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?
- Constipation is defined medically as fewer than three stools per week and severe constipation as less than one stool per week.
- Some of the symptoms of constipation include
- lower abdominal discomfort,
- infrequent bowel movements,
- straining to have a bowel movement,
- hard or small stools,
- rectal bleeding and/or anal fissures caused by hard stools, and
- physiological distress and/or obsession with having bowel movements.
- Constipation usually is caused by the slow movement of stool through the colon.
- The two disorders limited to the colon that cause constipation are colonic ine
- There are many causes of constipation including medications, poor bowel habits, low fiber diets, possibly abuse of laxatives, hormonal disorders, and diseases primarily of other parts of the body that also affect the colon.
- rtia and pelvic floor dysfunction.
- High levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy may cause constipation.
- Medical evaluation of constipation should be done when constipation is of sudden onset, severe, worsening, associated with other worrisome symptoms such as loss of weight, or is not responding to simple, safe and effective treatments.
- Medical evaluation of constipation may include a history, physical examination, blood tests, abdominal X-rays, barium enema, colonic transit studies, defecography, anorectal motility studies, and colonic motility studies.
- The goal of therapy for constipation is one bowel movement every two to three days without straining.
- Treatment of constipation may include dietary fiber, non-stimulant laxatives, stimulant laxatives, enemas, suppositories, biofeedback training, prescription medications, and surgery.
- Stimulant laxatives, including herbal laxatives, should be used as a last resort because they may permanently damage the colon and worsen constipation. Continue Reading
1/18Reviewed on 7/16/2015
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