Constipation

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Constipation is when the poop doesn't come out of the anus. While this disease is overdiagnosed as a cause for pain, it remains a terrible scourge of Western democracy. Constipation can be diagnosed by history and the response to treatment.

Patients usually present with lower or left lower abdominal pain early in day relieved by bowel movements. Stools are infrequent, painful and palpable on abdominal exam.

In children, the treatment strategy is to ensure appropriate hydration and toileting habits, to relieve pain, clean out the bowel with an oral osmotic agent, reduce rectal dilation to maintain soft stools, and then remove all of these therapies in exchange for a bulk agent.