Fitness influencer shares the surprising cause of her severe bloating

Bloating can happen to anyone. Whether you spend five nights a week at the gym and sport a six-pack, or eat a balanced diet with the occasional indulgence, it's something that we all, at some point or the other, have to contend with.

This is exactly what happened to Australian fitness influencer, Tiffiny Hall, who recently took to Instagram to show the extent of her bloating.

"REALITY CHECK! Instagram isn't real life," Hall wrote. "There's a reason I've been posting #throwback pics the last couple of days, and that's because I've been hit with full on bloating," she continued, clarifying that she is definitely not pregnant.

Highlighting her own insecurities, as well as the fact that fitness influencers - whose bodies many people look to for inspiration - aren't perfect, she added "I almost didn't post this, but trainers have bad days too and it's important to share the highs and the lows with you."

"Sensitive tum... TTOM... stress bloating... that’s me [...] It gets so bad sometimes my clothes don’t fit. I swear it’s like my gut has access to my calendar, cos my bad tummy often hits right before I'm about to shoot fitness videos.

As well as acknowledging Hall's bravery, we should be alerted to the fact that she claims stress was responsible for her bloating.

"Your body has a powerful way of reminding you about the importance of balance, so when the bloating hits that's what I try to remember," she asserted. "Don’t over train, over eat, over stress, over commit, overwhelm – you'll end up worse in the long run. That goes for the unders too – don't under eat or under train. Your body (and gut) needs a balance of good food and movement to be happy."

"I’m often asked my number one tip for gut health and I say MOVE. Yup it can be uncomfortable, but it'll make you feel better I promise."

Per Cosmopolitan - who spoke to Nuffield Health's Head of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Brendan Street - stress can manifest itself in a myriad of physical ways.

"When you’re stressed you might experience abdominal pains, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea," Street explained. "If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome already, being stressed can worsen the symptoms."

This, he went on to say, is because the digestive system is controlled by the nervous system - which regulates stress.

"The body’s response to stress involves the release of a range of hormones. These hormones can alter digestion in complex ways and can alter water intake to the digestive system in some way that either slows food (constipation) or pushes food too quickly through the digestive tract (diarrhoea)," he continued.

This serves as an important reminder: when things are stressful, it doesn't just impact your mental wellbeing, it can take a toll physically too.