of leg, so length is never really a issue, I just love things to glide over the stomach area, just in case I’m having a bad day if you know what I’m saying.

Skinny Jeans

Hands up, who doesn’t own a pair of skinnies. I’ve actually just repurchased my favourite Topshop Jamies as my beloved black pair have turned grey and frayed around the crotch. It’s not a good look. I tend to wear my mine with lots of layers, from shirts, to jumpers, to camis and blazers. I also tend to buy them in a shorter leg so I can bust out my sparkliest socks. I won’t ever wear them with a tight fitting top though. That ain’t my bag, mainly because I can’t secretly undo the top button if the situation, or my stomach, calls for it.

I also live for midi skirts I can twirl in, leather hot pants, and a little sequin here and there.

I’d love to know your go-to items. Especially if like me you suffer from IBS and have become paranoid that you constantly look six months pregnant.

Anyway, are you ready for the good news? I’m now in my 10th week of my Symprove trail (I honestly didn’t think I was that far into it) and things are still going well. I’m almost scared to type that. I can report that although I will never get used to the taste of the original flavour every morning, I am loving the results. I used to have intense symptoms (I’ll save you the deets) at least three to four times a week but now I feel like I’ve got it more under control with my symptoms being more sporadic. I don’t have nearly as much bloating unless I decide to be a particularly fat biatch and eat all the food in sight that day.

I’m still sticking to the FODMAP diet and that is also a huge contributing factor. I might be missing out on all my favourites but I am feeling ten times better within myself, which is honestly the most important thing.

At the end of the 12 weeks I’m planning on listing all my symptoms and seeing how much things have changed. We’ll have to wait and see how brave I’m feeling.

Read more:

IBS: A Quarter of the Way Through My Symprove Trial and Feeling Tickety Boo

IBS: You Are What You Eat

How I Deal with My IBS on a Daily Basis

8 Reasons Why Living with IBS Sucks Big Time

My Irritable Gut and I

3 IBS-Friendly Breakfast Recipes to Try This Weekend


2 responses to “IBS: What I Wear to Beat the Bloat”

  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Happy to hear it's going well! I've commented on a couple of your posts now, just found your blog and am finding it very helpful! The gut posts, that is, although your fashion sense is spot on as well! I'm in a similar situation, newly "diagnosed" with IBS although other conditions have not yet been ruled out. Coeliac runs in my family, I tested negative, but having Hashimoto's autoimmune disease (hypothyroidism) I'm a little skeptic of the result. GPs (normal doctors in England) have been extremely unhelpful as they tend to be. I was just given the IBS label. One did however recommend FODMAP, which I've been on for five weeks now. It has helped greatly with the gas I had (this is getting a bit TMI…) but it triggered a lot of bloating. So much that I, like you, started looking six months pregnant after each meal. In addition to that, I had this horrible sense of fullness in my tummy, as though it was about to explode. The only solution seems to be to eat less. My breakfast now consists of only oatmeal; no fruit, no berries, just good old oatmeal, which I make with almond milk because I am, very unsurprisingly, lactose intolerant! I just cannot stomach a heavier breakfast without suffering for the rest of the morning…

    Did you find that the FODMAP diet increased bloating and cramps, whilst it perhaps reduced gas? If I have to pick between two evils (bloating + cramps and gas) I would pick bloating… just because that means less social embarrassment. Thankfully, bloating can't be smelt! Haha!

    PS Skinny jeans coupled with loose fitting sweaters/t shirts are my only hope these days! The funny thing is that by sheer genetic luck I'm actually tall, skinny and fairly stick-shaped, which I prefer, but when my stomach bloats I look horribly ill-shaped and disproportionate!

    • Avatar Jojo says:

      Hi, thank you for your comment, although I hate to hear that you've got IBS I am glad that my posts have helped.

      In all my 10 years as an IBS pro, I haven't really had much help from the docs. I've tried numerous medication and found that none of it really worked for me. Plus, I also think there is no real diagnosis or 'cute' for IBS so docs don't really know what to do. Therefore I've spent a lot of time tweaking my diet myself, whether that's a good or a bad thing I don't know.

      Have you tried keeping a food diary? This might help you become more aware of what foods are a trigger and the symptoms they cause.

      I avoid dairy as lactose is the worst trigger for my IBS symptoms. There are some good replacements out there so I don't particularly feel like I'm missing out. I use a lactose-free milk rather than almond milk simply because I don't like the taste! I've also found that wheat massively bloats me, which I can no longer deal with, so I've also gone wheat free. Although I don't use it religiously, the FODMAP diet has helped me realise some other foods that were triggers, such as onions, peppers and tomatoes. So, for the moment I avoid those too. For me right now, at a time where I finally feel like I'm getting a grip on my symptoms, I just don't want to risk it. However, this makes me a complete pain when out at dinner!

      I hear what you say about the bloating. That's an ongoing struggle I have. I would say I definitely eat a lot less than I did before, I used to have a huge appetite. I'll have oatabix for breakfast, an oat based cereal bar as a snack, lunch consists of lots of veggies and rice and then veggies and meat in the evening maybe with gluten-free pasta or noodles. It's what seems to be working for me at the moment. I also find when my stomach's really bad, a peppermint tea helps calm and soothe it. Have you tried this? I guess also slowing down your eating pace, I'm a complete scoffer so definitely need to do this.

      As for dressing to beat the bloat, I'm with you all the way on baggy tees. I bet you don't look ill-shaped as you put it! My boyf always says that no one would ever notice but that is never how I feel!

      Let me know if you do have any more questions as I'm always looking for more ways to blog about IBS and increase awareness. My email address is on my contact page if you'd prefer to talk there.