Illustration showing the diagnosis and treatment of constipation using ICD-10 codes

ICD-10 Code for Constipation: Understanding Diagnosis and Coding

Clarity and accuracy are critical in the field of medicine. Healthcare workers rely on standardized codes to guarantee precision and consistency when it comes to describing and diagnosing medical disorders. Constipation ICD-10 code is one such code that is essential to the healthcare system. In this thorough guide, we dig into the nuances of constipation, examine the relevance of the ICD-10 designation, and throw light on how patients and healthcare professionals may both profit from a better comprehension of this widespread gastrointestinal condition.

What is ICD-10 Constipation?

ICD-10 Constipation is a medical code used to describe the condition of chronic constipation in the healthcare setting. Chronic constipation is a prevalent gastrointestinal problem characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stools. This condition can significantly affect a person’s quality of life and requires proper medical attention and coding for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of ICD-10 Constipation

Infrequent Bowel Movements: One of the primary symptoms of ICD-10 Constipation is infrequent bowel movements. Individuals suffering from this condition typically have fewer than three bowel movements per week. This can lead to discomfort and a feeling of incomplete evacuation.

Straining During Bowel Movements: Straining during bowel movements is another common symptom. Due to the hard and dry nature of the stools, individuals often have to exert excessive force during defecation, which can lead to discomfort and even anal fissures.

Abdominal Discomfort: Chronic constipation can cause abdominal discomfort and pain. This discomfort is often described as a feeling of fullness or bloating in the lower abdomen. It may be enduring and interfere with regular routines.

Rectal Bleeding: In severe cases of constipation, rectal bleeding may occur due to the passage of hard stools, leading to small tears in the anus. This can be alarming and should be promptly addressed by a healthcare professional.

Sensation of Incomplete Evacuation: Many individuals with ICD-10 Constipation often feel that they have not fully evacuated their bowels after a bowel movement. This feeling could be annoying and uncomfortable.

Diagnosis of ICD-10 Constipation

Proper diagnosis of ICD-10 Constipation is essential to determine the severity of the condition and develop an effective treatment plan. The following are the main steps in the diagnosis:

  1. Medical History: The healthcare provider will begin by taking a detailed medical history, including the duration and frequency of constipation symptoms. Any underlying medical conditions or medications that could contribute to constipation will be considered.
  2. Physical Examination: A physical examination may be conducted to check for any abnormalities in the abdominal area. The healthcare provider may also perform a digital rectal examination to assess the rectum and anus.
  3. Diagnostic Tests: To confirm the diagnosis and rule out other potential causes of constipation, various diagnostic tests may be ordered. These can include:
  • Colonoscopy: A procedure that allows the healthcare provider to examine the entire colon for abnormalities.
  • Barium Enema: An X-ray of the colon after the administration of a barium solution, which highlights any structural issues.
  • Anorectal Manometry: This test measures the pressure and muscle function in the rectum and anus.

Causes of ICD 10 Constipation

Understanding the root causes of ICD 10 Constipation is crucial for effective management.

  • Dietary Factors: Constipation may result from a low-fiber, low-fluid diet. Make sure you eat enough foods high in fibre, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Lifestyle Choices: Sedentary lifestyles and lack of physical activity can slow down the digestive process. Regular exercise can help alleviate constipation.
  • Psychological Factors: Stress and anxiety can adversely affect bowel function. Managing stress through relaxation techniques can be beneficial.

Treatment Options for ICD-10 Constipation

Lifestyle Modifications

For mild cases of ICD-10 Constipation, lifestyle modifications can often be effective. These may include:

  • Dietary Changes: Intake of fibre may be increased by eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Hydration: Ensuring an adequate intake of fluids to soften stools.
  • Regular Exercise: Physical activity can help promote regular bowel movements.


In more severe cases, medications may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms and promote regular bowel movements. Commonly prescribed medications include laxatives, stool softeners, and prokinetic agents.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy, such as biofeedback, can be beneficial in training the muscles involved in bowel movements, making them more efficient.

Surgical Interventions

In extremely rare cases where other treatments have failed, surgical interventions may be considered. These may include colectomy or removal of a portion of the colon.


ICD-10 Constipation is a medical classification that highlights the significance of proper coding and documentation in healthcare. Understanding the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for this condition is crucial for both healthcare professionals and patients alike. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of chronic constipation, seek medical attention promptly to receive the necessary care and treatment.


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, constipation can often be prevented or managed through dietary changes, regular exercise, and staying hydrated.

Yes, constipation can affect people of all ages, including children. It's important to address constipation in children to ensure their well-being.

Yes, natural remedies include consuming more fiber-rich foods, drinking plenty of water, and engaging in regular physical activity.

Constipation can vary in duration. It may be short-term and resolve with lifestyle changes, or it can become chronic and require ongoing management.

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