Constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C) is a condition characterized by chronic constipation with associated abdominal pain. It is a subtype of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and approximately one-third of people who have IBS manifest the IBS-C type.
IBS-C is one if the functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGD), which are gastrointestinal (GI) disorders that produce signs and symptoms without an identifiable cause despite standard diagnostic testing. These disorders can cause significant distress. Lifestyle modifications and medication may reduce the symptoms.
The predominant symptoms of IBS-C are frequent constipation accompanied by pain when having a bowel movement.
It is normal to have one or two bowels movements per day, but it is also normal to have less than one per day. Generally speaking, characteristics that denote constipation include:
Having fewer than three bowel movements in a week
Lumpy or hard stools
The need to strain during a bowel movement
The Rome IV criteria define FGD based on specific signs and symptoms. According to the Rome IV criteria, IBS-C is specifically defined as a condition in which:
Constipation associated with pain occurs at least three days per month.
Symptoms have persisted over the past three months.
At least 25 percent of stools can be described as hard and less than 25 percent of stools described as soft.
Treatment for IBS-C includes dietary and lifestyle modifications, over-the-counter laxatives, and prescription medications.
Diet and lifestyle: Your doctor may recommend that you slowly increase the amount of fiber in your diet to promote more regular bowel movements.
Laxatives: Over-the-counter laxatives such as Miralax or lactulose may help your constipation. Use only as directed and based on the advice of your doctor, as laxative overuse can cause serious side effects.
Amitiza (lubiprostone): A prescription medication that is FDA approved for treatment of IBS-C, lubiprostone increases fluid secretion in the intestines.
Medications used for IBS: Antidepressants may have an effect on the nerves of the GI system, and antispasmodics can relax the muscles within it. These medications are not formally indicated for the treatment of IBS, but they are frequently prescribed to reduce the symptoms of IBS.
Behavioral interventions: Cognitive behavioral therapy may be recommended for treatment of IBS. If dyssynergic defecation is a contributing factor to your IBS-C symptoms