Is IBS a Disability

Is IBS a Disability? A guide to managing IBS in the workplace

Suffering from IBS at Work

If your IBS at work affects your work performance—you’re in the right place!

Work can be stressful enough, but going in with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be the ultimate challenge. 

We all know that self care is important, but when it comes to IBS, it seems like an impossible challenge.

Are you running out of sick days?

Or you’re simply fed-up with feeling like crap week after week?

I want to show you there is a way to find substantial relief in a matter of 10-14 days, sometimes even sooner.

Is IBS a Disability?

If you've had IBS for a while, you've likely got some tricks up your sleeve for being able to take some extra needed bathroom breaks…

Employment lawyer Kevin Murphy says that IBS falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Meaning, employers need to try their best to make accommodations.

However, it seems that severe cases of IBS may be recognized as a disability, depending on how severely it affects your work. 

If your IBS is that debilitating, we should talk…ASAP!

In any case, taking extra time away from work can be tricky, depending on staffing.

IBS Work Stress is Real

IBS is like a needy boss…

  • It disrupts you all day long
  • It takes up every last bit of time
  • It makes simple tasks turn into full-blown projects

You hide it as much as you can from your colleagues and admins, but you know work life would be simple if only that IBS would retire by now!

Now imagine the FREEDOM you would feel from being able to watch that boss move on to a different department.

Your work life would improve tremendously, but even more, your overall happiness would skyrocket.

You'd be in a better mood…your projects would become easier…

Heck, you would be sleeping like a baby at night.

ibs at work

IBS Work From Home

If you secretly loved the concept of working from home during the nightmare of 2020, you might just have IBS!

But even working from home is lousy if you're not feeling well.

So instead of bringing your laptop to the bathroom with you, let's kick your IBS to the curb.

Calling in Sick with IBS

If you get IBS flares, you have to carefully gauge when you are using the right days to call in sick.

What if you call in sick a few times this month, but then next month is worse?

What if you tough it out and go to work anyway, but end up in pain and rushing to the bathroom?

Or even worse…if you need a toilet during your commute! 

If you feel like you're not:

  • Performing how you want to be
  • Pulling your own weight at work
  • Able to care for your own health

…then fixing this IBS issue once and for all will change your career, your personal health, and your happiness.

Doctors Note for Work IBS

It's always wise to have a doctor's note for your IBS if your symptoms are impacting your work performance and/or attendance.

Many teachers find it best to have full transparency here with admins. 

IBS Sick Leave

Seven days of sick leave per year allows you with just about one sick day per two months.

If you stress out about running out of sick days and fear for your job, it's definitely time to take control over your IBS.

IBS as a Sign of Inflammation

Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be an indicator of some kind of inflammation in your body. That inflammation may have been caused by leaky gut (intestinal hyperpermeability), an imbalance in the bacteria and/or yeast in the digestive tract, disordered motility, or a hyper sensitivity to gut stimulation.

We can notice the inflammation on a daily basis in the form of your symptoms:

  • Reflux
  • Indigestion
  • Hiatal hernias
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent burping
  • Stomach/intestinal cramping/pain
  • Bloating
  • Frequent loose stools
  • Infrequent hard stools
  • Undigested food in stools
  • Gas/flatulence
  • Hemorrhoids 


These symptoms can also be caused by your IBS:

  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Insomnia
  • Malaise (feeling lousy)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of concentration/brain fog
  • Low sex drive
  • Headache
  • Increased heart rate variability
  • Migraine
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Hyperactive (nervous energy)
  • Acne
  • Rashes or hives
  • Eczema or psoriasis
  • “Rosy” cheeks or flushing
  • Itchy skin
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Red or swollen eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Dark circles or “bags” under the eyes
  • Itchy ears
  • Joint pains
  • Stiff joints
  • Muscle aches
  • Stiff muscles
  • Muscle spasms or cramps
  • Fluctuating weight
  • Food cravings
  • Water retention* ( I see this almost every time)

Because IBS is tied to inflammation, an anti-inflammatory diet for IBS can work wonders on your symptoms. Great, right?! Although there are a few caveats… (you saw this coming!)

Foods to Avoid With IBS

I wish I could give you a straight forward answer to the foods that trigger IBS attacks, but it’s impossible. The problem with a general IBS diet assumes everyone’s symptoms are caused by the same things—but that is the furthest thing from the truth! Since helping hundreds of clients alleviate their bloating, cramping, reflux, pain, gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation, I can share what we do know…

Mediocre IBS diet advice: Change your diet

  • Trigger foods absolutely exist, but they are completely unique for each person (This case study shows the top 3 IBS trigger foods, that are not wheat, dairy, or garlic).
  • Food absolutely plays a role in IBS, and making some changes can make a difference.
  • Gluten free/dairy free diet: Gluten and/or dairy may or may not cause symptoms. Cutting them out unnecessarily may either be over restrictive or not restrictive enough…there are likely other factors as well.
  • Low FODMAP Diet: This is only useful if certain carbohydrates are the problem, and often times symptoms return upon the reintroduction phase.
  • Low fiber diet: Can be used for those with IBS-D. Bland chicken, well-cooked vegetables, canned fruit, refined grains, but guess what? That is not going to help you nourish your body, prevent disease, and get optimal health. Don’t settle for just getting by—especially if you still have symptoms even when on a bland diet.
  • High fiber diet: Might help some people with IBS-C, but sometimes increases gas and bloat. Many healthy diets out there are high in fiber, but if you are one of those people who have more symptoms because of it, something else must be off.
  • Don’t forget to hydrate well: dehydration & constipation don’t rhyme coincidentally 🙂

BUT…Going forward with these diets will most likely leave you with much to be desired. There is no one diet that can help numerous people with IBS because there are many different causes for the unexplained digestive symptoms.

Don't just follow a general IBS diet

You can expect this to happen…

You will:

  • Not get to the root of your problem (your body is trying to tell you something!)
  • Become overwhelmed with conflicting information
  • Attempt a strict diet with few improvements in your symptoms
  • Over time, become malnourished due to a low variety of foods

If you are the type of person who…

☐ Likes to spend a lot of time and energy researching potential solutions and experimenting with them over the course of a few years…I probably cannot help you much.

☑ Would like to tackle your IBS symptoms head-on, it’s time to get a personalized approach. Something that fits you uniquely…then read on!


Best IBS nutrition advice:
A personalized approach to the foods that trigger your IBS attacks

  • THERE IS NO “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” IBS DIET. With so many factors to account for, it would be crazy for someone to claim one diet will help all, or even most cases of IBS. (OK, OK, I put these 6 tips together to quickly address some symptoms now.) 
  • Your IBS could be triggered by so-called “healthy” foods such as salmon, chicken, peaches, or rosemary which can provoke symptoms in sensitive people. Read more on foods to avoid with IBS.
  • IBS and other gastrointestinal symptoms are often directly related to specific immune reactions to the foods we eat. By using food alone, we have the potential to conquer not only your unpredictable bathroom visits, but also your lack of energy and brain fog in as quick as 2 weeks, by knowing the best foods to eat for your specific IBS.
  • Together we will create what I like to call an “inclusion diet” because it is all about including the foods your body does NOT react to. We also create diet plans to prevent further food sensitivities from developing.
  • Personalization must apply to supplements as well. If you have a graveyard of supplements you had put your hopes on, you’ve come to the right place. If you’d like to tackle your IBS head-on and significantly improve your quality of life, you can schedule your call here.

The next step in your journey to alleviate your IBS symptoms

Schedule a no-cost call with Marina to:
  • Review your health history
  • Examine things you have tried (or not tried) in the past
  • Have the opportunity to find IBS symptom relief in 10-14 days
IBS Dietitian

Author: Marina Bedrossian, RDN, CDN, CLT, FMNS, CECP, CBCP

Marina is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a strong background in holistic care. She believes in encouraging the body to heal naturally, using hyper-personalized nutrition and emotional release.

Marina helps IBSers feel significantly better in just 7-10 days. Visit to start pooping normally again.

Best IBS dietitian, Long Island