There Are Different Types of Constipation

Occasional Constipation

Occasional constipation is when you have fewer than 3 bowel movements per week or, when you do go, your bowel movements involve straining and/or small stools.

Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC)

CIC is a type of constipation where the cause is not known but the condition has persisted for several weeks or longer. Like occasional constipation, you have fewer than 3 bowel movements a week, lumpy or hard stools, incomplete bowel movements, straining with bowel movements, and/or excessive gas.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C)

Your constipation can also be a part of an overall chronic condition called IBS-C. Symptoms of IBS-C can include fewer than 3 bowel movements a week, lumpy or hard stools, incomplete bowel movements, abdominal pain or discomfort, and bloating.

No matter the type, there are several factors that commonly contribute to constipation3

  • Not getting enough fiber
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Not moving your body enough
  • Certain dietary supplements
  • Increased stress
  • Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement
  • Pregnancy
  • Increased age
  • Side effects from other medications

Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about your symptoms and any of these factors that apply to you. Click the Check Your Symptoms link to create a guide that can help your healthcare provider determine your condition and treatment.

Symptoms of CIC4

Fewer than 3 bowel movements a week

Lumpy or hard stools

Incomplete bowel movements

Straining with bowel movements

Excessive gas

This could be more than occasional constipation…

Take a few minutes to answer 5 questions about your condition. At the end, you will be able to print out a copy of your answers to bring to your healthcare provider. It will help to understand your situation and diagnose your condition.

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For Healthcare Professionals

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