A woman is grocery shopping with a list while also noticing the bathroom sign hanging from the ceiling.

4 Tips for Grocery Shopping During an IBS Flare

Having to go get groceries during an IBS flare can be one of the most uncomfortable errands to do.  The looming anxiety of when the urgency will hit can be crippling and a crowded grocery store is the last place you want to be in.

For me, when an IBS flare hits, my main symptoms are intense urgency, as in the kind that if I don’t make it to the restroom in less than a minute means an accident. Constant abdominal cramping, the kind that never lets up and only intensifies when the urgency hits. Major fatigue and high anxiety when out in public simply because of the urgency factor.

But life moves on regardless of symptoms, and when it’s time to replenish your fridge, you have no choice but to get out there and gather your food for the week. So what can be done to ease this process? Here are some tips I have come up with:

Claim your cart

When you get to the grocery, immediately grab a shopping cart and place an item in it. This way your cart is claimed and you don’t have to worry about anyone taking it for the following reason: running to the bathroom.

Typically, I have found that when I arrive and enter the store while pushing my cart in, the urgency hits. If you place an item in your cart, you can calmly head into the nearest bathroom and leave your cart outside the door knowing it will be waiting for you outside because of the item you have placed to claim it.

So claim your cart so that you have peace of mind if you need to jump ship and run to the bathroom.

Know where the bathrooms are

I’m sure everyone already has this tip checked off, and that is locating the bathroom. Always be aware of where the bathroom is so that if you need to go, you don’t panic. I also highly suggest using the restroom before you begin your shopping. Whether you feel like it or not, just go. This way you have peace of mind and can calmly shop without wondering when or if the urgency will hit.

Bring a list

Always, always, always shop with a grocery list. The fact is, you want to be in and out as quickly as possible and as with anything in life, if you don’t have a plan you won’t be efficient. So bring a list so that you can efficiently grab the items you need without question and can get home as soon as possible.

Ask for help

When I am not well, and grocery shopping, loading my car can be a challenge. So to help with this factor I highly suggest asking an employee for help. At my grocery store, they are so nice and thoughtful and are always willing to help me load my car. So take advantage. Don’t try and be a hero. If you aren’t feeling well, ask for help to load your car. It will also make the process go faster, meaning you will be back in the comfort of your home quicker.

I hope these tips are helpful. Are there any things that you would like to add? Comment below, sharing is what we are all about!

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