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Most people experience occasional constipation. If you are suffering from chronic or severe constipation, there are a number of different ways your doctor can help diagnose the problem.
It is important for your doctor to understand your medical history to address common factors that often contribute to constipation. This may include questions regarding:
- Age of patient
- Recent changes in bowel habits/ frequency of bowel movements
- Recent weight loss
- Changes in stool (is there blood in stool?)
- Duration of symptoms
Diagnostic Tests for Constipation
Your doctor may find it necessary to conduct a physical examination, known as a digital rectal exam (DRE). This exam can help diagnose problems in the colon (large intestine) that commonly causes constipation, such as:
- Presence of blood
If patient history or a digital rectal exam are not able to find the cause of constipation, there are several other diagnostic tools and tests that can be used:
- Barium enema / lower gastrointestinal series
- Colorectal transit study
- Anorectal function test
Once we confirm your diagnosis, we can tailor a treatment plan to meet your needs. Learn more about constipation treatment.