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Chronic constipation in adults

Dr Adam Farmer discusses the management of chronic constipation with a focus on the consultation

Constipation means widely different things to different people and it can be argued that the term 'constipation' per se is unhelpful. Health professionals generally recognise constipation as infrequent episodes of defaecation, whereas patients more readily identify with straining, gas, hard consistency of stool, and abdominal pain.1 There is a wide normal range of defaecatory frequency, ranging from three bowel movements per day to three bowel movements per week in conjunction with a considerable variation in the shades of stool observed.2

Rome consensus
The Rome multinational consensus has sought to establish standardised definitions for the functional gastrointestinal disorders based on symptom and temporal patterns, including chronic constipation (CC).

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