Graphic showing silhouettes of two individuals pointing at a constellation with a galaxy in the background. The constellation shows IBS symptoms: straining, abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort, constipation, bloating, hard lumpy stools
Graphic showing silhouettes of two individuals pointing at a constellation with a galaxy in the background. The constellation shows IBS symptoms: constipation, abdominal pain, straining, bloating, urgency, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and fecal incontinence

IBS-C: LIVING WITH PAIN
AND FRUSTRATION

IBS-C is characterized predominantly by abdominal pain and constipation.1 Patients experiencing GI symptoms often use the word “constipation” to encompass a constellation of symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.2 This means patients may not clearly communicate the full scope of the issue, resulting in frustration and treatment delays3. In addition to an open dialogue, the Bristol Stool Form Scale (BFSF) can be used to help classify abnormal bowel movements.3

MILLIONS EXPERIENCE SYMPTOMS
ALMOST EVERY DAY BUT GO UNDIAGNOSED*

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SYMPTOMS

IBS-C CONSTELLATION OF SYMPTOMS

Recurrent abdominal pain and constipation are the main symptoms of IBS-C. However, people with IBS-C often experience other disruptive symptoms, including:3,4

  • Bloating
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Straining
  • Hard, lumpy stools
Patient quote: I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome in my later thirties... I have never-ending constipation, with pain and bloating. Whether I eat or don’t eat, the symptoms just tear me apart.Patient quote: I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome in my later thirties... I have never-ending constipation, with pain and bloating. Whether I eat or don’t eat, the symptoms just tear me apart.Patient quote: I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome in my later thirties... I have never-ending constipation, with pain and bloating. Whether I eat or don’t eat, the symptoms just tear me apart.

IBS-C SYMPTOM SEVERITY AND FREQUENCY DISRUPTS LIVES2

When IBS-C patients were asked which symptoms were most bothersome and frequent, they responded with the following:2

Graph of the most bothersome symptoms in adults with IBS-CGraph of the most bothersome symptoms in adults with IBS-CGraph of the most bothersome symptoms in adults with IBS-C
Graph of the symptoms that IBS-C patients suffer nearly every day.Graph of the symptoms that IBS-C patients suffer nearly every day.Graph of the symptoms that IBS-C patients suffer nearly every day.
Patient quote: My boyfriend is really great about my IBS but I fear one day he will just get tired of it. I understand why, but if he just understood what I go through. I hate that IBS runs my life as much as it does.

IBS-C IMPACTS RELATIONSHIPS4*

*All data from a survey including 1586 respondents, commissioned by the American Gastroenterological Association on IBS in America in 2015.3

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64% avoid sex

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59% avoid leaving the house

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57% have difficulty making plans

TREATMENT

Treatment of IBS-C requires a multidisciplinary approach. This may include changes in diet and exercise, stress management, and psychological treatment.6 Another important component of IBS-C management is pharmacologic treatment, which may help manage symptoms.2,7

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Nonpharmacologic treatment6

  • Diet
  • Physical activity
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Pharmacologic treatment2,7

  • Guanylate cyclase-C agonists
  • Chloride channel activator
  • 5-HT4 receptor agonists
  • Osmotic agents (Rx and OTC)
  • Bulking agents (OTC)
  • Prosecretory agents
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Patient quote: The biggest question of all was tinged with hope: Is it possible I can be well again? And more importantly, could I be brave enough to dare to believe it?Patient quote: The biggest question of all was tinged with hope: Is it possible I can be well again? And more importantly, could I be brave enough to dare to believe it?Patient quote: The biggest question of all was tinged with hope: Is it possible I can be well again? And more importantly, could I be brave enough to dare to believe it? Resources

IBS-C: A WORRY IN CONSTANT ORBIT AROUND PATIENTS

From interpersonal relationships to self-esteem, work productivity, and the ability to enjoy life, IBS-C impacts patients in a myriad of ways. Many suffer for years before seeking medical treatment. When they do see an HCP, patients often don’t communicate clearly, using the word “constipation” to include a constellation of symptoms. This may result in frustration and treatment delays. Patient education using validated tools can help patients to gain a better understanding of their condition and more clearly communicate their symptoms to their doctors.

SATELLITE RESOURCES FOR IBS

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An open dialogue with patients may help reduce treatment delays and improve quality of life. The resources here are designed to help start the conversation and help with patient education and counseling.

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