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10 Sneaky Ways to Manage UC During a Social Gathering

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We’ve all been there. You’re at a party, the vibe is good, drinks and food are flowing, and suddenly it hits you: you gotta go. Like, really gotta go. But there’s a line, or the bathroom downstairs is right next to the social gathering, or the toilet paper is out, or the floors echo, or there isn’t a candle. 

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Believe me, I have been in all of these scenarios, and they can feel really awkward in that moment. But before we go any further, here’s one thing I’ve been told by countless friends who know I live with ulcerative colitis (UC) and host a lot of parties: Literally no one cares if you have to poop in their bathroom.


Still, it helps to have some strategic methods of getting in and out undetected. Here are some of my top party tricks:


  1. Go before you go. I’d rather be late to the party than arrive and immediately have to rush to the bathroom. I know, I know – this is definitely easier said than done. But if you’re able to “plan” it at all, definitely flush before you rush.
  2. Scope out the bathrooms early. It doesn’t matter where I’m going; whether a house, restaurant, or something in between, I always locate the bathrooms when I first arrive. A quick mental note, if you will.
  3. Know what foods are off-limits. I love cheese, but I also know it will make me have to poop pretty quickly after. If I’m at a party where I know I won’t love leaving the table, I skip the cheese. 
  4. Have a planned “out statement.” We’ve all been caught up in those conversations with someone who doesn’t give anyone a chance to speak. Those are literally my worst nightmare, because then the nerves of not being able to step away make the bathroom situation worse. Instead, have a planned statement. Mine is: I really want to continue this conversation, but I really need to use the bathroom. I’ll be right back.
  5. Sit by the opening. You’ll never catch me in the middle of a group. I’ll always hang out on the ends to be able to jump up at any time.
  6. Don’t be afraid to go upstairs. If it makes you feel more comfortable, blame the line. Ask the host if you can use the upstairs bathroom because the line is long, and you need to go.
  7. Make light of it. I’m really open about my UC, so I’ve definitely been the person who jokingly says, “Dang, I shouldn’t have eaten all that cheese!” LOL.
  8. Set an exit time. If you know staying past a certain amount of time or hour is bad for anxiety or bowel movements, pick a time to leave and stick to it. 
  9. Step outside. I’ve stepped outside so many times to pass gas, or even to just get a breather from the social anxiety that can make everything else worse. 
  10. No window? No problem. Light the candle, spray the poo-pourri, spritz the room freshener, take an extra two minutes to wash your hands with plenty of soap. 


Again, everyone poops, and truly no one is going to mind (or even notice) if you have to take the kids to the pool during a party. And if they do, they aren’t really friends worth having, right? 

Originally published: September 10, 2022
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