Constipation

Also known as No bowel movement for 3 days and Difficulty Defecating

Constipation (also known as costiveness or dyschezia) refers to bowel movements that are infrequent or hard to pass. Constipation is a common cause of painful defecation. Severe constipation includes obstipation (failure to pass stools or gas) and fecal impaction, which can progress to bowel obstruction and become life-threatening.

Source: Wikipedia

What causes it?

The most common causes of constipation are chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (gerd). Other possible causes, such as irritable bowel syndrome, are more rare.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with constipation often receive complete blood count, urinalysis, electrolytes panel, kidney function tests, intravenous fluid replacement, rectal examination, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy and liver function tests .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with constipation include polyethylene glycol 3350 (miralax), docusate (colace), magnesium citrate, lactulose, sodium phosphate / sodium phosphate, monobasic, bisacodyl (the magic bullet), glycerin (fleet), psyllium, sennosides, usp (perdiem), lubiprostone (amitiza), guar gum, mineral oil (stye) and benzylpenicilloyl polylysine (pre-pen) .

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for constipation include age 75+ years, age 1-4 years and age < 1 years.

Age

< 1 years
4.3x
1-4 years
1.8x
5-14 years
1.1x
15-29 years
0.6x
30-44 years
0.6x
45-59 years
0.8x
60-74 years
1.0x
75+ years
1.6x

Sex

Male
1.0x
Female
1.0x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
1.0x
Hispanic
1.3x
White
0.9x
Other
1.0x
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