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Does IBS Take Away From Your Productivity?

This might come off as a rant, but sometimes we all just need to vent a little in hopes that others can relate. I’m not sure what the hardest part about IBS is for you sufferers, but for me it’s staying productive. Can you imagine having to use the restroom at least once every hour, for the first 5-6 hours of your day? I’m not exaggerating – this is why the morning is usually the most difficult part of the day for me. Not only does the act of having to strain and use the toilet so many times a day take away from my productivity, but so does the discomfort I feel due to bloating, constipation, body aches, gas, and just overall stress. I have many days like this, so when I have a lot of things to do and my symptoms start flaring up, it triggers my anxiety.

Pain reduces productivity

Another reason why the morning is so hard for me is due to lack of energy. I hardly get good sleep because the pain tends to wake me up in the middle of the night, and it’s become quite the norm for me. I’m so used to lack of sleep that I just accept the fact that my body is going to either keep me awake or wake me up when I don’t want it to. And since I’m already in pain in the morning, I hardly have an appetite. I’m afraid eating will only make my IBS symptoms worse, and therefore many times I’ll skip breakfast. Either that or I’ll eat something very light. My point is, the beginning of the day is usually my hardest when it comes to being productive. Working a regular 9-5 now is definitely out of the question for me because my IBS schedule would unquestionably conflict with the work schedule.

Before I started working from home, I found it a tremendous struggle to work at any place of business with IBS. Many times, I couldn’t concentrate on the task at hand because the pain was too bothersome. I would always have to run to the bathroom anytime I felt a gas bubble kick in, and that was quite often. I even found it hard to socialize because I couldn’t think of anything to talk about other than what was on my mind, which was the pain I was feeling, and who wants to talk about such an embarrassing topic at work? Normally I would just isolate myself and do the best that I could with my job, while others would go about their day with more ease.

Let’s talk

So, I pose the question to you IBS sufferers: do you think that IBS takes away from your productivity? I truly am curious because even though many of us suffer from IBS, we don’t necessarily experience the symptoms the same way. Some may be able to handle physical labor, like exercise, just fine with IBS, while others may not. Some may be able to go to work and always make it on time with IBS, while others may not. So you see, we may suffer from the same illness, but many of us are able to tolerate certain circumstances better than others. I believe it’s important that we have conversations like this one because it goes to show how difficult it is to live with IBS, and it helps further raise awareness. IBS is more than just stomach pain that causes us to run to the toilet – it’s a whole world of complications that is sometimes hard to even put into words.

Please comment your answer below on if or not you think IBS takes away from your productivity, and please explain. Thank you.

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


  • Odin
    2 years ago

    I believe it does. I can not go out to eat and more due to a severe diarrhea attack as soon as I was done.

  • HessP moderator author
    2 years ago

    Hi Odin!

    I’m so sorry to hear that. You are not alone, for I and many others can definitely relate. I have a very hard time going out to eat often simply because it’s much easier to control what I put in my body at home. Thank you for sharing and know that you always have support here.

    Hess ( Team)

  • HaleyTheDogMom
    2 years ago

    Hey Hess!
    I do feel less productive during my flare ups, especially when it comes to physical activity. I can’t really ride my bike 4 miles away from the house when urgency to go is high. My three dogs are less active as well, poor things feed off my energy. I also find I am less productive in everyday tasks. If you find a way to stay productive and still get enough rest let me know!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • HessP moderator author
    2 years ago

    Hi Haley!

    I’m so sorry to hear its just as tough for you, but I can so relate to the struggle! When I hit the treadmill and start jogging, I can barely last 2-3 minutes without stomach pain kicking in. IBS can definitely be quite a nuisance.

    My current way of staying productive is practicing mind over matter. Not the most ideal, and it doesn’t always work, but its enough to get me to do as much as I can. This is not a suggestion because I feel this way of being is mandatory for us IBS sufferers, at least for the most part. When I find a better way, I will be more than happy to let you know! =)

    Wishing you tons of strength and positivity!

    Hess ( Team)

  • ollivier71
    2 years ago

    I do think that IBS takes away from my productivity.

    Everyday at work, mostly in the morning like you, but sometimes just after lunch too, I need to go to the toilets. Sometimes, it’s just because of gas, but sometimes it’s because of a diarrhea…

    It’s very difficult to concentrate. At these moments, the only thing that I have in my mind, is my bowel problem, IBS.
    I’m wondering if it’s gonna be a diarrhea, I usually think about the noises that my bowel is about to do and that I’d like to avoid…, the noise that I’ll probably do if I’m going to the restrooms even just to fart… some of my colleagues have their office just in front of the restrooms… It is not well soundproofed…I am ashamed
    This is the kind of things I have in my mind instead of doing a good job when I don’t feel good.
    I would prefer not to have to think about my IBS and being able to do a good job everyday.

  • HessP moderator author
    2 years ago

    Hi ollivier71!

    I’m so sorry to hear that! However, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that feels this way. I have a hard time concentrating on my work as well, and, to some extent, it can be discouraging. Sometimes it might take us longer than others to get the job done, but the important thing we have to remember is that we can only do and give our best, whatever that may be at the moment, and we have to accept that for what it is and not beat ourselves up.

    Thank you so much for sharing, and for being a part of the community. You are not alone and will always have support here. Stay strong and positive, my friend!

    Hess ( Team)

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