The Diagnosis Of Constipation
A thorough physical examination is necessary in everyone who complains of the symptoms associated with constipation. After listening to your history of other illnesses, and doing a physical exam, the physician will order a series of tests to be completed.
The tests ordered will depend on your symptoms and how severe they might be. The majority of people need only some minor tests. The more complicated tests are for anyone who might have a serious case, or who have not recovered from previous treatment.
Paying careful attention to someone stating they are constipated is a serious matter for many reasons, but in particular because the complaints make it possible to the doctor to define the problem.
This will then lead to the finding the right diagnosis and treatment. An example of this is found in people who are constipated and having painful bowel movements. This pain could be the result of narrowing of the anus that might be the cause of the constipation.
If the small stools are the problem, it is likely there to be a lack of fiber being consumed.
During the history of the person, it is possible for the doctor to diagnose if the constipation is based on any drugs or other illnesses that the person might be suffering from.
At this stage, the person is told to can a food diary, so that it is possible to see what foods are being eaten during a week or two week period. A food diary is a good way to evaluate if the person is getting enough fiber, and which of their nutritional habits must be causing the constipation.
Other than a history and physical examination, the diagnosis of constipation is also evaluated using blood tests, x-rays, or a barium enema. A blood test can determine if low hormone levels are responsible for the constipation. eg, low thyroid hormone. While an x-ray and barium enema can show exactly where the stool is causing a blockage within the intestine.
Even though these methods are used, the doctor will first rely on the history and physical examination of the patient.