IBS is nothing to laugh at, but sometimes … you really just need to laugh about it. As someone who hates “potty humor,” even I have learned to laugh at my IBS. It helps to relieve some of the frustration and prevents me from directing accusations of betrayal at my stomach.

From the perils of traveling to the art of casually disappearing to the bathroom again, there are some things that only people with IBS can understand.

Like that feeling when …

You can’t eat anything on the menu, but everyone else is stoked about the restaurant.

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You’re having a great time with friends when suddenly … you need to go, right now.

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People think you’re pregnant, but you’re really in the middle of an IBS throwdown.

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You eat before the party, but friends spend the whole night nagging you to eat.

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Someone says you’re ‘such a girl’ because you only eat salads at restaurants. Never mind that it’s the only thing on the menu you can ever eat.

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Someone asks you to explain what a FODMAP is.

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You want to eat something, but also know that your stomach will take its revenge on you and make you miserable if you do. You eat it anyway.

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Things you eat all the time suddenly seem to turn on you.

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You get stuck in traffic.

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Everything you eat seems to make your symptoms worse.

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You try to ignore the symptoms for as long as you can.

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Your partner sleeps through the night like a baby, but you’re up all night trying to negotiate a peace deal with your intestines.

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You just want to be able to eat everything and feel normal.

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People think you’re crazy or that your IBS is all in your mind.

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You can’t tell the difference between a rupturing appendix and really bad intestinal pain.

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Someone says they’ve made you something that you can actually eat.

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You find out most people don’t feel sick after every meal.

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Friends ask you about their stomach problems like you’re psychic or an M.D.

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Strangers give you weird, unhelpful advice.

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