What is the clinical definition of constipation?

Updated: Jul 05, 2019
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

No widely accepted clinically useful definition of constipation exists. Healthcare providers usually use the frequency of bowel movements (ie, less than three bowel movements per week) to define constipation. [1] However, the Rome criteria, initially introduced in 1988 and subsequently modified three times to yield the Rome IV criteria, have become the research-standard definition of constipation. [8]


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