Gut Instincts: A Clinician's Handbook of Digestive and Liver Diseases

Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH

Chapter 20: Constipation (continued)

Lin Chang, MD

Chronic constipation is a common condition that consists of difficult, infrequent, or perceived incomplete defecation. The prevalence of chronic constipation ranges from 2% to 28%. Up to 63 million individuals in North America meet the diagnostic criteria for constipation. Epidemiologic studies demonstrate that the prevalence of constipation increases with age and is more common in women than men. A large disconnect exists between the perceptions of patients and health care providers regarding the defining symptoms of constipation. While health care providers generally rely on a…