Constipation Treatment Specialist in Oak Park IL
Are you suffering from constipation? Get treatment today! Call our team of professionals at Diamond Gastroenterology or visit us online to book an appointment. We serve patients from Oak Park, IL and surrounding areas.
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The term constipation refers to having fewer than three bowel movements per week. The condition of chronic constipation is characterized by infrequent bowel movements or difficulty passing stools. Although occasional constipation is very common, chronic constipation can interfere with daily activities for some people. As a result of chronic constipation, people may strain excessively to pass stools. Chronic constipation can be treated in part by addressing the underlying cause. It is possible, however, to never find a cause in some cases.
Constipation occurs when your colon absorbs too much water from waste, causing the stool to become hard in consistency and difficult to pass. Nutrients are absorbed by the digestive tract as food moves through it. Towards the large intestine, also known as the colon, partially digested food (waste) is transferred.
As a result of absorbing water from this waste, the colon creates a solid matter called stool. Food may move too slowly through the digestive tract if you have constipation. As a result, the colon has too much time to absorb water from the waste. As a result, the stool becomes dry, hard, and difficult to pass.
There are many potential causes of constipation that involve the following: lifestyle choices, medical conditions, medications, and pregnancy.
Although the general guideline for defining constipation is experiencing fewer than 3 bowel movements a week it does vary from person to person. Each individual has a unique bowel movement pattern, when that shifts to fewer bowel movements than the norm, they may be experiencing constipation. Hard and dry stools are also a sign of constipation. Individuals experiencing constipation may have painful bowel movements during which stools are difficult to pass. Following their bowel movement, a constipated individual may not feel as though their bowels were fully emptied.
Often a healthcare professional will provide patients experiencing constipation with guidance on lifestyle changes they can make to promote overall health which will eliminate constipation. Drinking plenty of water while avoiding alcohol and caffeine can help. A more balanced diet including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and high-fiber foods along with fewer high-fat foods like cheese, eggs, and meat can reduce constipation. Increasing activity and exercise can often help as well.
If the cause of the constipation is less clear you may be asked to keep a food diary to identify which foods tend to lead to constipation. Your health care provider will also review your medications to determine if any may be causing constipation. Additionally, some prescription medications are available to help with constipation. In very rare cases where constipation is caused by a structural problem in the colon surgery may be recommended.
In the United States, constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints. Constipation causes at least 2.5 million people to visit their doctors each year. In the absence of regular, soft bowel movements complications can arise. Veins in the rectum can become swollen and inflamed causing hemorrhoids.
Anal fissures may occur which involve tears in the lining of the anus from the passing of hardened stools. Infection in pouches forming off the colon wall from an infected stool is a condition called diverticulitis.
Fecal impaction can occur when too much stool piles up in the rectum and anus. Pelvic floor muscles can be damaged by straining to move bowels. The pelvic floor muscles help control the bladder and too much straining can lead to urinary incontinence.
Constipation shouldn’t be ignored as it can lead to several complications and health problems in the long run. Patients can receive treatment from a constipation specialist at Diamond Gastroenterology. Call us today to book an appointment. We serve patients from Oak Park IL, River Forest IL, Cicero IL, River Grove IL, Forest Park IL, Berwyn IL, Melrose Park IL and Broadview IL.