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  • Writer's pictureKym at pip nutrition

Getting back to work or study with a chronic health condition like IBS

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

Are you thinking about returning to work or study, but worried your digestive symptoms will interfere? Let's talk about it.

Alongside my regular nutrition clinic, I'm a consultant and advisor in public health and healthcare in Australia and the UK. Through my work on these diverse projects, I often learn new things and uncover insights that can benefit my digestive health clients. My latest project is one of them, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Giving it a Go is an online program that supports people with chronic musculoskeletal conditions to re-engage with work, education and their community. While the program focuses on people with musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, much of the information and support offered is relevant to people with other chronic conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. Regardless of the location of your symptoms, working or studying when you have a chronic illness can be extremely challenging at times. You may have even stopped work completely. I have written about some interesting concepts relating to health for the Giving it a Go website that you might find are relevant to you. Why not take a look?

Shared decision making with your healthcare professional: Being involved in decisions about your healthcare can help you learn more about your condition, build your coping abilities and see improvements in your health. This might sound obvious, but it's a relatively new concept in healthcare. Having seen the benefits of this approach in clinic for many years, I have built my entire practice around it. Find out more.

Shared decision making in the workplace: If you've been thinking about work or study, the concepts of shared decision making can help you consider your choices, plan to overcome obstacles and build working relationships to support your success. Give some of these ideas a try.

Ready to study? How decision support tools can help you plan for success: Are you thinking about returning to previous studies, starting a new course or undertaking training to learn a new skill? Get tools to help you weigh up your choices and plan for success, while also looking after your health.

Peer support networks: Peer support groups can be a positive way to share information and discuss ways to live well with your condition. Connecting with people who have similar experiences – your ‘peers’ – can help you feel more in control of your health. Find out what peer support can offer you. You can also contact the Irritable Bowel Information & Support Association of Australia.

What about the role of nutrition and diet? I also wrote an article on musculoskeletal conditions and diet, which you might find of interest if you have muscle pain and fatigue alongside your digestive health problems. Have a read.

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