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Constipation and Education

Arch Intern Med. 1978;138(5):690-691. doi:10.1001/archinte.1978.03630290010007.
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In the heydays of disaccharidase deficiency, Littman wrote1: "What a joy to the clinician to find the arcane skills of research scientists directed to such matters as bloating, flatulence, cramps, and diarrhea!" The clinician interested in constipation has no reason to be as joyous as that. When scanning current periodicals, one will hardly find modern methods of research applied to constipation and it's treatment. True, the effects of bran on moving one's bowels are well represented,2,3 but this does not provide a real answer to the basic therapeutic issue being questioned. Also, side effects of laxatives are being investigated.4-6 However, to find out about the most common causes of constipation, which probably is the most frequent disorder in man,7 one has to rely on textbooks. There, the clinician might find in the latest edition of Bockus' textbook that constipation may occasionally cause symptoms, such as headache,


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