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Recognizing and Defining Occasional Constipation: Expert Consensus Recommendations

Rao, Satish SC; Lacy, Brian E; Emmanuel, Anton; Müller-Lissner, Stefan; Pohl, Daniel; Quigley, Eamonn MM; Whorwell, Peter; (2022) Recognizing and Defining Occasional Constipation: Expert Consensus Recommendations. The American Journal of Gastroenterology 10.14309/ajg.0000000000001945. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Constipation is a common problem, affects 15% of the population, and is often self-diagnosed and self-managed. Over the past 3 decades, there have been significant advances in our understanding and management of chronic constipation, with the emerging recognition that occasional constipation (OC) is another subtype that falls outside current classifications. The purpose of this review was to describe the process of developing and proposing a new definition for OC based on expert consensus and taking into consideration the multifactorial nature of the problem such as alterations in bowel habit that include stool frequency and difficulty with stool passage, perception of the sufferer, duration of symptoms, and potential responsiveness to treatment. Leading gastroenterologists from 5 countries met virtually on multiple occasions through an online digital platform to discuss the problem of OC and recommended a practical, user-friendly definition: "OC can be defined as intermittent or occasional symptomatic alteration(s) in bowel habit. This includes a bothersome reduction in the frequency of bowel movements and/or difficulty with passage of stools but without alarming features. Bowel symptoms may last for a few days or a few weeks, and episodes may require modification of lifestyle, dietary habits and/or use of over-the-counter laxatives or bulking agents to restore a satisfactory bowel habit." Prospective studies are required to validate this definition and determine OC prevalence in the community. This review highlights current knowledge gaps and could provide impetus for future research to facilitate an improved understanding of OC and development of evidence-based management guidelines.

Type: Article
Title: Recognizing and Defining Occasional Constipation: Expert Consensus Recommendations
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000001945
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.14309/ajg.0000000000001945
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of The American College of Gastroenterology. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Inst for Liver and Digestive Hlth
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10158383
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