Irritable bowel syndrome and public toilets

I have mild irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). I’ve learnt the importance of routines and the types of food I should keep to (mostly). This is difficult when I love trying so many different types of food and when my jobs in the past had a lot of travel or long distance driving. I’m a big fan of twice daily Metamucil and keeping very regular. I really do not like change or unexpected changes to my routines and habits. The feeling of urgency and being caught short and the potential for a very embarrassing result is enough to torment me regularly.

It’s great that in Australia we are blessed with abundant free public toilets in shopping centres and most public spaces. The threat of some idiot wanting to blow up a toilet block or having someone loitering for illicit purposes is pretty low here. My major gripe though is the use of bulk dispensers of really cheap and nasty toilet paper. What I really dislike are the ones that have huge rolls of paper without  perforations and often the free end gets caught up within the dispenser making it really difficult to get paper out.

This is a good example.

Toilet paper dispenser (iPhone)


I should have also added this amazing website funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Health and Ageing (The department I work for).

11 thoughts on “Irritable bowel syndrome and public toilets

  1. In the past, irritable bowel syndrome has been considered a diagnosis of exclusion; however, it is no longer considered a diagnosis of exclusion, but it does have a broad differential diagnosis.[1] No specific motility or structural correlates have been consistently demonstrated; however, experts suggest the use of available guidelines can minimize testing and aid in diagnosis. ”

    Our favorite internet site

  2. The paper in public loos is problematic. But at least 90% of the time it us in there. My brother in law and I got caught in China with a stomach problem and they do not have paper in the toilets. I always carried tissue paper, but my brother in law was reduced to use his hand….

  3. Thanks for following my blog site! You are very lucky in Australia in having abundant toilets, in the UK we have lost many of our public toilets – so many in fact that we have had to campaign to save our toilets. Good provision of toilets reduces social isolation that can be part of living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and is very important, giving people confidence to go out, being nervous about not knowing where you can go doesn’t help symptoms unfortunately. I look forward to further posts!

  4. I to have learnt to always check the paper as soon as I get to the loo. Also being a mum of young kids I always have tissues and wipes which will do in desperate situations 😉

    • I always check to see there is paper, but in some dunnies, they are all those stupid bulk paper rolls with no perforations and single ply stuff that you can poke a finger through.

  5. Yeah, and the loo paper often runs out in the ladies and you’re left calling to anyone else, “Hey can you pass me some paper?”

    • I make a point of checking the quantity of paper before contemplating any action 🙂

      I would be so embarrassed to call out asking for help.

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