Living with Chronic Idiopathic Constipation can be confusing and frustrating at times. Chronic constipation without an identifiable cause is often referred to as Chronic Idiopathic Constipation or CIC. Idiopathic means that the cause cannot be determined or is unknown. CIC has symptoms of bloating, straining, and difficult, infrequent or incomplete bowel movements. It has been estimated that as many as 35 million adults in the U.S. may suffer from CIC.
There are several factors that can affect CIC and even contribute to the development of CIC:
- Fluid absorption: Your colon may be absorbing too much fluid from the stool, which can result in the formation of hard stools that are difficult to pass.
- Muscle contractions: The colon muscles may be contracting too slowly, which can reduce movement of stool through the colon and cause infrequent stools.
- Decreased urge: Some people have less sensitivity, which may reduce their urge to have bowel movement, while others may have extra-sensitive nerves, which can cause discomfort.
Many of our patients ask what they can do about their CIC. We recommend keeping a diary of your bowel activity. Record details of your symptoms to share with your Healthcare Provider at your next appointment. Here are a few details to record:
- How many times per week do you experience symptoms?
- How long have you experienced the symptoms?
- How severe is the symptom? Does it interfere with your day?
- Does anything seem to trigger the symptom, like a type of food or stress?
- Changes in stool consistency.
Be sure to also include any information that may help your Healthcare Provider learn more about your body and health, such as:
- List of all medications you currently take, prescription and non-prescription.
- Any big changes that have happened, such as diet or exercise routines.
- Any treatments you felt were effective or any remedies you’ve tried in the past.
Here are two websites that provide great resources for our patients:
Here is a Symptom Tracker you can download and record your bowel movements:
We encourage you to bring this Symptom Tracker with you at your next appointment with us. We are here to help and only a phone call away. 334-836-1212