What Is Constipation?
Constipation occurs when you struggle to have a bowel movement or are unable to pass stool. While constipation isn’t usually serious, it can be uncomfortable. Everyone has their own normal schedule for bowel movements, some people go three times day while others may only pass stool once or twice a week. However, if more than three days pass without having a bowel movement or if constipation occurs suddenly and you are unable to pass stool or even gas, you should seek medical attention with the expert physicians at Gastroenterology of Westchester.
What Causes Constipation?
Any number of factors can contribute to constipation including:
- Some medications
- Dietary changes
- Colon cancer
- Excessive dairy
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Not having enough water or fiber in your diet
- Conditions like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
- Conditions affecting the nerves and/ or muscles in the digestive system
- Waiting too long to have a bowel movement
- Under-active thyroid
When Should I See a Doctor About Constipation?
If at home remedies like drinking more water, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, or mild over the counter stool softeners or laxatives don’t help, and you haven’t had a bowel movement in 3 days you should seek medical attention. Or if you have sudden onset constipation accompanied by pains in your stomach or severe cramping and are not able to pass any gas or stool, you should see HOMEPAGE one of the doctors at Gastroenterology of Westchester. The doctor will run some tests to determine the cause of your constipation and will provide you with a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs. The doctor may perform a digital exam to check for blockages or order other diagnostic tests such as barium enema x-rays, colonoscopies, or a sigmoidoscopy. Once the doctor knows what is causing the issue, he will order effective treatments to provide relief and treat the underlying issue.