A backpack with highlighted items emerging from it, including a spare pair of underwear, a bottle of hand sanitizer, peppermint oil, and baby wipes.

Tips for Dealing with IBS Emergencies in Public

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We have all been there. You are hiking, or at an amusement park, or riding your bike in a field, or horseback riding—you get the idea. You are outside, in public, where there are no bathrooms nearby and the urgency hits you.

It’s emergency time. Sirens are going off in your body. You have seconds or just minutes before things erupt, and the biggest question is: what do I do?  How should you handle such a dilemma?

Well, I’m here to help.

What's in your emergency bag?

First and foremost, if you are going out to a park or will be in nature far away from a restroom, always have an emergency bag with you. What I mean by an emergency bag is having either a small backpack or fanny pack on you with items that would get you through an urgency emergency.

For me, I keep the following in a small fanny pack:

  1. Baby wipes
  2. Ultra-thin feminine pads
  3. Peppermint essential oil
  4. Extra underwear
  5. Hand sanitizer

These four items are a must. The baby wipes of course are there for clean up. And it is advantageous because you can buy travel sized baby wipes that fit great in a small bag and stay fresh in their pack. The feminine pads I always wear as a form of insurance. In case there is a close call, the pad offers a layer of protection and truly works like a charm in this scenario. Peppermint essential oil in case you are feeling nauseous, bloated, or gassy. I apply this to my abdomen and it always relieves these symptoms. Lastly, clean underwear is always a good idea to have in case you need to change and the hand sanitizer is a no brainer.

Be honest with your companions

In addition to having an emergency bag on you, I think it is important to be open with whoever is with you at the moment of crisis. For example, I once was on a bike ride with my boyfriend and I had an episode. I had to pull over to relieve myself in the bushes on a bike path. My boyfriend knew the drill and also pulled over and sort of stood in front of me in the area that I was squatted in the bushes. Of course, we don’t see a soul while on our bike ride and the moment we pull over a couple of bikers went by, along with a couple hiking. It helps to have someone distract the situation. So definitely have a buddy that can help in the event that you have to go, by standing in front of you.

Stay calm and rely on your emergency bag

Also, remaining calm is key. Knowing that you have a backup plan, having your emergency bag on you, can really help calm your nerves. I know it is mortifying to pop a squat in a public place, but at least you have the tools to get through it and you can clean up and move on.

Have you ever had to deal with a situation like this?  If so, share any tips you may have, we love to hear from you.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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