Table of Contents
- Constipation facts
- What is constipation?
- What causes constipation?
- Medications that cause constipation
- Other causes of constipation
- Other causes of constipation (Continued)
- What are constipation symptoms?
- How is constipation diagnosed (evaluated)?
- Exams and tests
- Imaging studies and other tests
- What treatments are available for constipation?
- Dietary fiber and bulk-forming laxatives to treat constipation
- Dietary fiber and bulk-forming laxatives to treat constipation (Continued)
- Other laxatives to treat constipation
- Other laxatives and OTC products to treat constipation
- Other laxatives and OTC products to treat constipation (Continued)
- Prescription drugs to treat constipation
- Other treatments for constipation?
- What is the approach to the evaluation and treatment of constipation?
- When should I seek medical care for chronic constipation?
- What is new in the treatment of constipation?
What are constipation symptoms?
Symptoms of constipation include:
- Infrequent bowel movements
- Straining to have bowel movements
- Hard and/or small stools
- Sense of incomplete evacuation after bowel movements
- Lower abdominal discomfort
- Abdominal bloating, occasionally distension
- Anal bleeding or fissures from the trauma caused by hard stools
- Occasionally diarrhea due to obstruction of the colon by hard stool
- Rarely colonic perforation
- Psychological distress and/or obsession with having bowel movements
- Possible aggravation of diverticular disease, hemorrhoids and rectal prolapse
How is constipation diagnosed (evaluated)?
A careful history and physical examination is important in all patients with constipation. There are many tests that can be used to evaluate constipation. Most patients need only a few basic tests. The other tests are reserved for individuals who have severe constipation or whose constipation does not respond easily to treatment. Continue Reading