TikTok trend Hot Girls Have IBS normalises IBS – but experts warn against it

Everyone experiences digestive issues sometimes, and if you've got a medical condition like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), symptoms like bloating, constipating and diarrhea can be common.

IBS is a common condition, which affects the large intestine causing various uncomfortable symptoms and even food intolerances.

Women on TikTok are now attempting to normalise living with the stomach condition, with viral TikTok health trend #HotGirlsHaveIBS gaining 14 million hits on the social media site.

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While the trend has been praised for raising awareness about the condition, experts are also warning against using it to self-diagnose IBS.

What is the #HotGirlsHaveIBS TikTok trend?

The #HotGirlsHaveIBS health trend has gone viral on TikTok, as it attempts to normalise irritable bowel syndrome, especially among women.

Breaking down the stereotype that places women on pedestals where bodily functions are considered unattractive, the hashtag shows women talking openly about their IBS symptoms.

Social media influencer, entrepreneur and author of book Period Power, Nadya Okamoto has shared her experience about IBS on her platform.

One of her most popular TikTok videos, with over 300,000 views, is of her talking about how she's been constipated for a week.

Christine Olivo, who runs Instagram account @myIBSlife, also regularly shares TikToks on how she deals with her condition, often with plenty of humour as well.

Another popular TikTok video, shows how one woman's stomach becomes more and more bloated through the day after every meal or snack.

What are experts saying about the #HotGirlsHaveIBS?

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While the Hot Girls Have IBS trend is being praised for normalising IBS on social media, experts are also issuing warning against using these videos to self-diagnose.

Common symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, gas, changes in the consistency of stool and frequency of bowel movements.

However, according to experts these symptoms may cross-over with "multiple other gastrointestinal conditions and disorders."

Nutritionist and lead Scientist at FoodMarble, Dr Claire Shortt says: "It is important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate and reliable diagnosis. This will also ensure that you get the correct treatment for your symptoms."

Another nutrition expert, Nina Fava also added that symptoms and triggers of IBS can vary from one person to another, and that "a professional opinion is best"

You can find out more about IBS symptoms and treatment on the NHS site.


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