Real Life

Let’s talk about poo! Hot girls have IBS!

It’s time to break the stigma about poo.

Dr Naomi Koh Belic, 29, Sydney, NSW shares her story with Take 5:

The nurse at the blood bank smiled at me. “We need plasma donations today,” she said. “Would you consider that?”

“Sure,” I grinned.

It was 2021 and we had just come out of strict lockdowns after COVID and I’d wanted to give blood.

“Great,” the nurse said. “Please fill out this form.”

One of the medical checks on the form asked if I’d experienced diarrhoea in the last seven days.

I almost laughed because I’d had diarrhoea every day for as long as I could remember.

No-one ever spoke about poo so I assumed it was normal.

I ticked the box and handed the woman the form.

“I’m afraid we can’t accept your donation,” the nurse said. “You should get your diarrhoea issue checked out by your GP.”

So I did and my GP diagnosed me with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.

IBS is an umbrella term for lots of different bowel issues.

Some people have diarrhoea, others have constipation, but some can have both.

It affects one in 10 Australians.

It’s great we can be open about the issue. (Image: supplied)

At around this time, I was scrolling through TikTok and came across a video by someone I follow called Nadya Okamoto.

She’d created powerful educational content about menstruation but in this video she spoke about having IBS and used the hashtag #HotGirlsHaveIBS.

Clicking on the hashtag, I saw it already had 19 million views.

I loved how younger people were using TikTok to normalise conversations about our bodies.

I’m a science health expert and as someone with lived experience of IBS I wanted to talk about it to educate people.

As a hot girl with IBS I felt compelled to write an article and create a video on social media.

I knew I wanted to help. (Image: supplied)

In the video I danced around in a loo wearing a crop top and wrote Hot girls have IBS in red lipstick on the mirror.

Using humour, I explained what IBS is, how it can affect people and what they can do about it.

It received loads of likes and positive comments.

Thank you for making me feel so good about having a body, one person wrote.

Today, that hashtag has had over 28 million views so the movement is growing.

It’s empowering to have open conversations about pooing!

After all, it’s something we all do.

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