Constipation; Everything You Need to know

Did you know, unlike what you may presume, not having a bowel movement every day is totally normal? Constipation affects almost everyone, and it may occur due to different things. It is usually uncomfortable, and finding relief is the best thing to do. Various things can improve constipation, including staying hydrated, eating food rich in fiber, coffee, and regular exercise. The constipation San Antonio specialist may also help you deal with constipation through diagnosis and treatments. Keep reading to find out more about constipation.

What is constipation?

Constipation is a condition that affects your bowel movements, causing them to be painful and infrequent. How frequently a bowel movement occurs is different for everyone. However, constipation occurs when you have less than three bowel movements a week.

What are the symptoms of constipation?

You have constipation when you experience the following.

  • Hard stools
  • Pain or discomfort during bowel movements
  • Small, pellet-like stools
  • Bloated feeling
  • Straining to have a bowel movement
  • Abdominal cramping before bowel movements
  • Feeling that bowels are full, even after a bowel movement

You may also experience a bowel leakage that looks like diarrhea during constipation. It may indicate a blockage causing the stool to leak out.

What causes constipation?

Usually, constipation occurs on its own, and in other cases, it results from an underlying gastrointestinal condition. Constipation without a specific cause may occur due to the following.

  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Delaying bowel movements
  • Too little hydration
  • Eating too little fiber
  • Sudden dietary changes
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Eating a lot of fatty and sugary foods
  • Eating a low-calorie diet
  • Taking opioid medications such as hydrocodone

Sometimes constipation occurs as a symptom of an underlying condition, including

  • Colon cancer
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Neurological disease

How to treat constipation?

When you go in for a consultation at the Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC, your provider conducts a physical exam, evaluates your symptoms, and runs imaging tests to find the cause of your underlying problem. They tailor your treatment plan depending on your specific needs.

Your provider usually considers your lifestyle modifications as a  critical part of your constipation treatment. You may need to do the following to enhance a healthy gastrointestinal system and treat constipation.

  • Taking supplemental fiber
  • Change your diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Improve your water intake

Your provider also recommends having a routine, where you have your bowel movement at the same time daily. If medications are causing constipation, ensure to adjust or change them. Dr. Narvaez may recommend using laxatives if you don’t find relief with other treatments.

Surgery may be necessary if your constipation comes from existing conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease. The surgical procedure helps repair any problems in the intestines, relieving constipation.

Constipation may occur now and then, but when it’s a consistent problem, you may need to check with your provider for help. There are various effective treatment options, ensuring to find what best works for you.

Call Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC to schedule your consultation.