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The large number of people suffering from constipation and its effects, and the clinical difficulty met in obtaining relief therefrom, leads to the conclusion that the full signification of this affliction and its deleterious influence are not comprehended either by the people or the profession.
In its reciprocal influence this condition sustains both a causative and a resultant relation. Constipation as a functional disorder may be defined as an abnormal condition of the great colon and the entire intestinal tract, manifested by the unusual retention of excrementitious material, both as to quantity and time of evacuation. It may be owing either to diminished action of the muscular coat, to the diminished secretion from the mucous membrane, or both, to defective innervation, to habits and occupation, climate or diet, in addition to which there seems to be an infinite variety of causes.
A study of the history of 300 cases shows
PETTYJOHN ES. CONSTIPATION; SOME OF ITS EFFECTS AND ITS NON-MEDICINAL TREATMENT.. JAMA. 1896;XXVII(5):247–249. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430830017001f
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