1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Readers Respond: What Is the Worst Thing That Someone Has Said to You About Your IBS?

Responses: 16


Updated January 30, 2013

Some people are lacking in the sensitivity department. A poorly understood health problem like IBS seems in particular to lend itself to rude, obnoxious or simply unhelpful statements. Have you had experiences in which people have said stupid things to you about your IBS? What was the rudest thing someone has said to you about your IBS? Or the most ignorant? Share them here so that other IBS patients will know that they are not alone in dealing with some of the world's knuckleheads. Tell Us!

The worst thing anyone said to me on IBS

Can't you wait until...{we get there; it's over, we're finished) Although, I had to chuckle when I rushed out of the exam room and the doc had to wait on Me, for a change.
—Guest Sitting again.

Erm, I'm not...

I have been asked more than once "when are you due" when actually I'm just bloated, not pregnant. I now just respond "I'm not pregnant, I have IBS" and that shuts them up instantly.
—Guest Guesty

Employer inconsideration/abuses

I have a hard time believing that the norm is to have these side by side bathroom stalls. There have only been a few employers where there has been a solitary bathroom for those times where you or a fellow employee need privacy. I believe that not being allowed the privacy necessary that it worsens the IBS symptoms as a lot of us are prone to waiting to get home to do our business which is a nightmare for IBS-constipation prone sufferers. I guess they worry that you'll take a magazine and make an afternoon of it and not be productive - after all it's all in our heads...

It must be STRESS!

Friends and relatives are always telling me it must be STRESS! But I am about the least stressed person I know. I used to get very stressed when I would have an attack because I didn't have any idea what was causing it. Now that I know what foods bring it on (FODMAPs), I am getting very good at controlling it. Yes, I still get it occasionally when I accidentally eat one of the trigger foods (and I still get stressed when it happens), but I wish people would stop telling me to relax and it will go away! ALSO (and this coming from health professionals), Eat more fiber like beans, apples and broccoli--hah! Worst foods ever!

Ugh, what's that smell?

A person close to me doesn't understand the restrictions I have on my diet, but the moment my body betrays me, he is the first to make me feel like it's my fault - to the point once that he refused to sleep in the same room as me after I ate something I shouldn't have (he never has suitable food in the apartment and I'm always hungry). It literally made me curl up in the bathroom sobbing while in agony. I never ate anything at his house that I didn't bring myself after that.
—Guest nervavels

The worst thing

I was at work and I had a pain. My manager asked if it was my IBS. I told her yes. Another employee heard us and said, "My friend has that. Ain't that when you can't control yourself? Well I hope you don't go on the floor while I'm here, I'm not cleanin' nothing." That was very hurtful and caused many others to comment.
—Guest Shanai


The Gastro Doc diagnosed me with IBS after 10 min in his office. No extra tests. Just asked me a few questions and poked my stomach. I was frustrated, but figured ok. I asked him what I could do he said eat more fiber. I'm in agony most of the time with multiple symptoms and he says eat more fibre. Might help with C but sure won't help with bloating, distention and constant pain. Donkey!
—Guest KC

Hurtful comment

My friend just told me that I belong in a hospital until "they" get this all figured out and I should not be allowed to live on my own any longer. It really hurt, it's bad enough that my life is so restricted, to have her say that was like taking any independence I have left away.
—Guest Steviepa

Ignoring me

I tell people I'm having a stomach ache, they are just like "oh" and continue doing what their doing. When they have a problem the expect me to coddle them!!
—Guest loo


—Guest DERAE

Doctors advice

'Loads of people have it, just get over it'. I had gone to the doctors for advice about changing my diet, I then said that it must be food related. 'If you think that then go to the quack up the road' I haven't seen him since, cut dairy, (roughly following fodmap diet) out and am a hundred times better. NHS can do one.
—Guest Jelly

You just don't want to grow up

This was said to me by a psychiatrist in 1998, whom I was seeing for PTSD. There was no misunderstanding; he specifically attributed my DIGESTIVE symptoms to my dislike of the 9-5 world and being unable to work full time due anway due to abdominal pain. I walked out, never saw him again, and about a month later saw a gastroenterologist, who diagnosed me with IBS. I had been having IBS symptoms since age 14. I'm still seeing that gastroenterologist, so in a weird way, the psychiatrist did me a favor.
—Guest larissa


Many family members say, eat it, you will be fine. Especially when it comes to a delectable dessert. "just a little bit won't hurt" "We have lactaid if you want some"...um, I am not going to experiment with drugs at someone's house! However, my husband and I can have a good laugh at what I can and cannot eat. He's allergic to onion, so if he is eating like nachos or ice cream, he will go 'hmmmmm sooo yummy' and I do the same when I eat something he can't have!

What is 'proper'?

I have had undiagnosed IBS for years, just didn't recognise what it was! Someone said to me recently when I told them I had IBS, that it was my fault and that I should learn to eat 'properly'. I have always eaten healthy foods, many of which I recently discovered irritate my bowels, like beans, corn, cabbage, fruits etc.
—Guest growlygut

Eating disorder

I was interning at a hospital, and a tech there- basically a stranger- said, "So which are you- the type that starves themselves or pukes after eating?" Yes, because all people that don't eat everything have eating disorders. I've also had my mom and sisters assume (over and over) that I have an eating disorder. They still can't seem to believe me, but some of them have been having IBS-like symptoms lately and go on and on about how horrible they feel. I'll say, "So now maybe you get it?" They STILL downgrade what I go through like it's nothing compared to what they're dealing with.
—Guest IBSRachel

ignorant comment

"It's all in your head, just eat!" This being from my Dad is why it hurt so much. He is more educated on IBS and is more supportive of me now.

Tell Us!

What Is the Worst Thing That Someone Has Said to You About Your IBS?

Receive a one-time notification when your response is published.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  4. Daily Life with IBS
  5. Worst Things People Have Said To You About IBS

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.