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About this Series

Constipation creates a tremendous burden on the US healthcare system, accounting for more than 2.5 million physician visits annually. Morbidity runs extremely high, and patients may suffer in silence for years as they miss work, skip travel, and place restrictions on aspects of daily life.

Although over-the-counter treatments can provide effective, intermittent relief for the majority of patients, many continue to develop chronic constipation that can last for years, potentially causing serious pelvic damage and leading to depression.

Gastroenterologists at the University of Michigan's Bowel Control Program confront the multifactorial causes of chronic constipation and discuss the varied treatment options that are providing results, from surgery to psychotherapy, as well as emerging treatments and alternative medicine.

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