This website is created to guide you in choosing the right gastro specialist for your constipation/stomach pain concerns. Created by a team of medical specialists, this aims to educate you on how to choose and when to consult a gastroenterologist.
What You Need to Know About Constipation
Constipation is when your bowel movements are painful or difficult and happen less often than normal. What is considered normal bowel movements varies for each individual. Going three days or more without a bowel movement is too long. After three days, feces will become harder to pass. This can cause additional problems if not treated.
There are several reasons why constipation may occur. Changes in your diet, not being physically active enough, not drinking enough water, taking medicines prescribed by a doctor, and even stress can cause bowel problems. Doctors should check your symptoms of constipation if your symptoms continue for more than two weeks. This could indicate a more serious problem. If you are constipated, there are things you can do to help with the constipation. Drink more water. Trying warm drinks, such as coffee or hot tea, in the mornings sometimes help stimulate your bowels. Add vegetables and fruits to your existing diet. If none of these work, try a mild stool softener that is over the counter to help soften and increase the likelihood of a bowel movement.
Constipation can cause abdominal pain and stomach pain. However, there are many things that can attribute to stomach or abdominal pain. If your constipation or stomach pain doesn’t go away, seek a doctor’s advise. It could be any number of things from gallstones, pancreatitis, reflux disease, medication side effects, to even diverticulitis, gluten intolerance, and the list goes on.
Constipation is usually caused by the slow movement of stool through the digestive system. If this is not caused by inadequate diet, medications, or inactivity, then a doctor should do a medical examination on you. This can include a physical examination, abdominal X-rays, colonic transit study, barium enema, and checking for irritable bowel syndrome.
If constipation is not treated, it can lead to other serious issues such as fecal impaction. These issues must be treated by a professional. The most common bowel movement pattern for the general population is one movement each day. Even though most people are irregular, constipation is still noticeable and uncomfortable.
As people age and grow older, diets and activity levels change as well. This impacts how their bowels move also. There is no set number to judge oneself by, so just keep in mind that less than three bowel movements per week is a benchmark number. If bowel movements are painful and difficult, try some of the suggestions such as changing your diet, increasing your daily water intake, and improving your level of activity. These are some of the top suggested ideas to alleviate constipation.