You are currently viewing Constipation & Its Causes – Mnemonic

Here is a quick mnemonic “CONSTIPATION to remember about Constipation & Its Causes

This can be valuable for patients as well as medical doctors, nurses & students doing their clinical rounds. You can also find it very useful for med exams like USMLE, NExT Medical Step 1&2, MBBS, NEET PG, INI-CET, FMGE,MCAT & NCLEX exams

Constipation & Its Causes : How To Remember Easily ?

C – Clinical complaint:

“Constipation is a common complaint in clinical practice and usually refers to persistent, difficult, infrequent, or seemingly incomplete defecation.”

O – Often misunderstood:

“Because of the wide range of normal bowel habits, constipation is difficult to define precisely.”

N – Not just stool frequency:

“Low stool frequency alone is not the sole criterion for the diagnosis of constipation.”

S – Symptoms analysis:

“The individual patient’s symptoms must be analyzed in detail to ascertain what is meant by ‘constipation’ or ‘difficulty’ with defecation.”

T – Time and stool consistency:

“Stool form and consistency are well correlated with the time elapsed from the preceding defecation.”

I – Incomplete evacuation:

“Many constipated patients have a normal frequency of defecation but complain of excessive straining, hard stools, lower abdominal fullness, or a sense of incomplete evacuation.”

P – Perception of difficulty:

“The perception of hard stools or excessive straining is more difficult to assess objectively.”

A – Assessing patient perceptions:

“The need for enemas or digital disimpaction is a clinically useful way to corroborate the patient’s perceptions of difficult defecation.”

T – Trigger factors:

“Psychosocial or cultural factors may also be important in understanding constipation.”

I – Inadequate intake or function:

“Chronic constipation generally results from inadequate fiber or fluid intake or from disordered colonic transit or anorectal function.”


O – Organic causes:

Constipation of recent onset may be a symptom of significant organic disease such as tumor, anorectal irritation, or stricture.

N – Neurogastroenterologic disturbance:

“Pathophysiologically, chronic constipation can result from neurogastroenterologic disturbance, certain drugs, advancing age, or systemic diseases affecting the GI tract.”


Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER working in department