Dealing With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) at Work
Tell Someone at Work You Have IBS continued...
It's also important to let your manager know that while you don't always have control over IBS symptoms, you are a dedicated worker and will deal with the situation accordingly, says Roberts. Let them know that symptoms may force you to leave a meeting or go to the bathroom often, but that you'll be able to do your job after the pain and discomfort subsides.
If your supervisor isn't sympathetic, you may want to ask your doctor to write a note explaining that IBS is a real illness, and that certain symptoms may occur.
Consider Treatment to Prevent IBS
Once IBS symptoms do flare up at work, little can be done except to bear through the discomfort and pain. Deep breathing and walking around may help during episodes of pain.
But experts say the best way to deal with IBS at work is to try to prevent symptoms.
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to prevent IBS symptoms. Some drugs may take a few weeks to take full effect.
Jacks suggests regular exercise. "Working out on a regular basis releases tension," she says. Also, she notes that physical activity can help tone intestine muscles.
Roberts recommends behavioral therapy for IBS, which could include hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, and relaxation techniques.
Other strategies that may help prevent flare-ups of IBS symptoms at work include:
Talk with a doctor about which IBS prevention and treatment strategies may work best for you.