Chronic Constipation in the Elderly

Ernest P. Bouras, Eric George Tangalos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-480
Number of pages18
JournalGastroenterology Clinics of North America
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Fingerprint

Constipation
Pelvic Floor
Laxatives
Physical Examination
Rehabilitation
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Constipation
  • Defecation disorder
  • Elderly
  • Geriatric
  • Management
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Chronic Constipation in the Elderly. / Bouras, Ernest P.; Tangalos, Eric George.

In: Gastroenterology Clinics of North America, Vol. 38, No. 3, 09.2009, p. 463-480.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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