Most people don’t talk about constipation, so it’s easy to believe that few people have the problem. But the truth is that 16 percent of all adults struggle with constipation. If your constipation doesn’t improve in a few days, the doctors at Peak Gastroenterology Associates can help restore your normal bowel movements with customized treatment at one of their clinics in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Salida, Denver, Woodland Park, and Parker, Colorado. To get relief from constipation, call the office nearest you, or schedule an appointment online.
WHAT IS A NORMAL BOWEL MOVEMENT?
Each person has different bowel habits. You may have a bowel movement three times a day, three times a week, or anywhere between the two. If your habits are consistent, then that’s normal for you.
While you don’t need to have a bowel movement every day, a stool that stays in the intestine too long tends to harden and cause constipation.
WHAT SYMPTOMS DEVELOP IF I HAVE CONSTIPATION?
The most common symptom of constipation is having a hard time passing a stool. You may also have symptoms such as:
- Having fewer than three bowel movements weekly
- Passing hard stools or small lumps
- Finding it painful to pass a stool
- Straining to have a bowel movement
- Feeling like all the stool wasn’t expelled
- Feeling like your rectum is blocked
You may also find that stool seems to get stuck as it leaves your body.
WHAT CAUSES CONSTIPATION?
Constipation occurs when a stool passes through your large intestine too slowly. This problem can develop due to health problems affecting your rectum and colon, such as rectocele, diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.
You’re also more likely to become constipated if you have any of the following:
- Low-fiber diet
- Bowel obstruction
- Muscle dysfunction
- Nerve damage
- Thyroid disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Certain medications
Any condition that narrows the intestine, such as tumors, polyps, scar tissue, and inflammation may also result in constipation.
WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR FOR CONSTIPATION?
If your constipation lasts longer than three days, you should schedule an appointment at Peak Gastroenterology Associates. Constipation also needs to be evaluated quickly if it occurs with other symptoms like:
- Bleeding from your rectum
- Blood in your stool
- Constant abdominal pain
- Inability to pass gas
- Lower back pain
The team of providers at Peak Gastroenterology Associates can help determine the root cause of your constipation and recommend effective treatment options that will offer you relief.
HOW DO YOU DIAGNOSE CONSTIPATION?
Your symptoms are usually enough to diagnose constipation. However, determining exactly what caused your constipation may require more digging with testing such as:
- Blood tests
- Evaluation of muscle function
Your doctor at Peak Gastroenterology Associates may also perform tests that evaluate food movement through the colon.
HOW DO YOU TREAT CONSTIPATION?
Your doctor customizes your treatment depending on the severity of your symptoms and the cause of your constipation. While there are many possible treatments for the potential causes, these therapies are used to improve your constipation:
- Dietary changes
- Fiber supplements
- Stool softeners
- Osmotic agents
- Bowel training
If you have trouble with constipation, call Peak Gastroenterology Associates or schedule an appointment online today.