Constipation in the elderly.
Constipation is a common concern in the elderly and accounts for significant expenditures on over-the-counter drugs. Although normal aging is not associated with abnormal bowel motility, pathologic and psychosocial conditions lead to increased symptoms in elderly patients. Careful clinical evaluation to eliminate serious conditions including colon neoplasia is important. Medical management with emphasis on fiber, bulk agents, fluid intake, and exercise, as well as appropriate use of laxatives is reviewed.
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