Articles

Constipation: an approach to diagnosis, treatment, referral.

Author

Soffer EE.

Date

1/1999

Journal

Cleve Clin J Med.

Abstract

When a patient reports constipation, a careful history and physical examination may identify the underlying cause. In many patients, though, no underlying cause is identified. Empiric treatment with exercise, hydration, fiber supplementation, and mild laxatives is often effective. If constipation does not resolve with these measures, then the physician may refer the patient for further testing for slow colonic transit, pelvic floor dysfunction, or anatomical defects, and in difficult and recalcitrant cases for surgical treatment.