UNDERSTANDING IBS-C AND CIC
While estimates vary, as many as 13 million adults may suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C) in the U.S., and as many as 35 million adults may suffer from Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC).
IBS-C is defined as abdominal pain or discomfort that occurs together with constipation. These symptoms must be long-lasting or keep coming back. People with IBS-C also have hard or lumpy stools at least 25% of the time, and loose or watery stools less than 25% of the time.
While estimates vary, as many as 13 million adults may suffer from IBS-C in the U.S.
A recent survey showed that many IBS-C sufferers may experience multiple symptoms. The hallmark symptoms of IBS-C are abdominal pain or discomfort and constipation, but some patients may also suffer from bloating, gas pain, having hard or lumpy stools, and straining when having a bowel movement.
WHAT CAUSES IBS-C?
The exact cause of IBS-C symptoms is unknown, but researchers believe there may be several factors involved. One reason may be that the nerves in the intestines are extra-sensitive, so IBS-C sufferers feel more pain or discomfort around their stomach area than those who do not have this condition.
In addition, the colon may 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.
Another cause could be a miscommunication between the brain and the gut. Since the gut is controlled by signals from the brain, disruptions in these signals could cause changes in bowel habits as well as pain or discomfort.
Since people with IBS-C experience it differently, it’s important to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms.
Constipation is very common. Almost everyone experiences it at some point in their lives. But if your constipation is long-lasting or keeps coming back, your constipation may be chronic. Chronic Constipation without an identifiable cause is also referred to as Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC). “Idiopathic” means the cause of constipation is unknown.
While estimates vary, as many as 35 million adults may suffer from CIC.
CIC is generally defined as reduced stool frequency, difficulty passing stools, or both. Symptoms must be chronically present.
A recent survey showed that patients with CIC suffer most frequently from constipation symptoms, including having hard or lumpy stools, incomplete evacuation (not completely emptying their bowels), and straining when having a bowel movement. Some patients may also experience symptoms of abdominal discomfort, bloating, and gas pain. The symptoms of CIC are frequent and bothersome to sufferers.
WHAT FACTORS CONTRIBUTE TO CIC?
Several factors may contribute to the development of CIC.
One factor of CIC is that the colon may be absorbing too much fluid from the stool. This can result in hard stools that are difficult to pass. In addition, the muscles of the colon may be contracting slowly. When these muscles contract too slowly, it reduces the movement of stool through the colon, causing infrequent stools.
There is evidence to suggest some patients may have diminished sensitivity, which may reduce the urge to have a bowel movement, while others may have extra-sensitive nerves that can cause them to experience discomfort.
Since people with CIC experience it differently, it’s important to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms.
There is no cure for IBS-C or CIC, but there are ways to help cope with symptoms.
MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR DIET.
Fiber in your diet may help create softer stools that are easier to pass. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, and bran flakes. For people suffering from IBS-C, certain foods are commonly known to worsen symptoms,
including fatty foods, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks like coffee or soda. These types of foods should be avoided. Also, eating large meals can sometimes trigger symptoms. Having smaller portions or smaller meals more often may help.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.
About 6-8 glasses of water per day are important to stay hydrated.
MORE EXERCISE, LESS STRESS.
Increased exercise and stress reduction have also been shown to help relieve symptoms. Learning relaxation techniques may help in stressful situations, and increasing exercise like walking and yoga may also be helpful. Please check with your doctor before changing your diet or starting an exercise program.
In addition to diet and exercise, OTC laxatives and stool softeners are approved to treat occasional constipation. However, these products are not intended for long-term treatment of constipation without the supervision of a physician and they are not FDA approved for the treatment of IBS-C.
There are also a limited number of prescription treatments available that are FDA approved for CIC, IBS-C, or both.
LINZESS IS A PRESCRIPTION OPTION.
LINZESS™ (linaclotide) helps you proactively manage your symptoms of IBS-C or CIC.
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and see if LINZESS is right for you.
LINZESS is a prescription medication used in adults to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). “Idiopathic” means the cause of the constipation is unknown. It is not known if LINZESS is safe and effective in children.
LINZESS is not a laxative. It is a once-daily capsule approved to help relieve the abdominal pain and constipation of IBS-C, and the symptoms of CIC, including hard and infrequent stools, and incomplete bowel movements.
Please see Important Risk Information about LINZESS.
SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR
It’s important to listen to your gut and tell your doctor about all your symptoms. To help prepare for your doctor visit, answer these four simple questions:
1. Do you feel abdominal pain?
2. Do you experience hard stools associated with constipation?
3. Do you experience incomplete bowel movements?
4. Do your symptoms keep coming back?
It’s important to talk to your doctor about all your symptoms so he or she can determine if you have IBS-C or CIC and if LINZESS is right for you.
AFTER YOUR VISIT
IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION
What is LINZESS?LINZESS™ (linaclotide) is a prescription medication used in adults to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). "Idiopathic" means the cause of the constipation is unknown. It is not known if LINZESS is safe and effective in children.
IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION• Do not give LINZESS to children who are under 6 years of age. It may harm them.
• You should not give LINZESS to children 6 to 17 years of age. It may harm them.
• Do not take LINZESS if a doctor has told you that you have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction).
Before you take LINZESS, tell your doctor:• If you have any other medical conditions.
• If you are pregnant or planto become pregnant. It is not known if LINZESS will harm your unborn baby.
• If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if LINZESS passes into your breast milk.
• About all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
LINZESS can cause serious side effects, including diarrhea, the most common side effect, which can sometimes be severe. Diarrhea often begins within the first 2 weeks of LINZESS treatment. Stop taking LINZESS and call your doctor right away if you get severe diarrhea during treatment with LINZESS.
Other common side effects of LINZESS include gas, stomach-area (abdominal) pain, swelling, or a feeling of fullness or pressure in your abdomen (distension). Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of LINZESS. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
In addition, call your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you develop unusual or severe stomach-area (abdominal) pain, especially if you also have bright red, bloody stools or black stools that look like tar.
How to Take LINZESS
Take LINZESS exactly as your doctor tells you to take it. Take LINZESS one time each day on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before your first meal of the day. Swallow LINZESS capsules whole. Do not break or chew the capsules.
Store LINZESS at room temperature (68°F to 77°F), and keep LINZESS in the bottle it comes in. Keep the LINZESS bottle tightly closed, in a dry place, and keep the desiccant packet (the drying agent) in the bottle. Keep LINZESS out of the reach of children.
Please also see Medication Guide within full Prescribing Information.
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