IBS at Work

IBS at Work

Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome at Work

It can be difficult to cope with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) in the workplace. Some people find that getting ready for work alone can be taxing; people with IBS may have four to five bowel movements before even leaving the house. While frequent trips to the bathroom due to IBS can be overwhelming, especially at work, there are some excellent coping techniques that you can use to better manage IBS at work.

Take a Break

Self-acceptance is the first step towards coping for people with IBS. It’s hard to accept the side effects of IBS and how these effects impact your life. More people suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome than you’d think. There are many excellent support groups available for sufferers of IBS, and by joining one of these groups. By joining such a group, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with other people with your condition.

If you don’t personally know anyone with IBS, rolling with the punches may seem that much harder. Face-to-face communication with fellow sufferers will prove to you that you are not alone. IBS is a common condition; you can allow yourself to share tips and tricks with others, and learn from other group members.

Give yourself Extra Time

Some days will be easier than others for people with IBS. There’s no telling if an individual will need to take a few extra trips to the bathroom while getting ready for work. Some people with IBS have found that allotting themselves an extra hour before work allows preparation for any unexpected bathroom trips. By allowing yourself extra time, you can reduce stress before arriving at work, and make it easier to prepare for the day ahead.

Tell Someone

Keeping IBS a secret will likely cause stress. Telling a trustworthy co-worker or boss about your IBS can help you feel more comfortable if you’re have a bad day at work; they’ll likely be much more supportive than you think. Also, you won’t feel as uncomfortable running to the bathroom if you’re open with a co-worker.

Approach the situation delicately; you don’t have to provide every detail about your condition. Simply explain IBS and its symptoms. It’s doubtful you’ll feel such anxiety after you’ve shared this information with just one other person; you may even find that they can relate.

Relaxation Techniques

Stress can aggravate IBS. Allowing yourself to become agitated at will do more harm than good. Learning how to relax your mind and body quickly is an effective way to manage IBS at work. Deep breathing exercises and meditation are two techniques used reduce stress. In order to achieve a relaxed state, find a quiet space, breath in deeply through your nose, hold for three seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this process until you find yourself in a relaxed state.


Using relaxation techniques before and during work will help you to better manage your IBS. There’s no reason to let a health condition cause you to experience stress while working, so handle each day as it comes and know that everyone is dealing with their own issue.

Amy ManleyAmy Manley

Amy Manley is a certified medical writer through the American Medical Writers Association. She has a Bachelor's degree in English and writes to help educate people on various health conditions and how to cope with them.

Aug 12, 2014
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