Suitable jobs for people with IBS: So, following... - IBS Network

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Suitable jobs for people with IBS


So, following on from a previous topic I posted regarding being sick from work, I'm now considering a change in profession, which will allow me to put my health first, or at least work hand in hand. I've worked in IT support for 12 years & with the help of CBT have come to the conclusion that the field & IBS just aren't compatible & my health is constantly put on the back burner / second place.

What kind of jobs do people think are suitable, and not suitable for IBS (I have IBS-D)? I'm not talking about sympathetic colleagues & managers, but the job itself.

I'm thinking


Accountancy (for an internal department, not customer facing)

Web developing

Data entry

Not suitable


IT Support



Retail / Supermarket


Driving (such taxi or delivery, You can sometimes set your own hours, I think I may enjoy this but it can be quite customer facing & my be difficult to find a toilet)

I know the IBS Network can help out with this & I'm going to get in touch with them, but I wanted to hear what others have to say as well. :)

18 Replies

I want to be a paramedic but because of my stomach I can’t be away from a toilet so I’m opting for pharmacy work always a toilet near and not too high stress you know. Suitable for me is anywhere there is a toilet close unsuitable would be out in the field ya know.

I hate my IBS at the moment I work in retail so I can run to the toilet whenever I need (unless I’m on tills) and it’s normally okay in the day... well I say that it’s 12 I have to go out in 30 mins and I’m sat in the tescos toilets sweating 😔

It's good to hear you can change from paramedic to pharmacy, at least it should be related to the field (sorry if it's not, I don't mean to sound ignorant).

I have no idea how you do retail. I worked in retail when I was a student & luckily didn't have IBS at that stage.

Retail is probably one of the worst jobs for IBS (Or at least, my IBS). Very customer facing, not very caring managers & difficult to use the restroom.

I just don’t care if I need to go I go end of if they have a problem I will say ‘I will s*** myself on the shop floor’ retail or where I am is very forgiving so long as my work is done they aren’t too fussy about toilet time you know. And Yh pharmacy work is a step up but my ultimate goal is paramedic, I love working with medication and the medical side

K x

Accountancy or bookkeeping is more along the lines of what you want, as you can be self-employed and set your own hours as well. (Good for when you have a flare, or have to spend time in hospital). I must confess that I found it boring, but it paid the bills and there is not too much stress with it.

Thanks Freedman. The finance industry is a position I am considering. I think that's my aim, pay the bills with little stress. I do think I'd find if boring, but that's what my IBS likes. Boring and predictable.

You could always take up parachuting in your spare time. (Maybe save that in case your IBS goes to C from D in the future).

I'll certainly keep that in mind if I ever switch from D to C, lol!

Hi I have IBS-D and have been suffering with it for 6 years now. I work in accountancy which is helpful as I can always go to the toilet when needed. I’m really busy one month per quarter which gets bad but I try to not get stressed out and take breaks during the days. In the other months I’m less busy and not stressed out which balances stress levels on the job.

What I found helped me at work is to not stress out which is easier said than done because the moment I do I will need to go to the toilet.

I hope you find a job which doesn’t cause you to have flare ups!

Briggsy0304 in reply to Yas45

Thanks for the reply.

My job doesn't cause me flare ups so much. It's more a case of the requirement of the work whilst I'm having a flare up.

Crawling under desks to connect cabling.

Assisting the COO setup a presentation for the board with 5 minutes notice.

Getting a customers internet back up and running when it's gone down.

Lifting heavy computers / printers for a new starter, who you wasn't even told was joining the company.

I mean, working in accountancy you must know what it's like dealing with IT. It's month end & our printers aren't working, again.

The job is actually pretty easy for someone who's well, but it's all very unpleasant when you're having an attack of the D and you're expected to get this stuff done & done quickly.

Do you have to deal with any of these kind of issues / problems working in accountancy?

Such an interesting post and I hope you work out what's best for you. I'm a primary teacher and been off since April. I cannot imagine being able to leave my class to go to the toilet multiple times each day, but it's not just that, I feel so ill a lot of the time, dizzy, sick, and I pass blood and mucous and can't control the wind. I'm developing other complications like secondary raynaud's so I don't fully understand what's wrong with me yet.

I am considering leaving teaching. My husband is successfully self employed and he says I can be a shareholder/director in his business, work from home and spend more time with the kids, teaching is not 9-5 as many people assume and is extremely stressful. I have a music degree from rcs and a new grand piano so I'm going to start giving piano lessons again. I just need to pluck up the courage to hand in my notice. I can't ever imagine being in my classroom again, my outlook has changed so much since I've been ill.

I wish you so much luck x

Hi Munchkinfeet.

I'm sorry to hear of your struggles. It sounds as if your work, similar to mine, is just not compatible with your health, and health comes first.

I've been working with CBT & they have given me a lot of useful advice in terms of putting health over work & finding compatibility. Have you tried CBT at all? They may be able to help you with the decision making process.

it's good to hear you have different options when it comes to paying the bills though :)

I have a friend who worked in IT, then suffered a catastrophic motorbike accident which left him with a right arm with no function at all. Not IBS related, but when he was well enough, he set up a business repairing laptops, Macs etc. a few years ago. He is doing well enough to have bought a new house last year. Just a thought.

That's not a bad idea. I may consider this. I would be worried about letting customers down, or spending extended periods of time in someone elses home, but at least I could set my own hours. It's not a bad idea :)


Yes, please get in touch.

Thanks for the reply. What's the best way to get into contact?

IBSNetworkAdministrator in reply to Briggsy0304

Anything Admin would be ok. Anything near a toilet is OK.

I would also say look into organisations (if you’re going down employed route) - so many places are now more remote and give more autonomy in working schedules.

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