IBS and occupational health?

Hi everyone,

I have had a fair bit of time off work over the last couple of months and my manager has mentioned a referral to occupational health, as it's likely to be triggered anyway by the absences. I haven't had to go through anything like this before, and wondered if anyone had experience they could share? I'm currently waiting for a gastro appointment in August and at the moment am being able to work the odd day at home which helps, but it's not every week and so I'm still suffering a bit at work. My main problems are pain in the lower abdomen, fatigue and aches and pains throughout my body. It can be hard to sit at a desk all day as I get very uncomfortable on some days, and some days i'm so foggy my concentration goes and I'm no good to anyone. It's very varied and can last a short time or whole weeks at a time. Has anyone had anything similiar? I wonder what options in terms of managing the symptoms around work there are?

Thanks!

5 Replies

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  • Hi re occupational therapy, I had a work related incident almost 10 years ago and was advised to stay off, with full pay, while it was being investigated. I developed ibs as a result of this incident and the therapist had to access my condition on behalf of the company. Its basically used to gain insight into whether you are able to work or not. In my case i was not able to work, as i also had post traumatic stress disorder. Ive had a lot of up and down days with ibs since then. I did work again but left that company. Eventually i had to give up work last year due to ibs and as i am now 60, i doubt i will work again? Id love to but ibs can be very disabling. Dont know if ive been of any help, but i wish you all the best. Regards.

    Nanabud

  • Hi there yes I was referred to Occ Health a couple of times over the years and left work in the end. They were completely hopeless and nothing helped. All the best with it.

    L

  • Sorry to read about an unhelpful experience. Occ Health is officially independent and patient oriented. They are there to protect you as much as the employer. Not a mediation service but a way forward to a possible compromise. By law employers have to make reasonable adaptations and must not discriminate (on health or medical grounds). That said no one passes this on to managers and charge hands.

    Please accept and go in with a positive mind. You may take someone in with you but mention it beforehand. Make and take notes, prepare as much as possible beforehand. What do you want out of the meeting. What do you need to say. What adaptations at work do you think can be made. Are there such things as lighter duties. The OH practitioner cant possibly know what's involved in every job so its up to you to educate them. It may be the employer becomes able to cope with your necessary absences/shorter hours. Or can you work nearer a loo? Last caution: be careful who you discuss this with.

  • Hi Merlin, some of the symptoms you describe are similar to gluten intolerance. Have you tried cutting out wheat and seeing if that helps? Just a thought. Maybe they will mention it at your gastro appt in August. Good luck.

  • Thanks for all the replies. I found out today that the occ. health people also offer a counselling service which I think will be really helpful, just someone who's not involved to have a chat with. Will just wait and see what the rest of it brings, have felt a bit better the last day or so, feeling a bit more positive.

    Thanks for the advice re. gluten, but I avoid that anyway, as well as following a mostly low fodmap diet - this seems to have helped some of my digestive symptoms, not as much bloating, wind and churning in the bowels, but other symptoms all still there. Fingers crossed for some answers next month!

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