Tag Archives: spanish

Are you IBD friendly? Three essential thoughts for cafes / restaurants

Susie commented that she would like some tips to pass on to the management team at her place of work about how they can make their place a little more  Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) friendly. Most of the following are common sense and generally good business sense, but it can helpful to review these issues every so often to make sure standards have not slipped:

  1. Toilets – A clean, well stocked toilet facility is all that is required. More than one stall in both male and female bathrooms is a must. People with (IBD), constipation and other health problems can be on the loo for quite some time. Most people hate it when there is no toilet paper, but because people with IBD often have diarrhea, they really hate the sinking feeling of realising that there is no TP after they’ve completed business…. Soap, towels or air dryers are essential as well for hand hygiene. If you have the luxury of designing a facility, toilets that can have an opening window light in them will enable any smells to dissipate quickly. Failing a window light, a good quality extraction system will help prevent any odour issues.
  2. Food – People with IBD love to eat out just as much as people without IBD. There are some high fibre / high residue foods which seem to be universally problematic for people with IBD. Please do note that this is not about fussy eating and perhaps a little bloating. These foods can cause severe pain as they are too fibrous to pass through the inflamed and narrow parts of the bowel, they literally scrape past sore parts and cause further damage. In some cases, such foods can actually cause a bowel blockage which inevitably means that the person has to go to hospital for emergency surgery. The biggest culprits are mushrooms, sweetcorn and nuts. People with IBD usually know what food they need to avoid during a flare up of symptoms and if you can be a little bit flexible with your dishes that can be really helpful. For example, swapping the mushrooms for aubergine or the sweetcorn for rice.
  3. The ‘Unexpected‘ – People with an IBD may unexpectedly and urgently leave their table and disappear for several minutes. They haven’t scampered without paying the bill, they have just gone to the toilet. They may leave some or almost all the food you prepared for them. This is because they may have an appetite for the food, but not be able to eat a large quantity. They may ask for a child’s or small portion. Sometimes they may return something containing very rare or uncooked meat / fish, blue cheese or the high fibre foods described above.

Please help card in Spanish for people with IBD

Travelling abroad with an IBD, indeed any health problem, has a few additional complications on top of the standard hassle of not forgetting anything important, leaving on time and not losing your bank cards.

To help ease some of the stress I’ve developed a variation of the NACC’s ‘Can’t wait card’ for you to use when travelling abroad.  This card will help you communicate when you need to use public toilet facilities but don’t know where they are. If there are no public facilities nearby then the card also asks if  you can use private / staff facilities. The second side of the card is for those occasions when there is a public toilet, but you need to pay to use it – and you don’t have the right change.

Although many people speak English across the world, and there are phrase books that help you, my experience is that rushing to try to find a toilet is stressful and difficult to communicate. You are often misunderstood. These useful phrases often don’t appear in phrase books. In some rural areas the majority of people don’t speak English.

Please help card in Spanish

I have had the following text translated into Spanish and put it into a bank  card sized pdf that you can print out and laminate. You can keep it in your wallet/pocket for emergencies.

This is free to download but if you can afford to it would be great if you could donate to a charity which supports Crohn’s and Colitis .e.g. through my Just giving page.  If you can’t print this out and laminate it yourself please contact me as I can do this for you. I will charge a fee for materials, postage and a donation.

What the card says


Culturally appropriate greeting

Please help!

I have a medical condition which means I need to use the toilet urgently.

This condition is not infectious or hazardous to other people.

Please can you show me where the nearest toilets are that I can use?

If there are no public toilets nearby, may I use your staff facilities?

Culturally appropriate way of expressing thanks


Culturally appropriate greeting

Please help!

I have a medical condition which means I need to use the toilet urgently.

This condition is not infectious or dangerous to other people.

I do not have the entrance fee required to use these toilets, and because of the pain I am in I do not have time to get the correct change.

Please will you let me use these toilets? I will come back and pay afterwards.

Culturally appropriate way of expressing thanks


  1. Please make a donation to Crohns and Colitis UK through my ‘Just Giving’ page
  2. Print out this document
  3. Cut out the two card shapes below
  4. Glue them together, so the text is showing on the outside
  5. Place in a laminating sleeve
  6. Laminate!
  7. Alternatively you could make two cards by not gluing them together and laminating them separately.


Grateful thanks to Irma Elizabeth, Spanish Teacher, for her translation of the text into Spanish for this card.

An if you have missed the embedded links here they are:

Just giving donation page for Crohn’s and Colitis UK

Please help card in Spanish

Over the next couple of days I will be uploading French and German versions of the card. Do you speak another language? Can you help this project?