Healthy Living

What is IBS with Constipation?

What is IBS with Constipation?

IBS with constipation (IBS-C) refers to an abdominal pain or disturbance associated with constipation. The signs and symptoms of IBS-C are long-lasting and keeps on recurring. The suffering from this disorder comes with hard and lumpy stools or watery stools at times. Constipation is a severe symptom related to the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The key symptom is abdominal pain which is associated with consistency of the bowel habit. The distorted bowel habit can be either chronic or intermittent constipation. Bloating and distention are also common.

The irregular bowel habit can vary with time and the IBS-C symptoms can fluctuate as well. There can be incidents where the symptoms flare up or periods when they completely vanish.

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People including doctors have different views regarding constipation. Medical experts usually describe constipation as solid pellet-like stools. Other common definitions for constipation are:

  • Infrequent stools
  • A terrible feeling of being incapable of completely emptying during bowel movements or the feeling of wanting to go but not managing to do so.
  • Difficulty with stools

There are multiple factors that could initiate IBS constipation, most of which are not well understood.  However, you can overcome your IBS-C condition by adopting certain natural measures. You do not have to worry so much as IBS-C is manageable.

Two components of IBS constipation are existent; gut bacteria and digestion speed. Poop contains about 50-70% dead bacteria. This implies that the quantity and proper mixing of useful bacteria needed by the human body are very essential.

In people with IBS-C, the digestion speed is not managed consciously leading to slow nervous responses and digestion.

IBS constipation symptoms include:

  • Excessive straining
  • Abdominal pains
  • Bloating and gas
  • Straining
  • Infrequent stools


•    Sensitive nerves: The nerves in the intestine tend to be extra sensitive causing the patients to feel more belly pain or discomfort than those who do not have IBS-C.

•    Fluid absorption: The colon might be absorbing too much fluid from the stool or the muscles in the colon may be moving too slowly. This can cause the stool to become dry, hard and difficult to pass.

•    Brain bowel connection: There could be miscommunication between the brain and bowel which may cause pain in the belly, discomfort and change in the bowel movements.

How to Conquer the IBS-C Syndrome

Overcoming your IBS-C condition takes a few measures. You may have to desist from current habits and adopt new ones. The most convenient approach is to try a medical treatment and evaluate it on your own. Consider what works and embrace it and do away with what does not. Staying true to taking action will regulate your pooping at a more regular pace.

If you want to improve your IBS-C condition and recover from the destructive bloating, pain and cramping, consider embracing the following health practices:

Desist from Using Artificial Pooping Methods:  The human brain and the body always learn from the surrounding stimuli. If you regularly use laxatives and enemas to poop, your body could start depending on them for all its digestive functions. Stop using such vicious methods and allow your body to perform its tasks.

Do not Strain Yourself on the Toilet: Do you know that subjecting your body to excessive strain on the toilet is equally damaging as swallowing non-chewed food? Do not hurt your body’s in-built programs. Your body is equipped with an effective hormonal system that naturally urges you to empty waste effortlessly at the right time. Pushing can cause hemorrhoids or anal fissures which are undesirable to everyone.

Do Away with the Dietary Triggers of Constipation: People having IBS-C can improve their symptoms by avoiding common food allergens like dairy, wheat, eggs and corn. Be sure to evaluate other food triggers that could worsen your condition and remove them from your diet.

Remember, IBS-C is manageable. Taking the right foods, drinks and getting more bacteria into the body can fully restore your normal condition.

Workout: Exercise keeps you physically and mentally fit. Stress is one of the causes of bowel syndrome as discussed earlier in this article. Exercise helps reduce the stress which in turn reduces the discomfort caused by the bowel movement. Many exercises are specific to stress release. You can try Yoga. You can also contact a physical therapist for proper guidance.


Laxatives are substances that loosen stools and increase bowel movement. They work well for occasional constipation. But they can be harmful if you take them regularly. Follow the directions on the pack to avoid mistakes or talk to your doctor.

There are different kinds of laxatives. It is important to be aware of what you take:

Stimulant laxative: These include bisacodyl (correct, Dulcolax), senosides (Ex-lax, snoot), castor oil and the plant cascara. Along with these laxatives, the active ingredient triggers muscles in the bowels to contract, moving stool through.

Osmotic laxatives include lactulose which will be prescribed by a doctor and polyethylene glycol (Miralax), which you can buy over the counter. They pull water back into the colon to soften the stool. This makes it easier to pass, but research has found that they only help with constipation.

Anti Depressant:

It is natural to feel emotionally low when you have to deal with IBS. It puts you in discomfort most of the time, hampering your social life. This is one of the reasons why anti depressants are prescribed by the doctors.

Diet Changes for Dealing with IBS with Constipation:

Ultimately your body is what you choose to eat. It is essential to filter your diet pattern if you are suffering from IBS with constipation. This reduces the discomfort caused by the symptoms of IBS with constipation.

Consuming More Fiber: Fiber content in food helps to ease certain symptoms caused by IBS with constipation. It reduces constipation by softening stool, making it easier to pass. But at the same time, certain fibrous fruits and vegetables cause gas in the stomach. This can be avoided by steaming or cooking the food. Consult a dietitian for the same. Some people use bulking agents, commonly known as fiber supplements to treat IBS with constipation. This include:

  • Wheat bran
  • Corn fiber
  • Calcium polycarbophil
  • Psyllium (Fiberall, Metamucil, Perdiem, and others)
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables