What is constipation?
Constipation is a condition that is characterized by difficulty passing stools/emptying the bowels, most commonly described as the inability to empty the bowels more frequently than 2-3 times a week. While occasional constipation is extremely common, constipation that interferes with your daily activities and/or occurs on an ongoing basis may be a sign of a more serious condition. Additionally, chronic constipation could lead to other complications.
What can cause constipation?
Chronic constipation is most frequently the result of stool moving too slowly through your digestive tract, which causes it to become harder and drier than usual. When this happens, it’s more difficult for you to pass the stool. Chronic constipation could be the result of one or more of the following:
- Bowel obstructions
- Colon narrowing/Bowel structure
- Rectal cancer
- Colon cancer
- Anal fissure
What are constipation symptoms?
Some constipation symptoms that may warrant a visit to Gotham Gastroenterology in New York City include:
- Having fewer than 3 bowel movements in a week
- Difficulty or straining when passing stools
- Feeling like you cannot totally empty your bowels
- Feeling like something is blocking your stool from passing
- Hard or dry stools
- Needing to push on your abdomen to help pass stools
Can constipation lead to complications if left untreated?
Constipation can lead to other complications if it is ongoing for a long period of time. Some of the possible complications of chronic constipation include:
- Rectal prolapse, which occurs as a result of straining to pass stools
- Fecal impaction, which happens when hardened stool becomes lodged in your intestines
- Anal fissure, which happens when hardened stools tear a small portion of the anus
- Hemorrhoids, which occur when straining to pass stools causes swelling in the veins around your anus
What is the best constipation remedy?
At Gotham Gastroenterology, the following treatment options may be helpful in preventing or treating your constipation. Treating chronic constipation at the first sign can also avoid constipation pain and more serious complications over time. Your chronic constipation treatment may involve:
- Making lifestyle changes, such as adjusting your:
- Exercise habits
- Fiber intake
- Caloric intake
- Taking laxatives, like:
- Fiber supplements
- Stool softeners
- Taking over-the-counter medications that treat chronic constipation
- Undergoing surgery for anal fissure, anal stricture, or anal blockage
- Undergoing colon removal surgery
Schedule Your Appointment Today!
For more information or to book an appointment with Gotham Gastroenterology, contact our office at 212-794-0240. Our team of experts strives to provide excellence in gastroenterology for patients in NYC. You can also make an appointment by filling out a form.