How common is constipation in elderly patients and what is the treatment?

Updated: Jul 04, 2019
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Elderly patients appear to be particularly prone to constipation. The rate of self-reported constipation rapidly increases in patients older than 65 years. Careful review of prescribed medications may reveal one or more agents that may potentiate constipation.

Manipulating their diets and encouraging patients to exercise are the cornerstones of treatment. Laxatives may be required, particularly in patients with a history of chronic laxative abuse.


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