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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Message Board

IBS and Working & Driving

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Old 08-27-2004, 05:54 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 8
llupica HB User
IBS and Working & Driving

I've had IBS for many (over 15) years. I just suffered through it until this year I finally started seeing a gastro...hasn't done much for me yet.

Anyway, this may seem silly but I notice that driving in a car will trigger my need "to go." I could be fine all day at home then once I'm in the car for 5 minutes or so I need a bathroom...the cramps & urgency start. It does seem worse if I am the passenger so my husband just loves the fact that I need to drive wherever we go.

My other question is about working. How many of you are able to hold down jobs...full time? How do you do it?
I need to go back to work in 2 years when my little one starts school & am dreading the fact.
I'd love to find something to do out of my own home (other than babysitting)

I appreciate any feedback....this board has been very informative.

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Old 08-27-2004, 09:39 AM   #2
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sis22 HB User
Re: IBS and Working & Driving

I have the same problem whenever i get in the car(driving or the passenger)I have to use the bathroom.I dont know what it is,but whenever i leave the house i have to go to the gas station or mcdonalds to use the bathroom.And it is really annoying.As for working I havent worked in 6 yrs.Im scared to hold down a job.But I think its the stress on the road that triggers IBS.Thats why we have to go when were in the car.

Old 08-27-2004, 03:23 PM   #3
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Wondering25 HB User
Re: IBS and Working & Driving

Hi, I have IBS-D, for about 15 years now. I find that when I am in the car, I am scared that I won't be able to get to a bathroom in time. The farther away I am from a bathroom, the worse the cramps get. When we are closer to a bathroom, I really do start to feel better. I think my mind gets stressed out, and that of course effects my stomach! I have a full time job, but am able to use the restroom whenever I need too. Before I had this job, I wouldn't eat at my other jobs in the past for fear of having to go, and I couldn't just go. I take immodium AD a lot and that really helps, when I don't want to have any stomaches and dirrahea. Just though I would share. Thanks!

Old 08-28-2004, 01:35 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 196
Frustrated1 HB User
Re: IBS and Working & Driving

Working and having IBS is really really a challenge. Depending on what type of job you may have be hired to do.
The first thing I would do is discover what triggers set off your IBS and aviod them ccompletely. This avoidance will reduce your stress level because you will know what will cause a reaction and what will not.

Secondly, if you are in an area where people bring pot luck or other food related items to work or for the holidays, it is best to avoid these all together since you do not know how it was prepared or cooked. In this case it is best to bring your own food to work.

Third, scope out where the nearest restrooms are just in case

The difficult part is that you have to watch what you injest 24 hours a day, food eaten at home could suddenly pop up the next morning before you go to work, or worse yet during the middle of a shift. this diet would be exceptionally critical if you have shift work. I have had cases where I have had an IBS - D reaction and i was so fatigued I had to take a couple of sick days.

Look into your company's sick day policy and try to work within the guidelines but be very careful how they are used. that is what makes adherance to the points I made above so crucial some management will have sick day policies but look down on people who take many, especially if they fall on Friday or on a Monday. If you know something is going to happen, notify your supervisor immediately.

Recently, as a reminder to myself as to how bad this can be, I went outside of my diet and ate a rice krispie square. I asked all of the pertinent questions and asked if it was cooked with butter or margarine ( I am also Lactose intolerant). The attendent said margarine of course. So gleefully I ate one and went back to work. As you may have guessed I felt the rumblings start up about 1 hour after I ate it. Two hours later I had major sweats spell and I knew what was going to happen. I excused my self and for about 20 minutes have an IBS-D reaction, the first of two. I was so fatigued that night I just slept. It was a very rude wake up call.

As far as driving, I have found that sitting does put more pressure on my stomach and it seems to make things worse or the need to get to a bathroom more urgent.

Good luck

Old 09-05-2004, 09:07 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Utah
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guitarpicker HB User
Re: IBS and Working & Driving

I have an office job an IBS-D. Fortunately, I can go to the bathroom about whenever I want, I'm not tied to a phone or something. But I always bring my own food, and never eat cafeteria food or restaurant food, unless you can see exactly what's in it - like fruit or something. You can't count on how the food was prepared. It's almost guaranteed to have something in it that is a trigger food, like milk. I occasionally slip up and get machine food, but I have to be really careful. And drink lots of water on the job.

Last edited by guitarpicker; 09-05-2004 at 09:08 PM.

Old 09-08-2004, 04:42 PM   #6
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JERRY 104 HB User
Re: IBS and Working & Driving

I think alot of bringing on a movement is psychological, you might of had to go one time a long time ago when you got in a car and now this works on your brain when you get in a car, it seems like every time I go down in my basement I have to run up stairs to the bathroom, yes it sounds strange but our bodys seem to get preconditioned to certian habits!!!!

Old 09-09-2004, 08:35 AM   #7
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rush_rulz HB User
Re: IBS and Working & Driving

Hi there! I too have this problem--I can be constipated but when I get in the car first thing in the morning, I have to GO! It could be psychological I suppose, but I remember doing this when I was a little kid. I'd be getting ready to go to school and then the pain would be unberable once I got in the car and then I wouldn't be able to STOP going---still happens now, sometimes every hour on the hour--a 20 minute pain session! Ugg!

As for the job thing, I only work part time and it sucks because I needed my Practicum hours today but I just called in...normally i wouldn't do this but today I have been going since literally I woke up at 7:30 this morning. Non stop. I went down the road for like 5 mins to bring some dry cleaning in....and then---an attack of diarea--Almost didn't make it home!! I called in for work to see if someone else can take my apt. b/c I don't know if this is a bug or just my's D but yet I strain and strain to go--I can barely sit down now!!! I hate dealing w/ this, too!
In a town of chimpanzees I was a Monkey....

Old 09-09-2004, 02:45 PM   #8
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 317
6th_sense HB User
Re: IBS and Working & Driving

Hi guys,

I guess I'm the only one reading with nothing to say. I don't have those episodes any more.

- Raju -

Old 09-09-2004, 03:34 PM   #9
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KritterKeeper HB User
Smile Re: IBS and Working & Driving

This is gonna sound pretty silly BUT one Christmas my hubby presented me with a "lugable loo." It's simply a 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat lid! He put it in the back of the van and just knowing it was there calmed the belly beast a bit. A lot of the problem with my IBS-D is worrying about whether or not I can get to the bathroom. I can tell you the location of just about every restroom on the East Coast! I've developed buns of steel from years of clenching my cheeks. I still have a BIG problem with IBS but the panic part of it is lessened just by knowing that I do have an option. I've had my loo in the trunk for over 5 years and have yet to have to use it. Just knowing it's there is calming.

Old 09-11-2004, 02:46 AM   #10
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Theacat HB User
Re: IBS and Working & Driving

I'm so glad I'm not the only person who has this problem! My first experience with it was when I was driving across London to a meeting. Being rush hour, I took the back streets through residential areas. Big mistake - no loos in sight. Guess what happened?!!!! It was HORRENDOUS!!! Worst thing was getting out the car when I got to my house!

The next time it happened, I ran into a newsagents (in Brixton - scary part of London - doubt they were used to people doing this!) and asked to use their loo.

Now, I take Imodium a couple of hours before I have to leave (suggested by my doctor). Seems to help, although there have been a couple of 'urgency' moments. (Although I find when I take Imodium I get really bad skin - toxins coming out of the skin instead of ....??? Anyone esle have this?!!)

I also find that when I get the warning signs (abnominal cramps, flushes etc), I start to panic - and that makes it worse (as when you panic, everything shoots through you anyway).

Old 09-12-2004, 07:05 AM   #11
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 322
stacydl HB User
Re: IBS and Working & Driving

I really like that lugable loo idea! I have been driving around with a plastic bag and toilet paper, just in case. Never had to use it but it does make me feel a little better. I also rely on imodium ad. I take it whenever I have to go someplace with friends or someplace that's a longer ride. I don't like to rely on it, but it really hasn't failed me yet and just taking it makes me be able to enjoy myself and not worry about having an attack. It's like an anti anxiety drug for me. I am lucky enough to work in the same town I live in and I also can go to the bathroom whenever I need to. I used to work an hour away and it was a little stressful. I too know all the bathrooms there are on my way to everywhere I need to go. It's hard to live like this, I am a different person than I used to be. I used to be all for going anywhere at anytime and I was spontaneous and fun. Now things are more planned, especially because I tend to pick the days I will allow myself to take the imodium (I try not to take it more than once a week). It's amazing how the mind controls so much. I definitely make myself nervous when I have to go someplace and that brings on the belly ache. I have not gone to a lot of places for fear of an attack and then I am at home feeling totally fine.
Good luck to you all. I know it's best to get it under control naturally, but I am ok with taking imodium once a week. It really makes quality of life better when you aren't worrying about where the closest bathroom is.
Take care!

Old 09-12-2004, 09:36 PM   #12
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 86
whowhat HB User
Re: IBS and Working & Driving

i was going to post a question almost just like this...unfortunitally today i got a call for a job and i had to take it cuz i am sooo far indebt and i can't pass on a job....and it is a waitressing job...and the only think i can think about is what if i get D at work? what can i do if it is busy? what if i have an accedent? how embrassing would this be...and of corse like always i get myself sick thinking of it i think half of the time i would be fine but just like a car as soon as i get in it i start panicing cuz i know What can happen an my mind worries and i get it just cuz of thinking of it...i live my life very constricted now i don't like to go out to eat...i don't like to go for long car rides...and this last aug we planned a vac to stay with my hubbies mom in colorado but knowing that this problem can happened i backed out and stayed home this thing is destroying my life...i start work tomorrow is there anyway of not getting D...i have looked at my diet and i don't know what triggers it...i use to get it even when i didn't eat nothing at all for days...I tried cutting out caffine, chocolate milk products but i think the most of it comes cuz i worry alot and i worry most of that....oh i am soo nervous tomorrow

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