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How to Cope With IBS at Work Place?

It is very disturbing to handle Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) while you are at your work place. For example, it can be very tormenting attending presentations and meetings or conference calls while having IBS. Such a situation will interfere with your concentration or work output because you may use more hours going to the washroom now and then. However, with little assistance you can control IBS from destructing your working day.

How Does IBS Symptoms Influence your Work?

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS will not only affect your productivity at work place, it can even dictate what kind of work you do if allowed. Tim Phelan, who authored the book “Romance, Riches and Restrooms”, graduated from the college and embarked on a very thrilling career and was prepared to be successful. A few months after he graduated, he was surrounded by people whom he wanted to impress at one very important luncheon. But within the luncheon setting he felt a sudden sign of irritable bowel syndrome. He felt a strong urge of going to the restroom and the symptoms kept getting worse.

Tim Phelan says that this made him change his career option. The job that he wanted involved so much traveling through subways by trains as well as business meetings. All these things would have escalated the symptoms. So, he had options to get other corporate jobs or stay there. But he instead went for waiting tables as he trained to be a professional triathlete.

The work he opted for accommodated his IBS or irritable bowel syndrome problem but did not pay well. He later went for another work in financial industry and he got a promotion. The promotion came along with conference calls, traveling and long meetings. Tim Phelan finally lost this job due to his IBS problem because he was reluctant to travel.

How to Cope With IBS at Work Place?

How to Cope With IBS at Work Place?

There are two vital ways to stop irritable bowel syndrome or IBS from destructing your work. First, take charge of IBS symptoms by changing your lifestyle and getting medications and therapy that will help cope with your IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. Two, inform your boss at work about your condition. 20% of American population deal with irritable bowel syndrome, you are not alone in this.

IBS is a common health condition that needs to be accommodated. It may make it difficult for you to do some tasks but it should not prevent you from doing the kind of job you like. Try the following tips to cope with your IBS at work place:

  • Have a regular routine schedule for proper coping with IBS at work place. You can train your body regular schedule of exercise, meals and restroom breaks. This may help you going to the washroom except for those scheduled time. Try to schedule for presentations and meetings before or after scheduled breaks.
  • By setting a limit to long travels, presentations or meetings you will be able to properly cope with IBS at work place. If your job has such responsibilities or if they come up, try and talk to your boss about your condition to find an alternative solution. If your irritable bowel syndrome hinders your traveling, you can use videoconference technology or you can plan for conference calls.
  • Another way to cope with IBS at work place is to minimize Stress. A working environment will always have some sort of stress. But try to reduce stress as much as possible. Be always organized at work to prevent being caught off guard or over stressed.
  • Find a working colleague who can stand in for you when you need a break – your symptoms may get worse in some instances. You therefore need a co- worker who can assist you in such cases and stand in for you. And make sure you return the favor and do your part of work.
  • Take proper medication to prevent symptoms of IBS for better coping at work place. Talk to your doctor about over the counter drugs that can prevent the symptoms if you are suffering from gas and diarrhea. If you are attending a big function or a meeting you can’t miss, take gas-dissolving or anti-diarrheal medicine before the event. If over the counter medicine do not help your physician will prescribe medication to prevent the symptoms of IBS at work place.
  • Avoid a diet that can trigger the condition of IBS at work place. Always avoid foods that can escalate the irritable bowel syndrome signs.
  • Do not allow irritable bowel syndrome or IBS symptoms to prevent you from going for the type of work you enjoy. Talk to your superior at work about your condition and learn how to minimize IBS interference at work. Irritable bowel syndrome can affect your lifestyle in a number of ways but do not allow it control you.


  1. International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders – Living with IBS: https://www.iffgd.org/lower-gi-disorders/irritable-bowel-syndrome.html
  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 8, 2023

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