Irritable Bowel Syndrome may be Diarrhea-predominant or Constipation-predominant. In cases in which constipation is the predominant symptom, patients experience infrequent or difficult defecation. A constipation diagnosis is generally arbitrary because it depends to a significant degree on the patient’s perception of a normal defecatory frequency.
A normal bowel movement frequency may range between 3 times a day to only a few times per week depending on the individual. Therefore, individual perception of normal frequency is what is significant to a proper diagnosis. Furthermore, other subjective perceptions that impact the relevance of constipation as a symptom of IBS are the consistency and volume of the patient’s fecal matter. Nevertheless, healthy bowel movements are effortless, so strained defecation should be cause for concern.