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?
Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Constipation Myths and Facts
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
Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.
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