No one ever thinks they'll end up seeing a doctor for constipation, but this common problem often causes severe discomfort and can lead to complications like hemorrhoids and fecal impaction. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc have helped many patients overcome constipation and prevent future problems. To schedule an appointment, call the nearest office today. They have four convenient offices, in La Porte and Plymouth, Indiana, and on Generations Drive in South Bend, Indiana, and in The South Bend Clinic on North Eddy Street.
Constipation is broadly defined as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. However, everyone has different bowel habits. As a result, constipation is different for each person.
Some people go to the bathroom once daily. Others may have several bowel movements daily or only a few each week. Constipation occurs when you have fewer bowel movements than normal and you have symptoms such as:
Constipation can also cause abdominal cramping and bloating.
Constipation commonly occurs if you don't consume enough dietary fiber or fluids or you resist the urge to have a bowel movement. Many types of medications may also interfere with your bowel habits.
Health conditions that lead to constipation include:
Constipation is one of the top problems associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Temporary changes in bowel habits are common when you pick up a stomach virus or eat something that doesn't agree with your digestive tract.
However, you should seek an evaluation if you have constipation that doesn't improve or experience any of the following symptoms:
Without treatment, constipation can lead to complications such as impacted stool, hemorrhoids, and anal fissures.
The best treatment depends on the severity of your constipation. Your provider may recommend:
In addition to relieving constipation, increasing your fluid and fiber consumption goes a long way toward preventing future problems.
Laxatives work different ways to help you have a bowel movement:
Laxatives can cause side effects if they're not used properly.
Your provider may prescribe one of several types of medications that relieve constipation.
You may need an enema or suppository to help soften impacted stool. However, your provider may need to manually remove severely impacted stool, then follow-up with an enema.
Though no one likes to talk about constipation, you shouldn't hesitate to talk with a gastroenterologist. To schedule an appointment, call Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc, today.