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You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. It may include a digital rectal exam of the rectum with the doctor's gloved, lubricated finger inserted into your rectum.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with blood tests.
Your bodily structures may need to be viewed. This can be done with:
Taking Laxatives, Stool Softeners, or Glycerin Suppositories TOP
Regularly using laxatives or enemas can be habit forming. Your bowels can become used to these products and require them to produce a stool. Stool softeners, though, are not habit-forming. Ask your doctor about how often and for how long to use these products.
Examples of medications include:
Polyethylene glycol 3350—a type of laxative
Psyllium—a bulk laxative
Docusate—a stool softener
Lactulose—a type of laxative
Lubiprostone—a medication that increases fluid in stool
Botulism injections—may be used to treat certain types of constipation
Set aside the same time each day to move your bowels. Typically, this works best first thing in the morning. Sit on the toilet for 15-20 minutes. Over time, your body will learn to have regular bowel movements at the same time each day.
Camilleri M, Kerstens R, Rykx A, Vandeplassche L. A placebo-controlled trial of prucalopride for severe chronic constipation.
N Engl J Med.
Constipation. AGA Patient Center, American Gastroenterological Association website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated January 2013. Accessed December 12, 2013.
Constipation. American Academy of Family Physicians' Family Doctor website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated October 17, 2012. Accessed December 12, 2013.
Constipation. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated September 18, 2013. Accessed September 18, 2013.
Treatment of constipation. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated November 22, 2013. Accessed December 12, 2013.
What I need to know about constipation. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Published September 11, 2013. Accessed December 12, 2013.
6/25/2008 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Thomas J, Karver S, Cooney GA, et al. Methylnaltrexone for opioid-induced constipation in advanced illness. N Engl J Med. 2008;358:2332-2343.
11/30/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Arebi N, Kalli T, Howson W, Clark S, Norton C. Systematic review of abdominal surgery for chronic idiopathic constipation. Colorectal Dis. 2010 Oct 22. [Epub ahead of print]
6/20/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Attaluri A, Donahoe R, Valestin J, Brown K, Rao SS. Randomised clinical trial: dried plums (prunes) vs. psyllium for constipation. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011;33(7):822-828.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.