Written by Various Artists


Some shit tips

April is IBS Awareness Month, which is presumably aimed at non-sufferers because it’s pretty much a year-round thing for those who have it. If that’s you, then you might find these tips useful.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

When it comes to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), we’ve discovered that sufferers quickly develop their own coping strategies.

What with April being IBS Awareness Month, we thought it was a timely time to ask our contributors if they had any golden nuggets to share. But enough about their latest stool samples.

Here are some shitty tips sufferers just might find useful. Feel free to share your own with us @StandardIssueUK.

Hannah Dolan’s doctor says, “relax”

I have anxiety induced IBS. I spent years cutting out foods before my doctor told me his nugget of wisdom – “just relax”. One doctor also told me it probably doesn’t help that I don’t drink alcohol. CHEERS.

Mine is based around travel and letting people down. My way of dealing with things is, if I have to be somewhere at a certain time, to aim to be there an hour early, but also not look at my phone or the time from when I start getting ready to when I arrive at the place.

I won’t be able to speed myself up so there’s no point panicking myself.

I haven’t found a way around feeling like I’m constantly letting people down… I’ll get back to you about that (I probably won’t and I’m very sorry, please don’t hate me).

Also, carrying a bag with big Tupperware, wet wipes and tissues helps a lot. If needs be, you can always find a nice quiet spot and shit in your Tupperware.


Waiting for ‘the explosion’, with Sarah Millican

I would say that it can be helped by watching what you eat but I also sometimes just eat what I want and stand back for the explosion. I clearly like gluten even if my belly doesn’t.

A hot bath helps my arsehole when it’s ragged. You’re welcome for that visual. And when I do TERRIBLE farts and my husband complains, I tell him I have a SYNDROME.


If Claire Goodwin were to write her IBS tips on bog roll, she’d need a family pack

My biggest piece of advice is to shit anywhere (that’s a toilet and has a door, obvs) you need to – Starbucks, Debenhams, friends’ houses, work, ANYWHERE. Convince yourself it’s gross and rude and you make your bowels worse. Own it.

I don’t care if there’s a queue and the stalls have adjoining ceiling and floor space and I’m three centimetres from someone else. Changing my attitude regarding how it is gross to shit in public restrooms has meant I have a more regular bowel movement pattern.

“Carrying a bag with big Tupperware, wet wipes and tissues helps a lot. If needs be, you can always find a nice quiet spot and shit in your Tupperware.”

Someone doesn’t like your poo pong? Fuck ‘em. They don’t know your struggles. If someone looks you up and down because of your trumping and stenching, just look back, smile and say hi. Lose the taboo, gain back your life!

Talk to other women. I went on a hen do once with a load of women, some I knew, some I didn’t. There were about five out of 13 that had IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis or coeliac. It’s more common than you think.

Don’t abuse Imodium/loperamide. I’ve been known to take six to eight to stop things, get a few hours of calm, then struggle to pass a small Malteser of doom, which is then followed by a Niagara of liquid shite. The Malteser feels like it won’t come out, then a small fart dislodges it and then there is carnage.

When your stomach makes a loud ‘I need a liquid shit’ noise in meetings, I usually say, “Ooooh I’ve been eating tigers.” No one makes eye contact. It’s fab.

Get used to inspecting your shit. I’ll never cease to be amazed by whole mushrooms in my poo, even when I was sure I chewed them.

Sudocrem is tops for ring sting.

Be prepared for ‘squirty poo’ to become a regular part of your vocabulary.


Camilla King knows how to get what she wants – when what she wants is the use of a petrol station toilet

You know how some petrol stations can be real arses about using their toilets? Well I’ve been known to fake pregnancy in order to gain access… desperate times and all that. People can’t be rude if you’re pregnant.

Sometimes if this doesn’t work I find crying can sway things, and frankly it’s not that much of a push to cry when you’re feeling extremely concerned about shitting yourself!


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Written by Various Artists

Some of Standard Issue's brilliant women's carefully crafted words for your reading pleasure.