Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms can limit social activities. Concerns about where to go to the restroom in a hurry can add stress to any situation. When experiencing a flare, most patients would agree that being at home is the most comfortable option.
If you have a job outside the home, though, you may feel unable to do anything about your problems. The symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain, and urgency prevent planning. Work-related stressors, such as extended workdays, meetings, and interactions with coworkers or customers, can amplify existing symptoms of anxiety. When symptoms do occur, they can be quite inconvenient and even humiliating.
Those who have been living with IBD for some time may benefit from guidance on how to adjust their working habits to accommodate their condition.
What is the impact of IBD on job performance?
Individuals with IBD are able to and do pursue happy lives that include friends and family, work, and hobbies. People with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) often put a premium on professional achievement because they are driven to minimize the effects of their illness on their daily lives.
In addition, many people with IBD experience lengthy remissions during which their symptoms disappear entirely for months or even years. A person with IBD should be given the same consideration as any other candidate for a job or promotion if they have the requisite skills and qualifications to accomplish the job.
Working with Irritable Bowel Syndrome– Some Easy Tips
Whether you’ve just been diagnosed or are starting a new job, taking the time to assess your working environment and make adjustments to accommodate your inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) might help alleviate some of the stress you may be feeling.
1. Evaluate your situation
Anticipating how your symptoms can manifest during the workday will allow you to be well-prepared for anything that may come your way. How good are the restrooms? Is it going to be obvious if you take a lot of pauses to use the restroom? Do severe flare-ups necessitate additional time off? To get help?
It may be sufficient to simply know where the restrooms are located if your symptoms are under control. But if it doesn’t, you may want to discuss the issue with your boss or the company’s HR department.
2. Plan a more suitable workspace
Since symptoms like diarrhea and cramping can appear out of nowhere during flares, many people with the condition avoid going too far from a bathroom. Three-quarters of participants with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a research published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology said they needed quick access to a bathroom while on the job. Think about the office arrangement and find a desk that’s close to the loos. Your next step should be to request a transfer to a desk closer to the break room and your supervisor.
3. Inquire about time-off options
More companies are willing to negotiate more flexible working arrangements in light of the rising popularity of remote work. The ability to work from home or adjust your schedule as needed may alleviate some of the stress that comes with dealing with digestive issues. Whether or not your employer is willing to accommodate a full-time remote work arrangement, they may at least let you work remotely while you recover from an acute episode.
4. If you like, be completely upfront with your boss.
If people know about your medical condition and the accommodations you need, such as constant access to the restroom, they will be less likely to stare at or question your every move. It’s also a great way to build rapport with your coworkers, which will come in handy if you ever get sick and have to stay home from work.
However, you have the option of not telling your supervisor about your illness, and you may feel that doing so is in your best interest. Trust your gut when it comes to making decisions regarding your employer.
5. Bring a Meal…and Snacks
IBD Flare-ups can be triggered by eating certain foods at the office, such as donuts, trail mixes, and deli platters, which contain dairy, nuts, and lipids. When you bring your own lunch to work, you get to decide when and what you eat.
Having a water bottle handy is also recommended. The danger of dehydration increases during a flare, thus it’s important to increase water intake.
6. Think ahead for the unexpected
You can’t know when an attack will happen, but you can be prepared for it by keeping a flare-up kit at your desk or in your car. Snacks, prescriptions, a spare set of clothes, wet wipes, a large ziplock bag for dirty clothes, an air freshener, ostomy supplies, hand sanitizer, and water are all good things to have on hand. Knowing that you’ve taken the necessary precautions will put your mind at ease.
7. Counteract the effects of stress in the workplace
Sometimes, stress is the cause of an illness. Avoid putting yourself in stressful situations whenever possible; for example, don’t put off finishing a project until the last minute. To cope with the stress you can’t avoid, it can be helpful to learn relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises.
You and your coworkers will reap the rewards of your increased efficiency and output if you take steps to improve your working conditions.
While doing so, it’s important to talk to your gastroenterologist in Lahore about how to keep your inflammatory bowel disease under control while you’re at work.
1. Can you work with IBD?
Although most people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are able to hold down a job, some may suffer. It is important to remember that some federal and state laws provide protection for people with IBD and mandate that businesses provide accommodations to help people with IBD manage their jobs.
2. At what age does inflammatory bowel disease typically first appear?
Traditional descriptions of the incidence pattern of IBD have indicated a bimodal distribution, with the primary peak occurring between the ages of 15 and 25, and a second, lesser peak occurring between the ages of 50 and 70.
3. What factors bring on episodes of irritable bowel syndrome?
Steroid-free pain relievers: The three most common NSAIDs are aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. Avoiding these drugs is recommended as they may trigger flares.