Constipation: Evaluation and Management

Mo Med. 2018 May-Jun;115(3):236-240.


Constipation is defined as the infrequent passage of stools or difficulty with evacuation of stools. Constipation can be classified as primary or secondary, and primary constipation can be further divided into slow transit constipation or outlet obstruction. The diagnostic workup involves focused lab tests and structural evaluation, followed by a therapeutic trial of fiber and laxatives, and finally, specialized tests. Treatment can consist of dietary changes, medications, physical therapy, and possibly surgery in refractory cases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Constipation / diagnosis*
  • Constipation / therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Management*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male