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November 3, 1917


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(18):1513-1515. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590450033012

The fact that constipation has been and is under continuous discussion shows conclusively the lack of perfect knowledge emanating from any source. In this paper I shall include stasis and obstipation under the general term of constipation.

No doubt there is an element of truth in the various explanations of constipation, but it may be safely asserted that many of these explanations require further elucidation. In dealing with this question the surgeon and the general practitioner are apparently arrayed against each other, but, as a matter of fact, the views of both contain much that is true. The great difficulty is for us to see every phase of this immense subject.

In the first place, some thought must be given the more elementary aspects of the question. The whole scheme of alimentation provides for the onward progress of the ingested food; at some points it is retarded, while at others

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