Constipation is common and not always a sign of a serious medical concern, but it’s often an indication that something is wrong with your diet. Expert gastroenterologists Bharat Sanghavi, MD, Moushumi Sanghavi, MD, and Samantha Nazareth, MD, help men and women find immediate and long-term relief from this unpleasant condition at Gastroenterology on Gramercy Park in New York City. If you’re struggling to stay regular, call or schedule an appointment online today.
Constipation is a condition in which it is difficult to empty your bowels. Many people think they’re constipated if they don’t have at least one bowel movement a day, but that’s not necessarily true.
In fact, only about half of adults have at least one bowel movement a day. The normal number of bowel movements in a healthy adult can range from 3 to 21 a week. The key is to recognize if you are going to the bathroom less often that whatever is usual for you.
Often, constipation goes away on its own after a few days. You may have chronic constipation if you experience the following symptoms for at least two weeks:
Fewer than three bowel movements a week
Difficulty passing stools
Dry, hard stools
A feeling of incomplete emptying
If you are constipated for an extended period of time, you likely feel bloated, get frequent headaches, and feel more irritable.
It’s important to treat constipation, because it can lead to other problems, including hemorrhoids. Also, constipation can be a symptom of another digestive condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
When constipation is a sign of a more serious condition, other symptoms will usually accompany it, such as bleeding and abdominal pain. By itself, constipation is usually not a major health concern, but it’s still important to address the problem with your doctor.
The most common cause of constipation is eating a diet low in fiber and high in fat while not drinking enough water. Fiber and water bulk up and soften your stool so your colon can pass it more easily.
When you visit Gastroenterology on Gramercy Park, your doctor will identify the cause of your constipation to determine how to treat it. To do this, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and may conduct tests.
Your doctor may prescribe laxatives to treat chronic constipation. It’s best to take them under your doctor’s supervision, as the overuse of certain laxatives can lead to dependency.
To help treat constipation, your doctor will recommend dietary and lifestyle changes, including eating more fiber and drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day.
To get treatment for chronic constipation, click or call to schedule a consultation with Gastroenterology on Gramercy Park today.