(BPT) - While many adults experience constipation at various times in their lives and know how uncomfortable it can be, when those symptoms are severe and stick around for long periods of time, you may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC).
In addition to severity and duration, symptoms of both IBS-C and CIC may include infrequent or hard-to-pass bowel movements (BMs), straining, bloating and not feeling you've fully evacuated after a BM. For those with IBS-C abdominal pain is also commonly experienced.
These past few years have been difficult for people with these conditions. According to a 2022 Salix-sponsored survey of adults living with IBS and CIC, 49% of those polled reported their symptoms were more challenging to manage over the last 12 months, and 45% said they developed the condition within the past two years.
Additionally, many have not found complete relief. Many sufferers rely on over-the-counter (OTC) remedies which, the survey found, almost half of those polled reported they were not satisfied with the OTC treatments they've used.
If you're experiencing long bouts of constipation, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider about your symptoms to determine if you have IBS-C or CIC. To help with the diagnosis, be prepared to describe your symptoms and how long you've had them.
Your doctor may also show you the Bristol Stool Form Scale, a visual representation of seven different types of BMs that's used to identify your stool type. It may also be helpful to keep a diary to track flare-ups and possible triggers. This may help you and your doctor discuss the treatment plan that may work best for you. It is also a good idea to use that diary to track any other symptoms you may experience beyond constipation. For people suffering from IBS-C, those may include abdominal pain.
While at first you may feel awkward speaking with your doctor about bowel movements, the more informed and open you are about it, the better able they will be to properly diagnose and discuss treatment options with you.
To learn more about IBS-C and CIC symptoms and a treatment option for adults, click here.
Sponsored by Salix Pharmaceuticals