Don’t Let IBS Hold Back Your Career

11/02/2010

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the more common, chronic intestinal ailments that people suffer from.  Individuals that have IBS consistently suffer from abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea and constipation. They might also experience symptoms that do not affect their intestines, for example sleeping disturbances, headache, heart palpitations and fatigue. Living with these symptoms can be incredibly distressing and physically daunting. Having to juggle both one’s health and career can be maddening even for the toughest and most resolute person. Fortunately, individuals do not have to let IBS hold back their career.

In order to make sure that this gastrointestinal condition does not derail one’s plans for the future on the job front, it is very important that they face it head on. This involves acknowledging it and then taking steps to manage it. This will include speaking to one’s boss or supervisor, reducing work-related stress as much as possible, eating properly, taking good care of one’s self and learning about the disability benefits offered at ones job.

Informing the boss: It is very important that one’s boss is informed about their IBS. He or she needs to know that one of their employees has a physical condition that may require that they are allowed some flexibility. If a person is calling in to work on a regular basis on account of being sick, their boss may or may not believe them and might suspect that they are slacking off. If they however, understand that an employee has a chronic, physical condition which has been documented and they have to call in sick, they are more likely to sympathize and understand.

Reduce work related stress: Some work related stress is impossible to eliminate. However, there is some that can be. Staying on top of one’s work can reduce stress. If you have your work completed on or before schedule, and you need to take a day off because of a bad flare up, they won’t be behind, which their boss will appreciate.

Eat Properly: Eating the right foods and staying away from the bad ones will often decrease the number of “incidences” that a person has. The fewer physical problems a  person experience, the less they will have to take off of work, which will certainly help ones career, or at least not hurt it.

Understand Your Workplace’s Disability Process: If worse comes to worse, it may be necessary to quit working. Though this is rare, it is sometimes necessary. Some people are forced to stop working because their condition becomes unmanageable. Knowing what qualifies as a disability, what one will be paid if they take disability and what steps need to be taken in order to do so, will be extremely important to know.

Though IBS can sometimes be debilitating it does not have to derail a person’s career, though it can if not handled properly. Speaking with one’s boss about their condition, reducing stress (work related and personal), taking good care of one’s self and staying on top of one’s work can all either lower the likelihood of a bad flare up or put a person in a position to still thrive in spite of one.

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