November 30, 2015

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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

Reviewed on 7/16/2015
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