Pink suitcase with microbe background

IBS Survival Guide


Written by: CDHF

Updated: November 30th, 2022

IBS Survival Guide

If you suffer from IBS, then you already know that you have to navigate the world much differently than most people. You may be calculating how quickly you can get to a bathroom if you need too, what foods might trigger you, and good lord do NOT get stressed, if you stress, you flare and if you flare you stress! Catch 22 right? Well, we’re here to (hopefully) help. We wanted to put together an IBS survival guide, with some suggestions for solutions.


In the first chapter of this IBS survival guide, we’ll cover bathrooms. The average person doesn’t need to worry TOO much about bathroom proximity. But if you have IBS, it’s always on your mind. It can get to the point for some people that they avoid leaving their homes because the stress of being away from a bathroom too long can trigger precisely what you don’t want: a flare!

There are a couple of things you can do here to minimize stress, the first and obvious one would be to map out all the bathrooms near wherever you’re going. There are apps for this! One we recommend is called the “GoHere” app by Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. Download it now and you’ll never find yourself frantically searching for a bathroom again!

Another great thing to do is to pack a little personal ‘IBS kit.’ In your kit, you can put things like IBS friendly snacks, sanitary wipes, a bottle of water, hand sanitizer, even a change of clothes if you’ve had one or two close calls in the past. If your doctor has recommended you take an over-the-counter diarrhea medication, make sure you keep those in there too! Being prepared can go a long way to keeping your stress and symptom-free.


Travel is another considerable stressor for our IBS warriors! Nothing worse for someone who suffers from IBS than being stuck in a confined space for hours at a time. On top of that, even the healthiest of us can be susceptible to E.coli or traveler’s diarrhea while we travel. So we’ve included some travel tips in our IBS Survival Guide to help you navigate your next trip without letting your gut lead the way.


The best way to get your symptoms and triggers under control is to have a healthy and open relationship with your doctor. Instead of trying to remember your flares and signs every time you go in, you should be recording them every day, and bring your notes to your doctor’s visit.

CDHF’s myIBS app allows you to track your symptoms daily and organize them into easy-to-read charts to share with your doctor. The myIBS app allows you to track symptoms including:

Questions to ask your doctor during your appointment. You may want to ask:

Download the myIBS app to track, research, and learn more about your IBS!

IBS stinks (literally), but with a little preparation and this IBS Survival Guide and some forethought, you will be well on your way to living your life – your way!

IBS Survival Guide Infographic

Related Articles:

View all News & Articles

The Important Role of Diet in IBS Management

man listening to gut-directed hypnotherapy

Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy for IBS: A Dietitian’s Comparative Review of Nerva and Regulora Experiences

Fody Foods – CDHF Certified Products

stomach holding

Dietary Triggers and IBS Flare Ups: How to Manage

looking at supplements in store

5 Supplements for IBS: A Dietitian’s Review

ibs month banner

IBS Awareness Month

the low FODMAP diet and the Mediterranean diet

The Low FODMAP Mediterranean Diet Approach for IBS

FODMAP Intolerances: How to choose the right digestive enzyme


Trick or Treating Safely with Digestive Conditions

low fodmap drink

What can you Drink on the Low FODMAP Diet?

celiac disease vs ibs webinar

IBS vs Celiac Disease Webinar


IBS: What’s Dysbiosis Got to Do with It?

Girl looking on phone

Call for Study Participants: Using the LyfeMD application to support the management of IBS

IBS Toolkit for the Newly Diagnosed

woman holding her temples due to stress

IBS and Stress: Is There a Link?

girl on computer for Cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for IBS

medications for IBS

Medications and Supplements for IBS

man looking at recipe for IBS foods to make

IBS and Diet

Toilet paper with smiley face

Is my Poop Healthy/Normal?

woman laying down with hurt stomach

Why Does My Stomach Hurt?

myIBS App Survey

Donate to the myIBS App

Nutrition and diet consultation at home

CDHF Partners with NutriProCan IBS Program Designed to Relieve or Resolve IBS Symptoms

Man sitting on toilet, frustrated with IBS

What does IBS-C feel like? How do I know If I have IBS-C?

How to Treat and Manage IBS-C

Women looking up with question marks above her head

Dysbiosis and IBS


Peppermint Fixes More Than Just Bad Breath

Women lying on pillow holding stomach in pain

Managing IBS

Toilet paper roling on a green background

Understanding IBS

Healthy foods laid out on table

Evidence Based Ways to Manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Pink suitcase with microbe background

IBS Survival Guide

Mediaplanet: Did You Know Women are 2x More Likely to Have IBS Than Men?

Couple on a date

Dating with IBS

yoga class

The Importance of Managing Stress for People who Suffer from IBS

Women pondering with question marks

Top IBS Questions: Answered!

Women shaking her head

Think You May Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Hand squeezing a grapefruit

Diets Used for IBS

How to Find Functional Foods with Added Probiotics

Women holding her stomach in the bathroom with toilet paper in her hand

Women and IBS

Women talking to another women in an office with a lot of windows

Mental Health, IBS and Removing the Stigma

Women and male bathroom stall

Managing your Digestive Health in the Workplace Webinar

How to Manage IBS Animation

CDHF Talks: IBS and the Gut Microbiome

Hands on top of other hands supporting one another

IBS, IBD & Mental Health Webinar

Beginning frame of Living with IBS Animation

Living Positively with IBS Animation

Doctors smiling and shaking hands

Understanding IBS-D Webinar

white toilet on pink background

Living Positively with IBS-M

Women looking at her clothes in her closet

Dressing with IBS and other Digestive Health Issues

Green toilet paper on a purple microbe background

Why does IBS Affect more Women than Men?

Pink pills on a blue background

Did You Know That Some Probiotics May Help With IBS?

Toilet paper with flowers

Could I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)? 5 Questions to Discuss

Individually prepped meals

What I Eat in a Day with Celiac Disease & IBS

Women speaking to collegue in an office

Tool Kit for Educating your Employer on Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Toilet paper rolling out with a purple background

Why is there Blood in my Stool? Rectal Bleeding

Someone counselling an individual

Long Term Benefits of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for IBS

Man clutching stomach

How a Gut Infection can Lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

lab dishes

A New Bacterium on the Block: How Brachyspira may be a factor for IBS

How to use CDHF’s myIBS App

Fecal calprotectin stool test

What is the Fecal Calprotectin Test?

sign that says keep moving forward outside

My Long-Complicated Journey with my Gut and IBS-C

Writing in notebook at a desk

My Experience with IBS-C as a Registered Dietitian

Hands circling around the gut

IBS, The Microbiome and a Novel Virtual Tool

celiac vs ibs

Celiac Disease vs IBS

Couple making pasta

Managing IBS is a Pain in the Butt!

Work colleagues

IBS Doesn’t Work at Work

Women drinking wine with pink microbe background

Alcohol and IBS


Patient Experiences using IBgard to Combat Symptoms of IBS

stack of toilet paper

TRULANCE® (plecanatide tablets) for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation in Adults Is now Available to Canadians

bio-k plus shelf stable packaging on white background

Bio-K+ IBS Pro – CDHF Certified Product


Nature’s Bounty IBgard® – CDHF Certified Product