No one likes to feel held back, and in today's busy world, it's hard to miss a beat. So imagine if you had a chronic condition that made you feel like you had to put your life on pause – yet, nobody understood the negative impact it had on your daily life. That's what it can be like to live with chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC), according to a new national survey of adults living with the condition.
What is CIC? We all need to go when nature calls. But for people with CIC, it isn't so simple. When people live with this condition, they have trouble going to the bathroom. This isn't a temporary problem, but one that keeps occurring over a long period of time. Bowel movements may be infrequent, difficult to pass, or incomplete. A person with CIC might also experience other symptoms like abdominal pain, gas, or bloating.
Now, results from a new national survey shed light on what it's like to live with CIC. The survey, which was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Shire among 881 adults with CIC who sought treatment for the condition, found that despite having sought treatment, 75 percent feel they often have to put their life on pause because of the condition. More than half say it's negatively impacted their self-confidence (60 percent), their ability to engage in hobbies they previously enjoyed (59 percent), and their romantic relationships/intimacy (54 percent) a great deal or a lot.
If you have CIC, or suspect that you might, don't get stuck on pause. Here are four tips to help you get moving again.
* Recognize that you're not alone. More than eight in 10 people with CIC (84 percent) believe no one understands the negative impact it has on their everyday lives. But, if you have CIC, it's important to know that you're not alone. CIC is estimated to affect approximately 35 million adults in the U.S. Understanding that you're not alone might make you feel more comfortable talking to your doctor, and with friends and family, about what you are experiencing and seeking support when you need it.
* See a healthcare provider. According to the survey, almost a third (31 percent) lived with CIC symptoms for more than a year before seeing a healthcare provider. Top reasons for waiting included thinking the symptoms would pass (65 percent), wanting to treat things on their own first (52 percent), and feeling too embarrassed to talk about their symptoms (38 percent). If you're experiencing possible CIC symptoms, don't wait to seek the help you deserve.
* Don't give up. An overwhelming 83 percent of people with the condition feel like CIC symptoms are just something they have to live with. But, those symptoms are taking a measurable toll. On average, people with CIC report missing seven days of work, five social events and four events with kids in the past year due to the condition. And, 67 percent say that side effects from CIC treatment can sometimes make them feel like they have traded the unpredictability of symptoms with the unpredictability of side effects from their CIC medication; 62 percent agree the side effects of treatment for CIC are sometimes worse than the disorder itself. If you're having trouble finding relief from CIC and/or are experiencing side effects from treatment, tell your healthcare provider; only then can you work together to find the treatment approach that's best for you.
* Educate yourself. Thirty-four percent of people with CIC report feeling "very knowledgeable" about their condition and 51 percent report feeling "somewhat knowledgeable." However, less than half (44 percent) know that it's true that there is no cure for CIC, and 12 percent correctly know that many current CIC prescription medications do not work by stimulating the normal wave-like muscle contractions needed for bowel movements. By educating yourself about CIC and its treatment, you can empower yourself to be a more informed advocate for your own needs related to living with this condition.
Finding The Help You Need
If you have CIC, or are experiencing possible CIC symptoms, don't wait to get the help you deserve. Talk to your doctor, and visit www.yourcolonisamuscle.com to read more about CIC. By keeping open and honest communications with your healthcare team and educating yourself, you can give yourself the best possible chance to get off pause, and get things moving again.
About the Survey
The Current Insights about Constipation Survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of Shire between April 16 and June 6, 2018. The patient arm of the survey included a total of 881 U.S. adults aged 18+ who have been diagnosed by a healthcare professional with CIC and who sought treatment for the condition ("people with CIC" or "CIC patients"). The professional arm of the survey included 250 GIs licensed to practice in the U.S. who have seen 15 or more CIC patients in the past month. For complete research method, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Linda Calandra, Lead, Portfolio Communications, Shire, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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