Symptoms and signs of lower gastrointestinal disease

This chapter provides a physiological basis for understanding a practical approach to patients presenting with the lower gastrointestinal symptoms. These symptoms can arise from disturbances of gut motility (diarrhoea, constipation), coordination and function of the anorectum (evacuation difficulty, faecal incontinence) and structural deficits of the hindgut (rectal bleeding). Abdominal pain is a common presentation, and can be related to physiological or anatomical changes in the gut. This chapter describes the clinical assessment of such patients to discern the likeliest diagnosis of their abdominal pain.

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