Helpful Tips for Dealing with IBS Flares in Public
Last updated: August 2023
Recently, I had an IBS flare while at a public function. It reminded me of tips that I have acquired over the years with this diagnosis that always come in handy when dealing with this situation.
It is never pleasant to be sick while out and about, but inevitably it will occur if you have IBS. What are some ways that can make this unpleasant situation not so horrible? Let’s go over some tips I have that can help you out:
Tips for dealing with IBS flares in public
1. Position yourself near a restroom
In my particular case, I just had a flare while attending my nephew’s piano recital. I was strategic in picking seats that were on the aisle. If I needed to leave in the middle of the performance, exiting would be seamless. And it turned out I had to do exactly that and there was no fuss or embarrassment.
So always, always know where the bathrooms are located. And if you are going to be sitting somewhere, position yourself near the restroom and in a way where getting to the restroom is seamless.
2. Have your emergency bag on you
I never leave home without my emergency bag. It is a small makeup bag and I keep in my purse. It contains the following items: feminine pads, underwear, peppermint essential oil, baby wipes. These are my ride or die items that I never leave the house without.
The feminine pad acts as a protective layer incase getting to the bathroom is more difficult. The underwear is self-explanatory. The peppermint essential oil I use topically to help calm my stomach from cramps, diarrhea, constipation, gas. It is my miracle buddy. And of course, baby wipes are essential for clean-up.
3. Stay calm
When dealing with a flare in public, it is important to stay calm. I know this is easier said than done but it is crucial. If you get anxious or start to panic, your symptoms will ramp up. Deep breathing and positive self-talk are key.
I have mastered this over the years. As a matter of fact, from the outside you will never ever have a clue how explosive, or painful my gut is reacting because on the outside I look calm, cool, and collected. But this is to my advantage. I must remain calm to keep my gut as calm as possible. I also have to get to a bathroom as calm as possible, or else an explosion may occur and that would be detrimental.
4. Be realistic and leave for home when you can
This is a huge tip I have: and that is to go home at the moment your bowels offer a moment of calm. In other words, don’t flare, use the restroom and think the worst is over and go back to mingling in public, because usually, it’s not. Usually in the next 20 minutes to an hour another wave will hit and you will want to be home dealing with it rather than be out in public. So don’t push yourself. Get through the flare, and the moment it lets up, get yourself home.
How about you? Any tips you would like to add? Share below, we love to hear from you.
Have you ever tried acupuncture to relieve IBS symptoms?