Curbside Consultation of the Colon: 49 Clinical Questions

Brooks D. Cash, MD, FACP, CDR, MC, USN

Question 15: What Diagnostic Tests Are Recommended For The Evaluation Of Chronic Constipation And What Is Their Yield? (continued)

Erica Roberson, MD; Arnold Wald, MD

Constipation is a very common disorder with prevalence rates in the United States as high as 28%. Despite the frequency of constipation in the general population, it is usually mild, intermittent, and often self-medicated with readily available over-the-counter medications. When patients with constipation present to a physician, an extensive workup is neither obligatory, nor justified, without alarm symptoms (anemia, weight loss, blood in stools, abdominal mass, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, an acute change in bowel movement) or when clinical judgment deems it necessary. The initial approach…