Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder affecting the large intestine and causing symptoms like abdominal cramping, bowel changes, and bloating. For those living with IBS, finding a job that provides flexibility for flare-ups and bathroom access can be crucial. Fortunately, there are many great career options that can accommodate the needs of employees with IBS.
In this article, we compiled 20 best jobs for people with IBS that can help you maintain positive physical and mental health while pursuing the career of your dreams.
Symptoms of IBS that Affect Work
When considering a career path with IBS, it’s important to be aware of how your symptoms may impact your work performance. Some key IBS symptoms to factor in include:
Abdominal Pain and Cramping
IBS often involves sudden, severe abdominal pain and cramping that comes and goes. This can impair concentration and make it difficult to sit at a desk for long periods.
Unpredictable diarrhea is a hallmark of IBS. The urgent need to use the bathroom with little warning can disrupt workflow.
While less common than diarrhea in IBS, constipation causes discomfort and bloating. Chronic constipation may lower productivity.
Bloating and Gas
Many people with IBS experience bloating in the abdomen due to gas buildup. This can be painful and embarrassing at work.
Dealing with IBS symptoms regularly can leave people fatigued. Jobs with long hours may be challenging with constant tiredness.
Tips for Managing IBS at Work
If you have IBS, here are some useful workplace strategies to minimize symptoms:
Over-the-counter or prescription medications may relieve some IBS symptoms. Taking them before work can reduce pain and diarrhea.
Follow a Low FODMAP Diet
Certain foods may worsen IBS, like dairy, beans, and wheat. Avoiding high FODMAP foods can improve symptoms.
Stress is a common IBS trigger. Chronic stress can worsen IBS-related symptoms, including abdominal pain and cramping, fatigue, bloating and gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
Some tips for reducing stress at work include taking regular breaks throughout the day to relax or stretch; breathing consciously and deeply; keeping a journal or gratitude note pad to practice mindfulness; balancing your responsibilities with leisure activities like reading a book, exercising regularly, meditating or practicing yoga.
Maintain a Bathroom Map
Scope out all available bathrooms in the workplace in case an urgent need arises. Discreetly let co-workers know where you’re headed when symptoms flare up.
Communicate with Employer
Politely talking to managers about how IBS affects your work can open up accommodations like flexible hours or work from home options.
For those who do need to go into an office regularly, having sympathetic supervisors and co-workers is key, as well as a manager who comprehends your needs.
In addition, using a standing desk helps alleviate discomfort related to sitting for long periods at a time; making it possible for those with IBS symptoms such as fatigue or abdominal pain that don’t permit them to stand continuously throughout the day.
Best Jobs for People with IBS
When you have IBS, choosing a career that meshes with your symptoms is crucial. Here are 20 of the best jobs for employees with IBS:
A working professional with IBS should consider the job of a Writer/Editor. This position offers flexible work conditions and the ability to work from home. Home offices allow individuals to have control over their environment which can lead to reductions in stress, resulting in less severe flares for people with IBS.
Writing/editing also has potential for steady employment, since there will always be editorial requests needing completion – giving individuals more options outside of conventional 9-5 jobs when dealing with unpredictable flare-ups brought on by irritable bowel syndrome.
2. Graphic Designer
Graphic design is one of the best jobs for people with IBS due to its great flexibility and comfort. It allows individuals to work remotely from home, meaning they can make their own hours which helps manage their symptoms.
As a graphic designer, you have the power to transform ideas into beautiful works of art – all while controlling your IBS-related issues.
Many remote or part-time opportunities are available for those who wish to specialize in this field, providing greater control over workloads and access to better resources that help reduce stress and fatigue associated with IBS.
Accounting is one of the best jobs for people with IBS due to its flexible work schedule, comfortable working environment and low physical demands. The job requires management of financial records and transactions, but can also be done completely remotely when necessary.
This makes it an ideal choice for those dealing with IBS symptoms like abdominal pain or fatigue which may interfere with traditional office workplaces. With a steady income and reliable hours, accounting offers stability as well as plenty of opportunities for advancing in your career – all benefiting individuals who struggle to maintain a healthy balance between personal life and their job.
Accounting also allows you to use whatever technology works best for you in order to manage your time efficiently which can help minimize stressful situations that may otherwise trigger IBS flare-ups.
4. Computer Programmer
Computer programming is a great job option for those with IBS, as it offers greater flexibility and control over work-life balance. The independent nature of computer programming allows individuals to adjust their hours around their individual needs and manage the symptoms of IBS.
Furthermore, there is usually the option of working from home which can help people better manage any stress or anxiety associated with commuting to work every day.
Research provides flexibility to accommodate IBS symptoms. Researchers can set adaptive schedules to work around flare-ups as long as projects get done. This allows working from home or taking breaks when needed.
The focused nature of research tasks like analyzing data and writing papers also caters to homebody IBS strengths. Intellectual pursuits keep the mind energized during long hours.
The autonomy over scheduling and ability to hyperfocus makes research an ideal path for maximizing potential despite IBS limitations. The flexible workflow and emphasis on end goals rather than rigid duties suits IBS needs.
6. Medical Transcriptionist
A medical transcriptionist listens to audio recordings of medical dictations and transcribes them into written documentation while upholding accuracy and confidentiality standards.
Being a medical transcriptionist is often considered one of the best jobs for people with IBS due to the many benefits it can offer. This job allows individuals to work independently and potentially have more control over their working environment, something which is incredibly beneficial for those dealing with chronic symptoms.
Additionally, as many medical transcriptionists typically work from home, they are provided greater flexibility regarding when and where they perform their tasks – something that makes it much easier to manage IBS.
7. Virtual Assistant
Working as a virtual assistant is a great career option for those with IBS. It offers the benefits of a comfortable and flexible working environment, the opportunity to work from home or any other location that allows WiFi connection, and having control over your own pace.
You can take breaks when needed since you don’t need to commute into an office space every day. Additionally, virtual roles are in high demand meaning there will always be options available even if another position doesn’t fit your needs due to IBS symptoms.
8. Web Developer
One of the best jobs for people with IBS is web development. A web developer’s job includes creating, maintaining, and troubleshooting websites from either freelance projects or a permanent position.
This type of job offers great flexibility as most employers are open to remote work arrangements while also allowing individuals individualize their working hours according to their needs.
Furthermore, with the help of computer programming languages such as HTML and CSS, developing a website can be easier than it sounds!
Tutoring is a great job option for people with IBS as it allows them to maintain significant control over their work schedule. They can either do freelance tutoring or be employed by an agency and have the flexibility to choose when, where and how often they tutor.
This type of job also lends itself well to working from home, so people with IBS won’t need to deal with potentially uncomfortable situations in a busy office environment that could make symptoms worse.
10. Travel Agent
Being a Travel Agent may be an ideal job for those living with IBS. You can plan client trips and vacations all from the comfort of your home office.
As the occupational demands are relatively low and there is potential for flexibility with travel agent jobs, working in the field can provide more comfortable conditions for people struggling to manage their condition in a traditionally demanding office environment.
Telemarketing can be a great option for people with IBS. The flexible hours and ability to work from home make this job attractive for those who may have difficulty attending in-person workplace environments due to their symptoms.
Additionally, many telemarketing positions offer commission-based pay on top of the base salary, giving individuals an additional motivation to excel at the position. While direct contact with people is challenging, it’s manageable if you are prepared and take steps to help regulate your condition while working.
While librarians may have a sedentary job, they can greatly benefit from having IBS. Many people with IBS find working in a quiet environment more manageable than a loud one. Librarians largely work within their own area for most of the day and interact with relatively low levels of stress-inducing noise.
Working at the library also allows for some flexibility, which is indispensable to people dealing with digestive illnesses that may come on without warning like IBS. Additionally, since this profession requires minimal physical labor, there are fewer demands placed on one’s body that might cause pain or discomfort due to abdominal cramps or gas pains—two common issues associated with IBS.
13. Data Entry Clerk
Working as a data entry clerk is one of the best jobs for people with IBS. The nature of this kind of work provides those living with IBS an environment that is comfortable and free from stress, with opportunities to either work remotely or have part-time hours.
You’ll also have control over your own work environment and schedule by working at your own pace in such flexible settings. Furthermore, since there is a demand for data entry professionals, it’s not negatively impacted by any symptoms related to IBS like itchiness or abdominal pain if you want to pursue this job route.
Working as a pharmacist provides healthcare expertise and bathroom access, which accommodates IBS needs.
Pharmacists can take brief breaks to use restrooms located in the back of pharmacies when abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation occurs. Their medical knowledge also helps identify effective treatments and medications to manage symptoms.
While dealing directly with customers and standing for long hours can be challenging, pharmacists often have control over their shifts and breaks.
Overall, the medical resources, on-site bathrooms, and shift flexibility make pharmacist roles suitable for people living with IBS. The healthcare background supports understanding of IBS while the work environment caters to symptom needs.
15. Delivery driver
Being a delivery driver provides significant flexibility that can accommodate the unpredictable bathroom needs of someone with IBS. With frequent stops along your delivery route, you’ll always have the option to take impromptu restroom breaks when abdominal pain or diarrhea strikes.
The independence of being on the road also means you can work at your own pace without judgment if you need to take a little extra time. Additionally, you can often set your own schedule as a delivery driver, making it easier to work around flare-ups and doctors appointments.
The combination of flexibility, independence, and frequent stops makes delivery driving an optimal choice.
16. Social Media Manager
Working remotely as a social media manager allows the comfort and accessibility of being home, which is extremely helpful when dealing with IBS. You’ll have quick access to a bathroom and the ability to work comfortably when symptoms arise.
The digital tasks of social media management, like posting content, analyzing data, and messaging clients, can also be done flexibly according to your needs. Having an unpredictable condition like IBS makes the customizable schedule and telecommuting option of this job very appealing.
You can work around flare-ups and make adjustments as needed without judgment. The autonomy, flexibility, and remote nature provide the ideal work situation for someone managing IBS.
Pursuing a career as an artist or creative allows you to set your own schedule and work at your own pace, which can accommodate the ups and downs of IBS.
As symptoms ebb and flow, you can take breaks as needed when working from a home studio on projects like painting, music, writing, or graphic design. The ability to shift tasks and be flexible is a major perk of being an artist with IBS.
Creativity also provides an emotional outlet to channel stress, which is a common IBS trigger. The autonomy and flexibility of artistic careers empowers you to succeed professionally while dealing with your health condition.
18. Office Administrative Assistant
Working as an office administrative assistant provides some advantages for managing IBS at work. You can request tasks at your desk like data entry that limit time away, allowing you to stay close to the bathroom.
During flare-ups, you can also schedule doctors appointments and work from home days to get relief. Having familiar co-workers and a go-to bathroom location mapped out helps handle urgent needs discreetly.
While administrative work may not be as flexible as remote jobs, being stationery, planning ahead, and utilizing accommodations can make this a steady position. The mix of desk work and pre-planning provides stability that can accommodate IBS needs.
A counselor or therapist often has control over scheduling appointments, which allows strategically booking sessions during typically symptom-free times if you have IBS. You can avoid early morning appointments if that’s when diarrhea is worst or book lighter days when constipation occurs.
Telehealth video sessions are also great for flexibility and staying home when symptoms are severe. Your health condition remains private while accommodations provide job stability.
As a therapist, you also understand firsthand how IBS can increase anxiety and depression, deepening your empathy. With scheduling flexibility, telehealth, and empathy, counseling is a fulfilling and IBS-friendly career choice.
Blogging and vlogging allow the flexibility to work from home at your own pace, which suits the needs of IBS sufferers. You can write posts and record videos on your own schedule, taking breaks whenever symptoms flare up.
The solitary nature of producing content alone also provides privacy around sudden bathroom trips. As a blogger, you have no set work hours, granting time for self-care and doctors appointments. Remote work means no stressful commutes or office germs that could trigger symptoms.
The autonomy and comfort of working from home as a blogger/vlogger provides the ideal flexibility for managing IBS professionally.
Dealing with IBS on the job can be frustrating. However, choosing the right career path with a flexible work environment, access to bathrooms, and lucrative pay can make all the difference. Testing out remote work options like writing, programming, and graphic design may be your best bet. Healthcare roles like pharmacists and therapists also accommodate IBS well while providing strong salaries. Don’t let your symptoms deter you from professional success. With the right position, you can thrive financially and manage IBS.