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Advice for Teens


Symptoms can make it hard to focus and attend classes. This can lead to school absences from school.

Handy tips

  • Communicate with your teachers: In these instances, it is important to communicate your health situation with your teachers so that they can support and assist you as much as possible. Ask your doctor to write a letter to your school co-coordinator stating how your condition will impact your studies (e.g., trips to the bathroom, fatigue, concentration)
  • Get in touch with the disability coordinator: Most school and tertiary institutions also have a disability coordinator. The disability coordinator can convene with your teachers, and collaboratively you can devise a plan to manage school work and assignments during disease flare ups
  • Research flexible schooling options: Other more flexible schooling options, such as distance education, exist. These eliminate the need to be physically present in a classroom


Feeling embarrassed by IBS can lead to an unwillingness to disclose struggles and chat openly. This can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.

Handy tips

  • Use language with which you are comfortable. If you don't want to go into specifics about your condition then you can use terms like 'chronic illness' instead
  • Educate your friends: Print out some pamphlets on IBS to give to your friends so that they can have a better understanding of what your illness is all about
  • Change your perspective. If you had a friend who was ill, think about how you would react and the kind of support you would offer
  • Join a support group (e.g., ChiPS – chronic illness peer support for adolescents aged 12-25).

Transition from paediatric doctor to adult doctor

Transitioning from pediatric to adult GI is not an easy task. Ending a close and trusting relationship and beginning a new and unknown one can be quite overwhelming.

Handy tips

  • Interview potential new doctors
  • Discuss health care transition with your pediatric doctor; don’t be afraid to express how you are feeling

Body image

Due to the nature of IBS, and its treatment, individual can feel anxious about their body and how they think of it, and also how they think other individuals see it. If you are concerned about your body image, talk to someone about your concerns. Often your concerns can be allayed after talking to a partner, or trusted family member or friend. If you continue to worry and it has a negative impact on your everyday life, please talk to a doctor about what options to resolve this concern are available.


If you are interested in other gastrointestinal-focused information and intervention websites developed and hosted at
Swinburne University of Technology,
please go to:

IBDclinic.org.au for individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Gastroparesisclinic.org for individuals with Gastroparesis


This website and its content is not intended or recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions.

© 2014 Swinburne University of Technology | CRICOS number 00111D