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  • IBS and living in Japan

     ardchen updated 6 months ago 4 Members · 26 Posts
  • iliketurtles

    July 6, 2018 at 2:29 am

    Hello! im not sure if this is the place to talk about this. But finding information on this has not been easy.

    I came here in hopes to find information about living with IBS in japan. This issue for me impacts my life so much. Im limited on where i can travel depending on how easy i can locate a toilet. Pretty limited on what i can eat also.

    I wanted to see if there was anyone else living in japan with IBS. I will be making a move early next year. Employment is one thing that worries me at the moment.

    I work a desktop support job. All my work from my desk and do some work remotely. It would be nice to find a work from home job. At my current job, Im not at a public facing job like a register so i am free to use the toilet when needed. My case of IBS is mostly if im not able to get to a toilet easy, i get the need to go. so being stuck at a register is something im not able to do anymore.

    I was wondering if anyone has this issue and what they do for work.

    my health? its good. but this issue is something that as far as i know, there is no cure.

    the food in japan has been safer for me. but i still have issues from time to time.

    I did see another post with a link to this


    Any input would be great!

  • AccessibleJapan

    July 6, 2018 at 4:16 pm


    Of course it is OK to ask here!

    Not living with IBS, but know the need of finding a toilet!  You may want to try out some of these toilet apps!  They can help you find the nearest toilet.  It certainly helps to just know where they are in a pinch.  The @トイレ app even has a big “Emergency!” button (it is actually made by a company that sells diarrhea medication) 🙂

    These should at least help you when going out.  Even if in Japanese, you can still get the idea.

    You mention working here?  After you move in and get on Japanese health insurance, you should go to a doctor to see about prescribed medicine.

    Hope this helps!

  • iliketurtles

    July 7, 2018 at 12:46 am

    Wow there is an app for that!? thanks for the links!

    I wonder what Japanese doctors will say. American ones seem to have given up and tell me im fine.


    Again thanks for the info! ill be sure to put it to good use!

  • AccessibleJapan

    July 7, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    When you do get here and see one, please let everyone know!  It will help the next traveler with IBS who wants to visit Japan.

  • iliketurtles

    March 23, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Not much of an update but wanted to say I am now moved and living in Tokyo. Waiting on some documents and will then go to a doctor to see what they can do here.

    In America I pretty much got the, oh yes you have Ibs. Watch what you eat and you should be ok. …

    That’s it… Not much help.

    I did find out about some meds for this issue only found in Japan.

    I found out about a med called Irribow. But the only way to get it is to see a doctor. So my next step is insurance .

    This medicine is taken once a day. Im hoping with this I’ll have some what of a normal eating life. I usually have to skip eating if I travel far.

    For now I’ll try to use imodium. But I have a limited supply. Also don’t like using it much because it sometimes will back me up for a few days. But it’s better than rushing to a toilet .

    I have not tried over the counter stuff in tokyo. Really want to see what the doctor says. I’m worried the stuff I get on my own will be too weak.

    I’ll post the next update after seeing a doctor.

  • AccessibleJapan

    March 23, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    First of all, welcome to Japan!!!

    thank you for the new information. Please do keep us posted on the prescription medication or any over the counter ones you try (if you do). It will help others with IBS visiting Japan.

  • debsydubs39

    March 26, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    Hi there

    I’m not a doctor but I struggled for years and tried every over the counter fibre product

    I don’t want to get in this forum and talk about my issues

    I had the typical colonoscopy and then mentioned a breath test

    As I wasn’t celiac, they told me not to bother about getting the breath test

    As my problem persisted, I paid to have it done

    Diagnosis – fructose malabsorption

    It can also check lactose intolerance, my son has this

    I eat fructose friendly meals

    Adopting a permanent eating style of ketosis and limit sugar and now lost 11 kgs

    You have probably had heaps of tests already but just checking

    By the way, this is linked to my multiple sclerosis

    Food diary is a must

    Now I have a beautiful fresh low acid coffee, dark roast, single origin yum

    I go every day most times

    I certainly know if I’ve eaten the wrong food

    Good luck

    Yay Japan, my son lives there and I’ve been 3 times now and love the Winter

    My last trip December 2018

    Shouted myself Japan Airlines business class and The Hilton in Shinjuku out of my payout since finishing work ☹️


  • iliketurtles

    March 27, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Hello @debsydubs39!!

    Thanks for the input ! I didn’t consider fructose being an issue. I’ll for sure look into it and see if that will help me and change the way I eat. At the moment I’m waiting on some visa documents so I have time to test food and different diets.

    It’s not easy to get help on this issue. Everyone has a different trigger to it.

    Hope you get to make another trip to Japan!

  • iliketurtles

    August 21, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Hello everyone! its been a long road to getting my spouse visa and finally getting a job!

    Ive been at my job for 2 months now and have japanese health insurance. 

    Most hospitals that have foreign staff, do not take japanese insurance. 

    I had my wife assist with getting an appointment in Shibuya.

    English is pretty limited with the staff. I got lucky and the doctor assigned to me spoke pretty good english so i was able to explain my issue to her. I showed her my testing papers from america and also that i had a colonoscopy done. I really didnt want to deal with more testing. 

    She shared that she also had to deal with IBS! i was like wow someone who understands! it didnt take long before she got me some meds. its a once a day pill but maybe because im from america she said take 2. the pill is イリボー or Iribo –

    I just started taking it yesterday so ill have  to update again later. I started with the one a day and see how it goes for a week. I might need to take 2 a day… 

    dealing with the doctor was super easy in tokyo. No run around talking to other doctors and needed a special referral. My wait time was about 5 or so minutes. Talked to the doctor and was out before i knew it with my meds ! Doctor visit with my japanese insurace was 1050 yen. 

    28 pills about 28 days worth was 1600 yen. 

    i did look into going to a more english speaking friendly hospital but the wanted 15,000 yen for the first time consultation…and my insurance wouldnt work there. So if you dont speak japanese, try to find someone to help you get an appointment if you only have japanese insurance. 

  • AccessibleJapan

    August 22, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Thank you for the update and welcome to Japan!

    Glad to hear you had a pleasant first experience (besides the testing!).  <br>

    I have been told the same thing about medicine as well (take double), but I think it is wise that you are trying with one first. <br>

    Please do keep everyone updated – it will be so helpful for others with IBS traveling to Japan!<br>

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