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9 Essential Tips for Managing Crohn's or Colitis at Work

9 Essential Tips for Managing Crohn's or Colitis at Work

Updated on
June 6, 2024
Medical reviewer
Medically reviewed by
Brittany Rogers, MS, RDN
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Written by
Romanwell Dietitians

Navigating a professional environment while managing Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or microscopic colitis can be challenging at times. To help keep your symptoms at bay while at work, we put together nine practical tips that will hopefully help you feel more comfortable at work. We know some of these will not be applicable for everyone given different working environments, but hopefully some of these will be helpful.

1. Request a Strategically Located Desk

If possible, ask to have a desk or working station near a restroom. This can reduce stress and make it easier to manage sudden symptoms discreetly and comfortably.

2. Seek a Flexible Schedule

Talk to your HR department or manager about arranging a flexible schedule. This might include options for starting later, leaving earlier, or working from home when needed, allowing you to work around your condition more effectively. For instance, if you have most of your symptoms in the morning, consider requesting a later start so that you don’t have to worry about symptoms during the workday. 

3. Pack an Emergency Kit

Keep an emergency kit at your desk or in your bag. This could include certain medications such as antidiarrheals, or psyllium husk powder, a change of clothes, wet wipes, ostomy supplies or any other essentials that will help you feel less worried about accidents at work.


4. Implement Mindfulness-Based Stress Management Activities 

Stress can exacerbate symptoms of Crohn's and colitis. Incorporating mindfulness practices such as meditation, breath work exercises, walking meditations, or yoga can help manage stress and reduce flare-ups.

5. Plan for Presentations and Meetings

Prepare a strategy for managing your symptoms during long meetings or presentations. Know where the bathrooms are, and if possible, arrange for breaks that can give you time to go to the bathroom discreetly.

6. Consider Disclosing Your Condition

Decide whether or not you want to share your diagnosis with your manager or HR department. Being open about your condition could lead to better understanding and support at work.

7. Prioritize Your Daily Tasks

Create a daily to-do list with only three main tasks to focus on. This approach can help manage work stress and keep your workload manageable, reducing the risk of overwhelming yourself.

8. Request Time Off to Rest

As challenging as it can be, try to take time off when your body needs rest and/or to manage your symptoms. Doing this may help decrease exhaustion and feeling completely run down.

9. Bring Safe Meals and Snacks

Prepare and bring meals and snacks that are safe for you to eat. This can help you avoid skipping meals (to prevent symptoms at work), avoids consuming trigger foods, and helps manage energy levels to help you feel more productive at work.



Living with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or microscopic colitis requires thoughtful management, especially in a work environment. By implementing these tips, you can create a supportive workspace that accommodates your needs, allowing you to be productive and maintain your professional responsibilities effectively. If you’re looking for support in reducing your symptoms at work, work with an IBD-focused Registered Dietitian, like us at Romanwell!

We can help you reduce your symptoms without a restrictive diet
Pay as little as $0 per appointment with insurance
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