Decoding Chronic Constipation: Understanding ICD-10 Codes For Diagnosis And Treatment

What is Chronic Constipation?

Chronic constipation is a condition characterized by infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools, which persists for a prolonged period of time. It is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects people of all ages, but is more commonly seen in older adults. Chronic constipation can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, leading to discomfort, bloating, and abdominal pain.

Code Information

Relieve Your Constipation with ICD : Live a Healthier Life
Relieve Your Constipation with ICD : Live a Healthier Life

The ICD-10 code for chronic constipation is K59.03. This code is used to classify and document cases of chronic constipation in medical records.

Diagnostic Related Groups (MS-DRG)

PDF] Chronic Constipation in the Elderly Patient: Updates in
PDF] Chronic Constipation in the Elderly Patient: Updates in

When chronic constipation is diagnosed and treated in a healthcare setting, it may fall under certain Diagnostic Related Groups (MS-DRG) for reimbursement purposes. The specific MS-DRG code for chronic constipation may vary depending on the severity and complexity of the case.

Convert to ICD-9 Code

ICD--CM Diagnosis Code K
ICD–CM Diagnosis Code K

In the previous ICD-9 coding system, chronic constipation was classified under code 564.0. However, with the transition to the ICD-10 coding system, the code for chronic constipation has been updated to K59.03.

Code History

The ICD-10 code for chronic constipation, K59.03, was introduced in 2015 as part of the updated coding system. This code allows healthcare providers to accurately document and classify cases of chronic constipation for billing and record-keeping purposes.

Approximate Synonyms

Other terms that may be used interchangeably with chronic constipation include functional constipation, idiopathic constipation, and slow transit constipation. These terms are used to describe the same underlying condition of infrequent or difficult bowel movements.

Clinical Information

Chronic constipation can be caused by a variety of factors, including dietary habits, lifestyle choices, medications, and underlying medical conditions. In some cases, it may be a symptom of a more serious gastrointestinal disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome or colorectal cancer.


The exact cause of chronic constipation can vary from person to person. Common causes include inadequate fiber intake, dehydration, lack of physical activity, and certain medications that can slow down bowel movements. Chronic constipation may also be a result of underlying medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders or neurological disorders.


Common symptoms of chronic constipation include infrequent bowel movements, straining during bowel movements, abdominal discomfort, bloating, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation. In severe cases, chronic constipation can lead to complications such as fecal impaction or rectal prolapse.


Diagnosing chronic constipation typically involves a thorough medical history assessment, physical examination, and possibly additional tests such as blood tests, imaging studies, or colonoscopy. The healthcare provider will also inquire about the duration and frequency of symptoms to determine if the constipation is chronic or acute.


Treatment for chronic constipation may include dietary and lifestyle modifications, such as increasing fiber intake, staying hydrated, and regular physical activity. In some cases, over-the-counter laxatives or prescription medications may be recommended to help promote bowel movements. Severe cases of chronic constipation may require more invasive treatments, such as biofeedback therapy or surgery.


Chronic constipation is a common gastrointestinal disorder that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Proper diagnosis and management of chronic constipation are essential to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for chronic constipation, individuals can take steps to improve their bowel health and overall well-being.


1. What are the risk factors for developing chronic constipation?

Risk factors for chronic constipation include a diet low in fiber, dehydration, sedentary lifestyle, certain medications, and underlying medical conditions.

2. How can chronic constipation be prevented?

Preventative measures for chronic constipation include maintaining a balanced diet rich in fiber, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or immobility.

3. When should I see a healthcare provider for chronic constipation?

If you experience persistent symptoms of chronic constipation, such as infrequent bowel movements or abdominal discomfort, it is important to consult with a healthcare

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