How To Tell Your Boss You’ve Got Diarrhea (11 Easy Ways)

Last updated on June 13, 2024 by Michelle Devani

It’s already a known thing that falling ill can’t be controlled but managed. It’s even worse when you have goals to achieve, but can’t achieve any of them because of a bad health condition. The same thing happens when you have diarrhea, as a working-class person. 

You'd have to figure out a way to take the day or a few days off. That's because it's a big deal to keep things as professional as possible when it comes to your workplace. Of course, it may just sound easy to tell your boss you have diarrhea, but some people find it embarrassing to say it in a professional setting.

Diarrhea is quite common, even though some people feel disgusted when they hear it. It could be from food poisoning, stress, or use of laxatives. The symptoms include frequent loose stools, abdominal cramps, fever, bleeding, vomiting, nausea, bloating, and sometimes dizziness from dehydration.

If you're experiencing some or more of these symptoms, you may have diarrhea. But, you may be wondering how you can say this to your boss without having to say the word directly, sound unprofessional, or like you want to stay home for fun. Here are 11 easy ways to tell your boss you've got diarrhea.


11 Easy Ways To Tell Your Boss You’ve Got Diarrhea

1. Inform your coworkers

Diarrhea doesn’t give signs when it starts and you never know the food you eat that will cause issues for you. So, when it happens, the first thing you could do is to tell your favorite work colleague. If you don’t have a favorite work colleague, you could call one who’s effective enough to tell your boss. 

You could ask them to help you tell your boss, while you plan on sending a formal email or letter to them. You may never know, your work colleague could patch things for you more than you can ever think of. You could get a call from your boss asking how you're feeling. This is one way to tell your boss you've got a diarrheal infection.

2. Ask for a formal letter or medical report from your doctor

ask for a formal letter or medical report from your doctor

Whether you're ill or pretending just to stay home or have sick leave, you should have a doctor's note stating the same thing you obtained permission for. The reason being that it will be helpful to let your boss know you told them the truth, why you're sick, and why the office experienced your absence.

This is just to have legal documentation for the reason you were off work for that particular day. So, get a doctor’s note as proof to show to your boss. You can tell the doctor to include some things that happened to you like vomiting, frequent stooling, or use of a toilet bowl, and it could be contagious.

3. Tell them you have the stomach flu

If you can't tell your boss that you're having a diarrheal infection, you could tell him that you're having stomach flu, stomach bug, or tummy bug, and you can only make it to work tomorrow. These phrases sound better and more professional to say to your boss. That's because you may not know the type of upset stomach it is. 

In most cases, it could be explosive diarrhea, so it's better to use those words. Or, you could just say that you're a little bit under the weather. If they don't have an idea of what that means, they could ask or expect you to provide details when you resume. Your boss may be patient with this.

4. Don’t go into so much detail

No matter how much pain you're going through, try not to go into so much detail. Many people get carried away by a physical illness that they give unnecessary details. And that could be very disgusting, especially if you're calling your boss directly. Try to save all details and any explanation for the doctor.

The summary is that you want to tell your boss how sick you are and how impossible it will be to make it to work. You don't want to tell your boss how much you've been vomiting uncontrollably, how sour your tummy feels, or how frequent your stooling has been before you contacted them. So, cut down on the details.

5. Call your boss as soon as you can

call your boss as soon as you can

Calling helps to clarify many things. That's because you get to hear the person's voice and tone during your entire conversation. They'll also get to hear how bad the sickness is in your voice. That way, you know if your reason has been accepted or not. And you'll be sure that your message has been passed.

It's a better way of communicating with your boss until you can send in an official letter or email. He won't shout at you and even if does, don't worry, you've made your point about being sick. The main aim is that you call to tell them you're not feeling too well. That's how to tell your boss you're having the stomach flu.

6. Tell your boss as soon as possible to avoid trouble at work

The earlier you tell your boss that you’re sick, the better for you as your job. That's because it could be disappointing for an employer to meet the absence of their employer with little or no reason for it. It doesn't matter how serious it is, you could ask a friend to reach out or your doctor. 

You could call, send an email, or send a random message to your colleague, explaining everything that you're going through at the moment. Or, depending on your boss, you could contact him directly by call, text, or email. No matter what the case may be, every boss loves good communication. That's how to tell your boss you're sick and can't make it.

7. Follow up to know if you can work at home

No matter how bad the illness is, you should be willing to compromise for your office and boss as a whole. It shows that whether you're sick or not, you want your workplace to keep growing and you wouldn't mind doing anything to ensure that happens. That's dedication and every boss would be happy to hear you do that.

So, ask them what you can do. Confirm if you can work from home while trying to heal from the illness. Call from time to time to know everything happening at your workplace and how well you can help out. Doing this would reduce any workload you should have accumulated on your resumption and it's a good way to say you're sick.

8. Give an estimated time on when you can start work again

One good thing about getting a sick leave is telling your boss when you think you'd be able to start work after you heal. They love to hear this. Even if you're not sure of when you'll stop being sick, say some words of encouragement to let them know that they don't need to hire someone else while you're away.

You could say “I don't know when I'll be able to resume, but I'll try to be available in the next three days.” you could also say you may be available next week, or as soon as your tummy doesn't feel sick anymore. There are so many ways to put this. Just be sure to keep them in the loop.

9. Go over the lines you need to say and have ready answers for possible questions

It could be strenuous to know what to say to someone over a phone call, especially your boss. So, if you want to take a sick leave from the office, you prepare and rehearse your lines very well before making the call. Illness could sometimes make you blank. You don't want to sound vague talking to your boss.

All you need to do is to summarize everything happening to you in a few lines. Don't forget that you're just sick and not dead. Bosses want to hear a clear reason why you're absent from work no matter how sick you sound. This is how to tell your boss you have the stomach flu and won't make it to work.

10. Send a formal email with an attachment of the doctor’s note to the company’s email

send a formal email with an attachment of the doctor's note to the company's email

Your absence at work should always have a reason. So, apart from calling your boss and telling them not to expect you at “work today, ” you need to send an official email to them stating your reason for being absent. This will be helpful for future reference. You can also get to relax and explain everything in detail, professionally.

This way, you can deal with any allegations that come up from either your boss or fellow employees. You should be careful about what you say in the email, so you don't give them the wrong idea about what's happening. You could say “can I have a sick day today? I've been down from last night and I’d appreciate some time to rest from work today.”

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11. Keep in touch with your coworkers and your boss

Other employees would not be so heartless to shut you off because you have a sick day and have decided to stay home. So, after calling them, you should try your best to talk to them and keep in touch with anything they're doing at work for the number of days you'll stay off. Don't assume they understand how you feel.

Have a little conversation with them as often as you can. Add your input where you can, even when you're not feeling great. If you can't call, you can send a message. It's necessary, so you know what's happening at work and can easily flow with them whenever you resume. It will make you one of the best employees.


Is diarrhea a reason to call in sick?

Diarrhea is caused by a virus or contaminated food. Because of the way it makes the body react, it needs whoever is suffering from it to have rest and be in a comfortable environment. This makes it one of the best reasons to call in sick to work, but it also depends on the rules of your workplace

Should I stay off work with diarrhea?

According to research, diarrheal infections can spread easily from person to person. This could happen via contact of dirty hands, pets, or contaminated water and food. With these risks, you should stay off work with diarrhea. But, of course, your boss should permit it before you make the decision.

How do you say diarrhea in a nice way?

If you’re shy about using the word, diarrhea, there are many words to use for it. Some people call it runs, trots, flux, stomach flu, or stomach bug. If you're with someone, you can just excuse yourself or tell them you ate something upsetting to your stomach. You could also say you have serious stomach aches.

Should I tell someone if I have diarrhea?

It’s always good to reach out to people whenever something bad is happening to you. But, you don’t need to do that if it’s not necessary to. For instance, you could tell a doctor you have diarrhea because you need him to treat you. But, there’s no point telling a grocery store attendant.

What's the best excuse to call in sick?

There are numerous excuses to call in sick for. Some of them include pregnancy or delivery, any contagious disease, and any sickness or injury that would affect your input at work. If you also have a medical appointment or you get hospitalized for an urgent reason, the counts too.

In Conclusion

You don't need to be shy about telling your boss that you're ill and down with diarrhea. If you feel you should do it more professionally, feel free to read the 11 easy ways I've mentioned. And don't forget to drop a comment and this article with others if you enjoyed it.

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Michelle Devani
My name is Michelle Devani, and I've been helping people with their relationships since 2003. In 2017 I decided it was about time I started a blog on the topic, and since then more than 2 million people worldwide have read my relationship advice. Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think.

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