Help! New Job Started Yesterday, IBS Flaring U... - IBS Network

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Help! New Job Started Yesterday, IBS Flaring Up, Not Sure if I Can Go Back, Advise Please!!!


Hi friends,

I Started a new job yesterday and thought it was going to be OK for my IBS as I had told them about it prior to starting. However when I was there I had a massive shock as it was so so busy (even though they said it was a quiet day by their standards!). The toilet is across a courtyard and there is only one, and there was pretty much no time to go to the loo. I left my previous part time job because of poor management, and this one has lots more hours, however having to work a full day means having to eat at work and as soon as I do I get pains and have stress/nerves related pains. Im so worried about going back tomorrow and im not sure if im gonna be able to stick it out, especially 4 days per week, I really don't know what to do, if anyone has had a similar situation or has advise, I would welcome it with open arms. Thanks everyone.

15 Replies

Hi Lucy, have you tried any elimination diets? Eg FODMAPS?

Hi, I try to keep to the good fodmaps, however I find that I can/can't eat things from both lists. When I'm working my stomach is completely different because I'm already anxious and whatever I eat seems to give me pain. I wonder if anyone knows what the regulations and rules are regarding employees and their rights to toilets, just to provide me with the knowledge and 'ammunition' should I need to go and it causes problems.

Hi lucycornwall

Can you please tell me where I can get a copy of these foodmaps, I do hope you feel better soon, I myself have Chronic Constipation, med's from doc don't work after a few weeks, feel like I have to sort this problem out myself some how, maybe these foodmaps will help me, many thanks to you. x

Have you tried anything more natural for your constipation? I also had chronic constipation and I see a naturopath. She suggested slippery elm and Aleo Vera juice (whole leaf). Both helped me immediately, which was such a huge relief!

Ibsr in reply to lucycornwall

Hmmm, it sounds like you are not strict with yourself. If you want FODMAPS to work than you must eliminate everything from the 'no' list for at least 1-2 months.

The booklets I was given at the hospital were produced by gus and st Thomas hospital. You could try and see whether you can get one. Or search fodmaps online as there is a lot of info regarding lists. The fodmap diet was devised bu monash university Australia , thru have produced a mobile app, but it is quite expensive.

Hi Lucycornwall

I am going through similar probs at work, I've been with the same company for 5 years now. They are aware of my condition but in march there was a complete change of management and structure and my hours are longer, most of my work involves travel and it is usually close to home, so I felt safe enough to be able to pop home to use the loo or have food. Not any more sadly, I've been moved milesfrom home and there is no tolerance for people missing work. I've been off with IBS the last two weeks and now I have to face management and I know I will be asked to leave!! I can only say that the stress has caused the flare-up,see my last post on here, but I've realised that no job that causes such anxiety is worth it, I believe now that your health is your wealth and there will be a job that suits you out there. I don't know how old you are, but I'm 58 and im not giving up yet!! Retirement here is at 66, I live in ireland, so I hav a way to go yet. My IBS started 7 years ago appx. Do loads of research on any job you apply for and take the one that best suits your Ibs, its a tough situation I know but you have to be kind to yourself and in the meantime look at your diet and what works best for you. Good luck.

torcol in reply to nanabud

Hi Nanabud,

Heres the real kicker, I was in property management for 14 years, perfect job as managements usually is out of town so no real fear there. My managers always worked with me regarding my IBS and anxiety. It just got intolerable for me to work at all because I have no idea when it will flare up.

My doctors have tried giving me antidepressants, IBS meds but all to no avail because my anxiety is crazy and I fear side effects so much so that I take literally nothing.

I found that most of my symptoms were coming about every two to three weeks. If I still had a menstrual cycle I would swear it was from that. I am 56 and have not had them for 4 years.

I tried part time work but the mind is a strong eliment and over ruled me. That’s ok, I am on the right track, I know on those really bad days I just don’t venture too far and on good days I take advantage.

We all have issues, there is no “perfect” person, regardless of how they may come across during a brief confrontation. Between menapause, IBS, degenerative discs in my neck and anxiety I still feel lucky. Millions out there are bedridden, suffering in horrible pain, have incurable diseases and so forth. I can deal with my problems and not take any form of medication. I feel that meds just bring on new symptoms that require more meds, that’s just me of course.

Tomorrow is another day!

Hi nanabud, I'm 22 and have had IBS since I was 17, the job I have just started is only for the summer as I'm hoping to go back to Uni in September, it's just the months in the mean time. I'm going in today and have already experienced my IBS in all it's glory! I'm gonna go in and see what happens, I think the most likely outcome if they will allow it is too cut my hours and work less days, if I'm having this problem after only one day then I can't imagine what it's gonna be like if I continue. It's a case I think of giving it a good go and seeing what happens.

torcol in reply to lucycornwall

Good luck!!👍😊

Might you be less stressed once you have settled in to the job. A new job is soo stressful. Everyone has to be given time off to go to the toilet, so they can't possibly complain! I hope it works out for you.

Hello Lucycornawall, I agree with Rowantree and think that once you settle in and get to know their ways, systems and the people you will be less anxious and that may relieve the symptoms. I hope that it is all going well so far and your symptoms have lessened.

You must tell them this is how you are feeling so they understand. I think a google of toilet rights is interesting. My colleagues who drive coaches have to walk about 3 minutes across a yard seems unfair to me! I am looking for a new job and will take medication on my first day as mainly mine is stress and anxiety related. I had a very fast oaced job before and in fact so busy no time to worry about reactions after eating it was a good distraction

Hi please don’t give in yet. I recently started a new job as well and was so stressed the first day that I also didn’t want to go the next day. But gradually as I settled in things got better. Try to stick to your low FODMAP diet and don’t stress. Once you get into a routine things will get better. Take it one day at a time. That’s what I did.


I have been there for me i found not having breakfast in the morning, take some food with you that does not flare up your ibs, biggest issue you have is stress! Having to learn the rules, role, people, and already you have put yourself under stress saying you do not get a break and the stress your first day (they said) was not busy.

Extra adrenaline running through you aids the stress so your IBS flares.

For me I tried to think positive, think about your role and try to take plenty of notes to help you I know When you leave work the brain does not switch off, so this does not help the ibs.

I had to work out if the job was for me? Even though we tell the managers as have IBS in a working environment they forget!

Health and safety says they have a duty of care to you as you do to yourself, so if you need to go to the toilet go! I would have a small can of air freshener with me (we have to be honest about the odour)

Try to give it a week and then at the end (unless that is a part of your working) analyse if you can handle the job (be honest with yourself)

Hope this helps


Forme I am prescribed co-codamol and alverine tablets, taken regularly they do help reduce the IBS

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