Chronic constipation in the elderly.

Link to article at PubMed

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Chronic constipation in the elderly.

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2009 Sep;38(3):463-80

Authors: Bouras EP, Tangalos EG

Chronic constipation is a common problem in the elderly, with a variety of causes, including pelvic floor dysfunction, medication effects, and numerous age-specific conditions. A stepwise diagnostic and therapeutic approach to patients with chronic constipation based on historical and physical examination features is recommended. Prudent use of fiber supplements and laxative agents may be helpful for many patients. Based on their capabilities, patients with pelvic floor dysfunction should be considered for pelvic floor rehabilitation (biofeedback), although efficacy in the elderly is uncertain. Clinical awareness and focused testing to identify the physiologic abnormalities underlying constipation, while being mindful of situations unique to the elderly, facilitate management, and improve patient outcomes.

PMID: 19699408 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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