Use of complementary and alternative medicine to treat constipation in the elderly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Many modalities of complementary and alternative medicine, such as probiotic bacteria, traditional herbal medicines, biofeedback and massage, have been used to treat constipation in older adults. Virtually all studies in the published literature have been plagued with methodological problems, such as lack of blinding. Chinese herbal medications have been the most frequent subject of studies in controlled trials, but have suffered from methodological insufficiencies, and few have been published in publications other than Chinese language journals. Several therapies, such as yogurt containing probiotic bacteria and massage, are relatively easy to use by the patient, and are likely to cause few adverse reactions. Therefore, complementary and alternative therapies might show the greatest promise for being adopted as adjunctive therapies to conventional treatment. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2013; 13: 533-538.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-538
Number of pages6
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Biofeedback
  • Constipation
  • Elderly
  • Probiotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Health(social science)


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