What action is recommended when a high-fiber, high-water regimen fails in the treatment 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

Failure to control constipation on a regimen of fiber supplementation and increased water intake should prompt an analysis of patient compliance and a search for other physical causes (eg, altered colonic transit time, outlet obstruction, and psychological causes). The author’s experience is that early failures usually reflect inadequate water intake, whereas recidivism months to years later usually reflects a patient’s decision that fiber supplementation is no longer necessary. Counsel patients in advance to encourage them to avoid these inappropriate decisions.


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