9. Constipation

  1. Shanthi V. Sitaraman MD, PhD3 and
  2. Lawrence S. Friedman MD4,5,6,7
  1. Shanthi Srinivasan MD1,2

Published Online: 4 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119959762.ch9

Essentials of Gastroenterology

Essentials of Gastroenterology

How to Cite

Srinivasan, S. (2012) Constipation, in Essentials of Gastroenterology (eds S. V. Sitaraman and L. S. Friedman), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119959762.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Division of Digestive Diseases, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

  2. 4

    Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

  3. 5

    Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

  4. 6

    Department of Medicine, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton, MA, USA

  5. 7

    Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Emory University School of Medicine, GA, USA

  2. 2

    Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center, Atlanta, GA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 JAN 2012
  2. Published Print: 17 FEB 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470656259

Online ISBN: 9781119959762



  • constipation;
  • infrequent bowel movements, incomplete bowel evacuation;
  • physiology, colonic motility and defecation;
  • constipation, primary (functional) or secondary;
  • secondary causes of constipation;
  • physical examination, detailed rectal examination;
  • laboratory tests, blood count, TSH level;
  • colonoscopy, or air contrast barium enema;
  • addressing underlying causes;
  • laxatives for constipation


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • General

  • Physiology

  • Etiology

  • Clinical Evaluation

  • Treatment

  • Further Reading