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NHS Choices Condition

Content supplied by NHS Choices

Constipation is a very common condition. Your GP will rarely need to carry out any tests or procedures to confirm your diagnosis. Instead, they will usually diagnose your condition based on your medical history and your symptoms.

Your GP will ask you some questions about your bowel habits. Do not feel embarrassed about describing your bowel pattern and stools to your GP. It is important that your GP is aware of all of your symptoms so that they can make the correct diagnosis.

Your GP may also ask questions about your diet, your level of exercise, and whether there have been any recent changes in your routines, or lifestyle.

Physical examination

If your GP suspects that you may have faecal impaction (when dry, hard stools collect in your rectum) they may decide to carry out a physical examination.

A typical examination will begin with you lying on your back while the GP feels your abdomen. You will then lie on your side while the GP performs a rectal examination using a lubricated, gloved finger. This way your GP can feel for any stools which may have collected.

Your GP will rarely have to conduct an internal physical examination on a child. Instead, the diagnosis can normally be made by feeling their abdomen (tummy).

view information about Constipation on www.nhs.co.uk »

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