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Toilet Anxiety

Hi everyone

I was diagnosed with crohn's disease in 2019. Over the years I realised I have developed the need to know where bathrooms are when going out or travelling etc and I begin to stress when I am unable to locate a bathroom. This stress and anxiety starts to bring on flare up symptoms which end up making me stress even more.

For those that have experienced this toilet anxiety, what did you do to overcome this?

Many thanks,

  1. This anxiety is real and I think all of us experience this. I have been doing this for a very long time and I still get anxious. For the first 10 - 20 years I would always know where there were washrooms, no matter where I was going, just in case. Many times I just didn't go if there was no washroom access. There are apps but I never used them.
    I always planned ahead even if it was an unplanned trip, I still checked where there were washrooms. Yes it is an anxious time and like I said, I still get anxious, but not as bad as I used to be.
    I now have an ostomy so it is a little bit easier but I am always on the lookout for washrooms. You know you have IBD when the first thing you do when you are out is scope the area for a washroom LOL.
    For long trips like flying or road trips, I just don't eat. I only drink water to make me "feel" full. I am not recommending it, it just works for me so I don't worry or get anxious about having to use the washroom.
    Vern - IBD Team Member

    1. This is a great question . As you can see through this article, there is a connection between our mind and gut so worrying about finding a bathroom can make the symptoms worse (a vicious cycle for sure!)

      And this article may help offer some guidance on ways to cope when experiencing diarrhea and stress in public:

      Hope this helps!

      --Julie (Team Member)

      1. Hi . As you can see, others here understand your issues and anxiety. Just to follow up on what Vern said, this article from Kelly J discusses apps, including one for locating public restrooms: Hope this information is helpful and please know that this community is here for you. Best, Richard (Team Member)

        1. I am 75 years old and I have never overcome it

          1. I'm sorry to hear that your husband is going through prostate cancer at the moment. Stress can be a big flare trigger for a lot of people living with inflammatory bowel disease, you're not alone! I can hear what a challenging time it has been for you recently. Please know that our community is here for you! -- Warmly, Christine (Team Member)

          2. Hi . Being nervous is certainly understandable, as is the "diaper bag." In fact, we have this previous Forum discussion about the IBD emergency kit: and plenty of our patient leaders have mentioned having a kit.

            Also, It certainly makes sense that your husband fighting prostate cancer would create stress, which could exacerbate the IBD. I don't know if you are aware that we have a sister-site for prostate cancer at There you can find the same level of information and support for that condition as you find here for IBD.

            Has your doctor had any thoughts on adjusting your treatment? It seems they should understand that life circumstances can make things worse. Hoping you can get some relief soon. Best, Richard (Team Member)

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