What Type of Work Do Colitis Patients Have?

Every person who participated was required to respond to the question:

What type of job/work do you have, and would you recommend it to another UC’er who is thinking about changing up their career or looking to do something that might work easier with UC symptoms and all that comes along with UC? Why/why not?

Below are the 176 individual responses:

  • Home base work will real help because in the morning the colitis is very strong.
  • I am a student mentor for transfer and freshmen students. I would recommend a job that involves working with other people because surrounding yourself with others boosts your well-being more than working by yourself. It’s like you’re feeding off of others’ energy.
    I would only advise changing your career if it is seriously a huge stress to your life i.e., it’s bringing you down, nothing good is coming out of it day after day after day, you literally can’t get the work done to what is mediocre level, etc.Health comes first. If you can’t take care of yourself, then you can’t take care of anything else.
  • I was a Real Estate Appraiser before I became permanently disabled. I believe it’s a great job for someone with UC. You are almost always near a toilet especially if you appraise residential real estate. There is some crawling around, climbing, etc.. but it’s usually pretty easy going.
  • I work in an office as an admin clerk, sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day long.
  • I am a lawyer. It’s flexible in that you can easily go to the doctor. But the lifestyle is very stressful.
  • It is not easy to find a job that will understand. Also a no stress job is key. I always worked for myself and with the econmy change it is tuff. I have had jobs but always left them because the stress makes me worse of just not knowing when i will get e flar. Also evening jobs are best, think about it there is less people around and more bathrooms that are free. What to do???
  • I work in the Human service field and work in a group home setting. I am easily able to access a bathroom because it is a house. I am able to have the flexibility for when I need to use the washroom.
  • My job is tied to the phone all day in technical support. No, I would not recommend this type of career for someone with UC.
  • I work in a kitchen as a supervisor. I would not recommend this job to another UCer because it is long hours. You wake up early and get home late. This job can also be very stressful which can sometimes make my symptions worse. It can also be a lot of physical labor which can be diffucult when having a flair because I am usually very weak and tired.
  • In this moment I am creating a new company.  I recomend an office work or if possible work from home.
  • DO NOT TELL A PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYER about your UC. It used to be illegal in fact to question your health. Apparently now an employer has the right to “screen” their prospective employees.
    Get a job with health insurance provided. In Canada this is relatively common – our health care system also cannot refuse you coverage, no matter what disease you may have or develop – sorry for Americans and their system.
    Try to get a job in an area that you can just fit in with a group of employees e.g. typing pool, data entry, etc., and that doesn’t require physical strength.
    Again – do NOT tell ANYONE that you work with that you have UC – say that it’s a digestive thing (hopefully they’ll think that it’s a gluten-intolerance thing – in fact get “Gluten-Free Cooking” magazines on your desk, and bring cookies telling all that they are gluten free.
    Anything to keep your job and support yourself, especially if you are a single parent.
  • concrete floor layer
    working on construction sites can be very inconvenient as the toilet block can be quite far away
  • I’m working in a non-profit organization with people who understand me, we’ve known each other for 5 years now and they are my friends. I’d be worried if I changed my workplace. I’m not even sure I could get a job if I say at the interview that I have UC.
    I recommend working for a non-profit organization (I think the competition between collegues is less stressful in comparison with corporations. People tend to work together, as a team, for the benefit of their cause., NOT against each other in order to promote and get more money as it often happens in companies) of for yourself (I’m thinking of doing that in the future, because I would be my own boss and I would organise my time according to the way I feel).
  • I am a CPA…desk job. The bathroom is not too far away :)
  • Military. Would not recommend unless very well controlled.
  • part time work, don’t focus on work too much while trying to get better (your career can wait) focus on yourself (if you can afford this).
  • Previously I was working in Steel Melting Shop ,Furnace repair section.The job was physically challenging and the working condition was very tough which normal personnels avoided.After diagnosis of colitis I shifted to more of managerial and administration job in Steel Melting Shop and I am doing it well.
  • I work in Admin and anyone daigonised with UC Not crohn must not worry too much and have break during your duty.
  • Engineering. I don’t recommend this career.
  • I am a Learning for Life Worker for The Smith Family in Australia, The Smith Family are a not for profit organisation who provide kids with educational scholarships, we also provide our kids the chance to participate in homework clubs, mentoring programs, sporting programs and so much more. It is a very flexible working environment and I think this is why I have been able to keep working. I have the best job in the world and would highly recommend it.
  • I work in the IT industry so it has it stressfully days, basically I support clients computers, software etc., so in a why I am lucky I can make an excuse in my job to leave the person and say I be back I have to get some software and or equipment and or some tools to finish the job.(so i can dash to the loo etc). also I am lucky i work flexi hours so can work long hours or short days when required. but there are days when it is not to good and I am stuck at work cause of the job I am doing and I am either tired in pain or having a flare but I have no chose but to finish the job on hand. and then I get home quite late which then puts more pressure on me and stress and dose not help how I feel. so It has good options as well as bad. but would I recommend this job to others I guess it really depends on peoples suituations if they can handle the stress of working in IT.
  • I’m a teacher. It’s not so conducive to UC. I’ve only been diagnosed for a month now and am so overwhelmed trying toad he symptoms and keep a high school Biology class running.
  • I work as a Medical Lab Technician. I have had two flares lasting about 2 months each since being diagnosed and working as a MLT. During the first flare I missed two days of work for a colonoscopy. During the second, I missed no days of work. I must say I am extremely stubborn and would time my eating schedule so that the worst of my symptoms occurred while I was off hours at home. The job can be fairly stressful depending on the site in which one works. If the duties are confined to the lab there is always a bathroom nearby. In my instance, I am required to go out on the “floors” and draw blood. Two nights I worked I had to confide to a co-worker I was not able to leave the vicinity of a bathroom and they would have to go for me. If you like Science, people, responsibility, working as part of a team, and daily challenges it’s a good job. I’m not sure it’s ideal for UC but it keeps one moving and thinking.
  • Traveling sales rep.
  • I am a teacher. Yes, I would recommend being a teacher. I love my job!
  • As I mention above, I am a RN who is currently in the pharmaceutical research industry. I manage clinical trials for major pharmaceutical and biotech companies. I do have some flexibility such as working from home if I am feeling very bad but overall the job is very high stress. Although I love what I do, I wouldn’t recommend it to others with UC just because of the stress factor.
  • I’m an office managerfor 7 small businesses (with same ownership). I was just diagnosed in February 2012 and have been doing this job for 12 years. I am able to work remotely on occasion (I choose to work one day a week at home) and all my co-workers know of my condition and are extremely supportive. My bosses also know and they are extremely accommodating and they know I would never take advantage of the situation. I would recommend working for a small business to another UC’er because it has been my experience that some small business owners might be more “employee-friendly” and willing to work with a person’s lifestyle situations.On the negative side, many small businesses are limited to the type of group health insurance policy options and you might pay more out of pocket for higher deductibles. With the cost of some medications, this could be a deal-breaker.
  • I am an assistant to a department. An administrative job is probably good. I do not have a lot of meetings to attend. Basically I keep things running…doing things at my own pace.
  • I work for the USPS. I work on machines and at times if I’m ‘missing’ then the machine shuts down because I need to be there to move the mail. I am a long term employee and they can’t ‘fire’ me, but I wouldn’t recommend it cuz its physically draining and you aren’t able to use the bathroom on your schedule… Only the machine schedules or supervisors schedule. Also I work nights and that is draining taking all These meds. I’m not able to sleep anymore during the day. Ugh. I’m
    Hoping for better days :)
  • I work in the aerospace industry. In the past I was a purchasing agent, which fell in to production control, but I had to quit my job due to all of the stress that was contributing to my UC flares. I would constantly have to run to the bathroom or not make it to meetings or classes because of my illness. I took s few months off work and then got a part time job in the same industry just at a smaller company that is more flexible and understanding of my condition. I have been at my current job for almost two years and have not missed more than probably 12 days in that time. I truly believe that the stress of my last job and the pressure I was constantly under was a major factor in my level of sickness. I changed my career from a high pressure/stress purchasing agent to a a low stress administrative professional and that has helped me. I would not reccomend any type of high stress job to anyone with UC…..especially if you are employed by a major corporation.
  • I am a registered nurse on an open heart cardiac unit. It is a very stressful job to be a RN. I would not recommenced this career to another UC’er. I just graduated college May 2011 and started working as a RN in October. So for someone with UC its difficult because the hours are 13-14 hours 3 days a week. Being at work for so many hours makes it hard to go to the bathroom because of being so busy.
  • Firefighter/paramedic
    I don’t recommend this with UC
  • I work in an office doing data entry all day. Its not the most enjoyable job but my insurance is really good and that’s one less stressor with UC. Also I have access to using the restroom whenever UC comes calling. Its not the kind of job I love going to but it works with my health problems.
  • I work in a laboratory, but have to travel frequently. The laboratory work is usually o.k. for a person with ulcerative colitis, but the travel is very difficult. UC has hurt my career quite a bit.
  • I would not recommend working at a call center because of the stress level and lack of exercise.
  • clean houses
  • I am a Department Head at a County. No, I would not recommend it because it is a very demanding and stressful job and I have to do a lot of public speaking.
  • I am a Surgical Technologist. Definetly not something to reccomend to anyone. I can be scrubbed in Surgery for hours at a time. I switched my work place to a day surgery unit where cases are much shorter.
  • Electrician would not recommend
  • I waitress, so that can be challanging at times–but I also have a Nursing degree that I am going back to, and depending where I work could totally be a problem–like if I work in the OR..and have to go to the bathroom–I would have a problem leaving to do that.But working as a floor nurse, I could quickly run to the bathroom without difficulty. I also just applied at a funeral home–that would work for me to help out there–but I could not assist at the cemetary due to NO BATHROOMS–In fact, if I already know there is no bathroom–I get nervous and that will be enough to make me want to go—That’s the part that sucks!!!
  • Dont know. So hard to figure out what would be a good job.
  • Graphic designer. Being indoors & sedentary does help when I’m not feeling good, especially since there is usually a bathroom nearby. I also am able to work from home, if needed which is a positive.I find I need to go to gym most days – helps with stress release. I walk to work as well (20 mins one way)I would recommend being a graphic designer as a career change – however – not everyone is artistic & has an eye for design! I’ve been a designer for longer than I’ve had UC (designing for 13 years, UC for 11 years).I’m lucky to do something I love without UC affecting my career too much to stop.
  • I teach elementary school. I love my work and my students, so the job is actually a haven for me. If any aspect of teaching, young children, working with parents, or job performance evaluations from principals on a regular basis make you anxious then this would hurt your health.
  • I wouldn’t recommend my job. It is technology development and policy compliance for over 8000 staff and is rather stressful and full on. It is my favorite job ever and I have been there for 11 years now but it can be difficult coping with it when I suffer from extreme fatigue due to UC :O(
  • I am essentially an office worker at the moment. Definately take this up! Not much movement, theres lots of speaking to people so you have to try not to be fatigued but on the whole quite good and not too tiring. Have also worked as a playworker at a kids club … I was glad to do this job because it helped me get my strength back post op (all that running around!) but before my ops when I was working 20 hour weeks on top of college and 45 hour weeks in the holidays the stress caused major flare ups and I was so tired! looking after other peoples kids isnt easy and UC can make it a lot worse! Having to sneak off to the toilet every half hour when theres flare ups too just didnt work for that situation.
  • I am a field insurance adjuster. Not sure if this would be somthing a person with active UC would want to move into.
  • I do audit work and travel a good bit. However, I am not sure that I would seek a travel job knowing that I have UC even though it can be managed fairly well. Air travel is a bit more challenging. Many employers allow workers flexibility in assignment locations (for example to work remotely from home) so on bad days that type of arrangement is ideal. Bottom line is to be upfront with your employer, many are really very understanding. If they are not, you probably don’t want to work for them anyway.
  • truck driver
  • I am a science technician mainly biology and chemistry ,working in private school,loos are aplenty,but not very private.Sometimes i wonder wether the chemicals/fumes etc i work with on a regular basis are good for me,and also the stress of the job.When i am at work it is flat out,and when a holiday approaches you kind of need it.  Obviously not working for four months of the year(holidays),is a bonus because you are more likey to be off work during a flare/but not always.I would’nt call what i do a career it was a job i fell into and so far it has worked out.The pay is not great so for those of you that have to pay for medical care,maybe not a great choice,but in Britain the NHS takes care of most of that ,just prescriptions that we pay for…..about £7.00 per medication.So far i have not needed to be hospitalised and have managed with Prednisone and asacol .
  • I’m a Commercial Insurance Agent. Most of my work is done via e-mail so if I am having a”bad day” and end up in the bathroom a lot, it makes it easier to get away with it. Meetings and conferences are a different matter (I do a lot of praying then :))
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Optical asst/reseptionist. I enjoy my work but don’t think it is normally good for someone who is sick a lot. I have worked there so long though that they work with me when I am sick.
  • I was a medical writer. I wouldn’t do this job again. I have to miss too much to do it. I am looking for something I can do on my own time.
  • I am a physician. My job at the pharmaceutical company is pretty flexible, I can work from home or come in late if I need to. I left a different job at a different pharma company as I was under a lot of stress and I felt like it was adversely affecting my health.
  • I work as a Manager of 2 departments but in 2 different States. This managing of people and functions via phone and email has an added advantage as I can easily work from home if required. However it also requires me to travel via plane a lot and that creates another set of difficulties. I would not recommend this for a fellow UC’er as it is an extremely stressful job with unrealistic outcome demands.
  • Software Engineering
  • I am a final year medical student on assistant-ship and about to start houseman year. It has been a very stressful time and is difficult being the patient and the doctor but also very rewarding as you know all the options available for treatment etc. Highly stressful though which doesn’t help symptom control.
  • I am an occupational therapist in an industrial setting. My caseload varies and there is always sufficient time for me to use the bathroom if needed. I think in general, OT’s are pretty much on their own in most every setting they work in, so it tends to lend itself to being able to run to the bathroom. Although, if your situation is such that you are having to go very often, maybe having to be with a patient for a certain amount of time (usually half hour – 1 hour increments) may not be something you can do??? I feel diet is so much an integral part of controlling these diseases that if it’s under control, I would think that a person could do most anything they really wanted to do. Since I have been on the SCD coming up on 5 wks, during my workday (an 8 hr shift), I have not had to use the bathroom for #2 but maybe twice!
  • I worked full time in Santander business banking before being disgnosed. It is not a job I enjoy and was hoping to do something else some day. The only good thing that came out of my UC disgnosis was that after about 3 years of being unhappy and struggling daily I pushed myself into starting my own business. I now work in the bank three days a week and I run a vintage clothing website the rest of the time. Since taking the plunge I have felt a lot happier in myself and this has resulted in my UC being more controlled.
  • I work in an office and so it’s not a physical job and I have worked with my UC since my diagnosis 14 years ago. I sometimes have to work from home during a bad flare but my company has been understanding.
  • I work in a bank and it is extremly stressfull and my symptoms have become worse in the last two yrs since I have taken up this job so I wouldn’t recommend it.
  • Taking care of young children while dealing with UC is really rough, near to impossible to take care of others when you can barely take care of yourself. But there are downtumes throughout the day that do help when you really just need to rest a bit.
  • I am a Nanny to one little boy , I had to leave my office job due to having U.C. and I had to take payments, and when you must get to the bathroom in a hurry, you just can’t wait on customers. So I took a job as a Nanny because I can go to the bathroom when ever I need too. But there has been times when I had to leave the child while giving him his bottle when he was a baby while I went to the bathroom.
    And many days I just don’t feel like working. U.C. is a living hell to me. I have had it 11 years and with no health insurance I do not get good health care.
  • I am a kindergarten teacher. I am lucky to have a full time paraprofessional in my classroom so I can step out to the restroom any time I need to.
  • Barrister
    No would not recommend it
    Judges do not allow toilet breaks
  • Software engineer
  • I work out of my home office. Have a lot of trepidation going to early morning meetings, driving to meetings, etc. I suggest trying to work out of your home as the best case scenario especially when having a flare up.
  • I’ve always wanted to become a teacher. I think it is a great choice for my disease because I am allowed that 8 weeks in the summer to not go anywhere! This isn’t necessarily a vacation time for me, but more so a relaxing, starting to plan for the next year, “get your act together”, try a new diet, sleep in, start an exercising regimine…. all of these things occur in those few weeks. If i had business-like job that required me to be at an office 50+ hours a week, I don’t think I would make it. Also, on the really bad days… I can leave at the end of the day and finish all of my grading and lesson planning at home- where my favorite toilet is!
  • I’m a registered nurse in ICU with 2 patients. If I had 5 or 6 patients, I doubt I could do the job well…even if a coworker tried to help me.
  • I am a teacher. This is not a good job for UC people. You can’t leave a classroom full of kids whenever the urge hits. It can become a real problem.
  • I was in insurance, don’t know what I’ll do next
  • I work in the charity sector and they are very supportive. I suppose the sector supports and cares for people and this tends to be how they treat their staff also.
  • Retail sales. I would not recommend because sometimes you can’t get off the sales floor or phones in time to make it to the restroom.
  • I work in a community home 4 adults with learning disabilites and challanging behaviour, and i wouldnt advise it for people with UC.
  • I currently work from home making things to sell online, before being diagnosed I was studying to get into the travel industry, but i feel that until/unless my condition improves I wouldn’t be able to that line of work.
  • Self employed project manager. The role is ok for UC but when pressure and stress builds then you have to Beverly careful.
  • I’m a police officer and sometimes it’s rough being on patrol while I’m in a flare up but I manage.
    I have never thought about a job change because I love what I do.
  • I am a social worker. The schedule is good for me because it allows a lot of flexibility. If I come in late no one really minds as long as I make up the time lost. I schedule my own appointments so I make sure to do office work in the mornings when my colitis usually bothers me more so that I don’t have to cancel or delay appointments. I used to work full time and I managed it pretty well but now I work just 15 hours a week. I set my own hours so I can plan my work around my health.
  • I am basically a laborer in a steel mill that stacks heavy metal, brass and bronze for shipment after it is made. I would not recommend this job because its a lot at heavy lifting by hand. (about 50,000 lbs daily sometimes more) Increased physical activity seems to make my symptoms worse! Restroom is not close and can’t always just leave your job for a head call. Also exposed to high lead levels and have to wear a respirator all day. Lead takes a toll on every part of your body especially liver ajd kidneys….I understand that UC is also hard on liver and kidneys…so for me its double trouble. I make good money but not worth my health going down hill twice as fast. Always looking for a good job that will be better suited for a UC’er.
  • I work in an office setting so it’s easier to deal with symptoms. However, I also work in sports and have to be available for the duration of the games which can get a little difficult. Luckily, my symptoms have never been too awful during a game but I am terrified of the day when they are.
  • Work from home. It can be a little harder to find a telecommute job, but will make the symptoms more manageable.
  • Im a driving instructor, and I certainly would NOT recommend this job to UCers if not for the access to bathrooms but the sheer STRESS of it.
  • exploration geologist. Would not rec mmend this career for an uc patient
  • I’m a mobile hairdresser with a clientele of regular customers that I have mostly done for years, my clients are so understanding and have been flexible as and when I have needed but the demands of being on my feet all day takes its toll especially when fatigue from sleepless nights take its toll. Being in someone else’s home means I always have access to a bathroom though it’s still awful when you do have to use their facilities when you would rather just have the privacy of your own!
  • I am working in the IT field. Although there are several “home-office” jobs I prefer “classic” jobs because of more social activity. (even if it could be harder with UC)
  • bookkeeping
  • My job as a housekeeper is part-time. I used to have more clients but my health has declined. My body can handle part-time and if you have good clients it’s a great way to make money, even part-time. If a person can handle it, then yes, I would recommend it because you are close to a bathroom and in most houses, close to 2 or 3!
  • translation
  • im a nurse’s aide at a assisted living facility, i’ve been there for 20 yrs. over the years ive been hospitialized a couple of times and had to take time off from work.
  • I left my previous job (in retail) because the demands were just too stressful on my body. Right now I’m in grad school, which is a full-time job in itself. I’m looking to get into my field that could allow me to work from home, if I needed to.
  • I would stay away from customer service related jobs or jobs that require you to be on the phone most of the day. I’d recommend being part of a group/team where one’s intermittent absences don’t have a major impact on the employer. I would prefer an office with many readily available restrooms, close to home (or work from home if possible), short commute, low travel.
  • I am a high school teacher. It is very difficult to be with teenagers all day and worry about UC episodes. We only have 3 minute passing period for bathroom breaks. Think about this before choosing this career. We also have VERY high stress levels and much evening work.
  • Teacher. It’s hard when you have to run out of class a lot.
  • I have a mostly office type job– 20 hours a week.It would be good to have a moderate amount of physical activity in a job. My colitis improved when I started walking a couple miles a day (before I began work after staying home with children). Working part time helps me keep a balance of sitting in front of a computer and physical activity. It also gives me time for food preparation, which I need since I’m on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.Stress is a huge factor in work. I definitely have flares due to stress. Working with a team of people who are understanding, who I enjoy and who can cover for me when I’m ill is really great.
  • I work in a busy coffee shop – not the easiest when in a flare up!
  • Police officer
  • I am a school district administrator.
  • I’m in PR. I have mild to moderate UC, and I think if it were any worse, I would not be able to work. I’m actually thinking about changing careers to something more suitable.
  • Office work is the best.
  • Tool & Die maker working in the design and programing area. I spend 80% of my tine
    working at a desk. When i have a flare up which at this time has lasted over a year, it gets
    frustating because you have to run to the bathroom all the time, but you might have a customer
    or engineer on the phone.
  • I am an appliance repair technician and I would recommend this line of work to people with UC, as long as you don’t mind using public toilets. For the most part my “office” is my work van and as long as I get my calls handled in a timely manner, it works well for me.
  • I am in Property Management. I would not recommend changing to this profession due to the intense stress level. I am fortunate as I have been with my firm 23 years prior to my first flare.
  • I am an appraiser. I don’t necessary believe this is an easy field of work. I just have learned to take it day by day and not over stress. Managing my stress levels as well with taking my medicine has really helped me lower my flare ups.
  • Law enforcement. I would not recommend it. Having to wear all the gear around my waist can be very painful at times.
  • I’m a detention officer and it is a difficult job to have when you have UC flare and have to run to the toilet every few minutes.
  • I’m an office assistant working for San bernardino county. Customer service via phone and front counter service is my main duty. In any career you choose, it’s your co- workers and boss who have your back and understanding this disease. I’m truly blessed.
  • I am an independent contractor, so I work when I want. The plus side is getting to make my own schedule. The downside is no paid vacation or sick time, so if I don’t work, I don’t get paid.
  • I am an administrative assistant (mostly computer work and sitting at my desk). I really can’t say it makes anything easier. Travelling to and from work (2 hours) is my major concern…hoping I make it to the office safely and then back home. I’m not too worried once I am at work. Bathrooms are close.
  • I am a service advisor at an auto dealership an NO I do not recommend it.
  • Laboratory Support Technician at local hospital. I would recommend other UC’ers find a work at home position or a job that is more flexible with scheduling, especially if they have frequent flares like I do. The trips to the bathroom, pain and fatigue I experience makes it really hard to work full-time and I’ve had to request reduced hours because of my condition.
  • This is a very complex question.
  • I am a homemaker, responsible for cleaning, cooking, family finances etc. my symptoms prior to starting SCD made it difficult to leave the house too much but that was ok and I could manage my work. Since starting the SCD about 5 weeks ago I have not been able to cook for the family and in the first few weeks (also started new medication at the same time) I was too weak and nauseated to do much of anything. Now I am just cooking and shopping for myself. I did work outside the home until 2008 just before my diagnosis and can not imagine being able to work like that when my symptoms were at their worst – 10 to 20 trips to the toilet a day, urgency, pain etc.
  • I’m a nurse in a hospital so it’s pretty easy to discuss my UC at work. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to be on my feet and do the physical stuff. I’ve considered a desk position or work at home. So far, I’m able to work at the hospital easily.
  • I work in accounting with others in very close proximity. When I have a flare I have very uncomfortable stomache pains, cramping, bloating, and gas. So I can’t release gas unless I make it to the bathroom which is frequently. I take Mesalamine now so most of symptoms have disappeared.
  • Work outside for a electric company. Would not recommend.
  • I work in a theme park, I would not recommend it to anyone struggling with UC
  • I am in the consulting industry. Due to the high pressure, and the need to have a certain number of billable hours each week, there are some stresses and difficulties involved when you are having a flare. On the other hand, work hours are flexible, and I have the ability to complete work from home if need be. Like every job, it has it’s pros and cons.
  • Teacher, it’s ok but can b stressful.. I’m not sure if I’d recommend it to someone with UC, I suppose it depends how serious u take the job.. U have to b more easy going with work and not let small things aggrivate or stress u out..
  • I am an Engineering Technoligist and I work for a local design/build company. I am a project manager but mostly I do estimating and cost control on residential renovation projects. I would recommend working for a smaller company as there is that extra level of compassion. My boss has become my friend as well as my employer. I am able to set my schedule and I can take any days off that I need. There are no benefits and I don’t get paid for time off though. This takes the pressure off of me as I would never take the time that I need to heal if I knew that it was costing my boss money.
  • library circulationvery boringlittle activitynot necessary free to run to the bathroom
  • I am an accounting clerk. It is not bad as there is always a bathroom nearby, but it ia small office-so you cannot be shy. Not alot of time out of the office and my boss is very accomidating!
  • I work with IT. It’s good because I have always been in an office or in a store, where I have access to toiletts. The bad part about working with IT is that you sit a-lot somtimes I feel like sitting is causing more pain than standing.
  • Take a desk job that allows you to run to the bathroom when needed.
  • Admin.
  • Marketing Manager in consumer service industry. Pressure and stress from work sometimes affect my condition.
  • IT Systems/Network Engineer. If I need to use the restroom, I can. No big deal.
  • I work at home, on a remote server. Nevertheless, I have a schedjule, 7 PM-3 AM, 5 days/week. It’s pretty much the best job for a colitis patient, being at home and all. We only see each other one time/ month, when we have a company meeting. The only bad part is staying up until 3, which means that I’m able to actually fall asleep at around 4 AM. I’ve been doing this for about 3 years now, 2 or 3 months after my diagnosis and I’m quite satisfied with the way things are. It’s not the biggest salary in the world, but I can manage+I don’t waste time going to work and coming back home daily. And I can poop whenever I want without anyone knowing :)I was trained to be a journalist, but since my colitis I can’t handle that kind of life, full of stress and whatnot.
  • pediatric nurse practitioner.
    I work in a large office and fortunately have an understanding boss. She has seen me through very difficult periods of time with my illness and knows I struggle to work through the majority of flares. i get frustrated when I see “well coworkers” taking off or calling out fro simple things like a cold.
  • Stress is the #1 factor affecting my UC. I believe that the stress is 50% due to my work environment and 50% on how I deal with my stress. Recently I took a lower stress position, and I found myself stressing out the same way, although the issues were much smaller. My UC kicked in again and I was back on that nasty track.
  • Sales
  • I work in higher education communications. While I do have flexibility (and usually easy access to bathrooms), it’s a high-stress level job. I definitely notice my symptoms get worse during stressful days.
  • In the past, I have worked as incoming telemarketing job, taking airline reservations, lost that job.
    I worked in mailing facilities, stuffing envelopes, sorting mail, operating inserting machine.
    Had to quit this job as I had missed too many days of work.I now due babysitting for one child in my home. Helps with a little extra money for medical bills and seems to be working.
  • I am a teacher because I want to be. I can only recommend it to someone who really wants to teach. If not, then you may struggle feeling conflicted between work and UC.
  • I work as a Golf Professional. My job requires me to be at work for up to 14 hours a day. I have been lucky to work for a club that allows me to take time off when I am not feeling up to working.
  • Nurse
  • I work for the oil industry, it’s a stressful job which I feel can add to the condition. It did with me anyway. I am office based, it could be difficult when doing presentations to customers etc, so I personally wouldn’t recommend my role but I have worked around it and due to my condition being so bad I ended up having my full colon removed. Currently going through reversal ops just now.
  • I work as an office manager for a machine tool repair company.
  • Automotive Design Engineer. Not a low stress job, not ideal for someone with UC.
  • Student
  • I am a sales agent at Verizon Wireless. I wouldn’t recommend this job to others with uc because working with the public is very hard especially during a flare up.
  • i work as a legal trainee in the law office. i get to spend a lot of time out from the office so it can get complicated if your UC symptoms worsen.
  • Part time trapper at local gun club.
  • I work for ATT and support Best Buys, Wall Marts, RadioShacks and Sam’s Clubs. I suggest working for the company but not necessarily what I do. Being that I’m not in an office environment and I spend most of my time in my car or in retail stores, it makes it very difficult while flaring. Also, the stress of attaining sales goals is not good either.
  • I am a graphic designer that publishes a real estate magazine. I do it all myself so I set all the rules and hours. I tried other jobs such as a local newspaper and Walmart. I spent alot of time in the bathroom, and the stress made it me so much worse. I was blessed to find this job years ago and it is perfect for me. If you are having trouble with your job, look for some kind of self-employment so you can set your own hours and use your own bathroom. :)
  • im a kennel hand at manchester dogs home, uk so its quite manual…
  • At the moment I am an assistant manager for a swimming and leisure company. I do find my job very stressful as I am working to meet deadlines and constantly under pressure. I am mostly office based which is 2 miles from my home (this means easy bathroom breaks at lunch time!). I do spend some time out of the office visiting customers and suppliers but nothing that is too physically demanding. I do find working a full week very draining but I like to work as much as I can as I am only 27 and was diagnosed when I was 9. Office work is good as it means I can sit down and don’t have to move around too much, but maybe something a little less stressful would be beneficial!
  • I work grocery retail as a produce clerk. No I would not recommend it to anyone w/ uc as it is very physical labor intensive & difficult to do when feeling depleted by symptoms of uc.
  • auditor
  • Executive Asst. to the president and CEO of a small bank. Wouldn’t really recommend it as the stress that is sometimes involved is not really good for the colitis. I just have really great supervisors here!
  • Work in publishing. I am sometimes able to work from home which helps a lot.
  • Building management , I love my job but it can be hard however my employers have been great
  • I am an Architect, I own my own firm. I think the stress that builds up from owning a business adds to my UC symptoms, so I have had to work on ways to mitigate and release my stress. As far as when I I flare…my office is right across from the restroom and there is only two of us in the office.
  • Currently out of work due to uc.
  • I’m a manager at McDonald’s
  • I am a nurse working night shift. My GI told me to specifically get off night shift, as it has been shown in research studies to exacerbate my UC. That part is bad. However, I’m not chained to a desk and usually am very free to make a mad dash to the bathroom when needed. Also, when I’m flaring really badly and am dehydrated, I’m surrounded by people who can give me an IV and fluids.
  • I’m in the field of education and it is a very demanding job! I wouldn’t recommend teaching at all, it’s very stressful and at times, the stress has contributed to flare ups.
    I’ve recently gobe into management and it does seem to be less demanding, but that could be because I’m very new to the field!
  • Military. I’m hanging in there until I’m elegable for pension then I’ll be breathing a sigh of relef and leaving!
  • I’m an administrative assistant in higher education, which can be high stress at times and stress is one thing we should all avoid. But, overall and in general my supervisors and coworkers are supportive and that helps a great deal.
  • I am a high school teacher. I probably wouldn’t recommend teaching. You can’t leave the room very easily to go the bathroom and sometimes teenagers can be stressful. I love my job and have made it work so far but I don’t think I would recommend it to someone with a chronic illness. I am trying to find Online teaching jobs. After I finish my masters (which I took a leave from too). I will look into the online teaching environment more.
  • Medical device engineer
  • Construction Management/Engineering.I would recommend something more office involved. Traveling and jobsites are difficult and stressful
  • I am a regional development director for a university. I travel frequently (50% of the time) and was diagnosed in November 2010. Until recently, I had never experienced a flare (just blood and mucus but still regular). However, I am in the middle of a flare and can say being on the road has presented problems. I’ve had to run to bathrooms in airports, on the airplane and in between meetings. That said, I’ve recently started the SCD and have seen a little improvement. For me, work is all about eating the right things so I don’t upset my stomach and either have to sprint to the toilet or lie down from stomach cramps.
  • At the moment I work in a club in Sydney. It is a bar/TAB. I’m not sure if everyone knows that a TAB is but its where you place bets on horse racing etc. It is a pretty good place for someone with UC. There are many staff and if i need to go to the bathroom most of the time there is sometime to watch my area.
  • RN….if ur supervisors are understanding, there shouldn’t be an issue….atleast ur trying!!!
  • I am the billing manager for a cardiology group, I set at a desk most of the day!
  • I would definitely recommend a desk job where you do alot of thinking and doesn’t require much travel. I also think a key component is finding a good work environment/ company. Of course this is easier said than done!
  • I just have a desk job so its not too intense. I do get stressed out when there is a major deadline, but I feel most jobs have some time of stress. I would recommend more desk type jobs because you are able to sit and relax. My desk is also located very close to the bathroom (requested) so that helps as well.
  • I am an Executive Secretary. This job is a good job to have with UC. It does not require me to be away from a bathroom for long periods of time which is worrisome if you have UC.
  • I am in school right now for medical billing and coding. After I am done I hope to get a job at a hospital. That way it’s not a physical job. Sometimes sit while working sometimes stand.
  • I am a Special Ed Teaching Assistant working with students who have severe and profound disabilties. It requires a lot of energy to work with these students. There was a brief time period where I was in a lot of pain at work and it was very difficult to get through the day. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, this job can be rough.
  • I have a clerical job…….always near the bathroom:-)
  • Teacher assistant for kindergarten. It’s stressful especially depending on the year due to the non stop needs of the children. I’ve been doing it for 12 yrs and feeling the burnout.
  • I am a Logistics Manager
  • work in a department store. difficult when with customers.

Return to the Main UC and Work Survey Page – click here




Ulcerative Colitis Tips


The FREE iHaveUC eBook "Ulcerative Colitis Tips" is made available to all members of the 15,000 person newsletter group INSTANTLY. It is several pages of tips gathered from other people living with Ulcerative Colitis, and has ideas which can be put into action immediately. You will need to enter your email, and confirm the email address afterwards.

3 Responses to What Type of Work Do Colitis Patients Have?

  1. Bobbi February 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    Question for Everyone,

    I work in a correctional setting. I am worried about being on immune suppressing drugs and being exposed to TB, Mrsa, hepatitis and many other contagious diseases. How do the people who work in settings were they are exposed to these things manage? I would guess nurses, doctors etc would have the same problem. Any advice?

  2. Alexia W
    Aleixa February 6, 2016 at 8:48 am #

    I am a social worker in a hospital and often work with people who have VRE, MRSA, TB etc. I wear protective gear as would anyone when they go into the room. This includes gown, gloves, mask. Hand hygiene in paramount, washing hands when going in and out of a room.

    Hand hygiene regardless is important. Most people in the hospital are already compromised with their health, so by practicing proper hand hygiene and wearing protective gear when needed protects the patient and myself.

    As for yourself, stay rested and watch your stress levels.

    I am currently on prednisone and so I have been very careful the past 8 weeks.

  3. UC in Boston May 15, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    Operations Manager for a cold chain logistics company specializing in the transportation of pharma/biotech research samples. Some of these samples may even be for treating UC though our clients generally keep the details confidential. It’s a tough and stressful as everything is time and temperature sensitive but it does give me a sense that I am working towards possibly finding some sort of treatment. The company has been understanding of my condition thus far which is good. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend logistics in general, especially cold chain as it can be very stress full which definitely affects my symptoms.

Leave a Reply