Whether you’re dealing with constipation related to IBS or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC), constipation is something you want to get under control. Living with constipation on a regular basis can have a detrimental effect on your day to day living, as well as potentially leading to other health concerns such as hemorrhoids. If you are constantly suffering from constipation, you will probably be paying more attention to your gastrointestinal system. Sometimes, worries about becoming constipated may consume you. The good news is that there are ways to manage your symptoms. There are treatments available and also certain lifestyle changes that you can make.
What Is IBS-C?
There are three main types of IBS, one of which is IBS-C. This type of IBS involves one of your main symptoms being constipation. It is a chronic condition, and if it is not managed well, you will most likely experience constipation the majority of the time. This is a condition that you will most likely experience for the rest of your life so finding ways to ease your symptoms is of the utmost importance. Once you find an effective treatment, you will probably gain some normalcy in your day-to-day life and you won’t be constantly thinking about what you can do to feel better. The treatment for IBS-C involves not only relieving your uncomfortable symptoms, but also finding a way to prevent symptoms from occurring in the future.
This may include:
- Making changes to your diet – Include foods in your diet that are high in fiber. But make sure to not include too much, especially if your body isn’t used to it, as some high-fiber foods may cause gas and bloating.
- Avoid trigger foods – Stay away from foods that set off your symptoms and make you feel bad. These foods are usually dairy products, gluten and fatty foods, and even some fruit and vegetables. It is probably unnecessary to cut out all of these types of foods, so start by keeping a track of when you eat specific foods and how you feel after. Then cut out the foods that make you feel bad.
- Drink lots of water – Making sure to get enough fluids in your diet will ease constipation.
- Get moving – Exercise can increase the blood flow to the digestive tract which will help keep things functioning and moving as normal.
- Reduce stress – Stress and anxiety are one of the main triggers of IBS symptoms. So find some ways to reduce your stress levels such as regularly meditating. This can help clear your head and allow you to gather your thoughts.
- Prescription medications – Ask your doctor about certain medications that can help relieve constipation. Sometimes, making simple lifestyle changes is not enough to manage your symptoms.
What Is CIC?
Chronic idiopathic constipation is generally not ongoing like IBS-C, but rather involves periods of time when you may suffer from constipation. These periods can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, but then the constipation generally goes away and your system goes back to normal. So, treatment for CIC will most likely only be needed when you are experiencing constipation. While treatment is generally short-term, making changes to your lifestyle could help prevent future issues from occurring. The treatments for this are basically the same as IBS-C, though there will probably be more focus on medications such as laxatives. Laxatives are not intended to be used on a regular basis so you should speak to your doctor about the best one to use. If you are experiencing constipation because of a blockage in your gastrointestinal tract, then surgery may be needed.
The Bottom Line
No one wants to deal with constipation on a regular basis. For most people, finding a holistic approach to treating symptoms is the best option. This involves making changes to your lifestyle and diet and also using certain medications and natural supplements to help you. Now that you know about some of your options, consider speaking to your doctor about the best plan for you.