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Bowel Management: Constipation, Diarrhea, Obstruction, and Ascites 

Bowel Management: Constipation, Diarrhea, Obstruction, and Ascites
Chapter:
Bowel Management: Constipation, Diarrhea, Obstruction, and Ascites
Author(s):

Denice Caraccia Economou

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190239442.003.0005
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date: 18 June 2019

Symptoms involving bowel management are common across diseases, occurring as a consequence of the underlying disorder as well as the result of medications used to treat these diseases and symptoms. Bowel symptoms, including constipation, diarrhea, obstruction, and ascites, should be assessed frequently with treatment designed to prevent patient distress and to avoid urgent problems such as bowel obstruction. This chapter reviews the anatomy and physiology underlying common bowel problems, the wide range of pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments, and the importance of ongoing patient assessment and support needed to manage these symptoms. As with much of the care provided in the palliative setting, the selection of interventions is based on patient and family goals of care.

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