About 2.5 million people in the United States visit their doctor every year because of problems with constipation. At DLW Gastro Clinic in Homestead, Florida, board-certified gastroenterologist Sandra Rodriguez, MD, provides thorough evaluations for constipation to identify the cause and create effective treatment plans. When constipation is a regular problem, it’s time to make an appointment at DLW Gastro Clinic. Call or book online today.
If it’s normal for you to have three bowel movements a week and your stools are soft and easy to pass, then you don’t have constipation.
However, if there’s a change in the frequency of your bowel movements, where you’re having fewer movements a week than usual, you may have constipation.
Constipation is when you have infrequent, hard-to-pass stools that are hard and dry.
Your large intestine is the last part of your gastrointestinal tract. Its primary job is to extract water and any remaining nutrients from your food waste. The longer it takes for stool to move through and exit your gastrointestinal tract, the dryer it gets and the harder it is to pass.
Many people have bouts of constipation from time to time.
Constipation has many causes, and most aren’t serious. You can develop constipation when there’s a change in your usual routine or eating habits. Certain medications also cause constipation.
Constipation also occurs with medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes, and pelvic floor dysfunction.
In most cases, constipation occurs because you’re not getting enough fiber or fluid in your diet to help keep things regular.
You should see a gastroenterologist if you have chronic constipation or concerns that your symptom is a sign of some underlying gastrointestinal condition.
During your visit to DLW Gastro Clinic, the board-certified gastroenterologist asks about your bowel habits and symptoms. They review your diet and exercise routine, the types of medications you take, and your medical history.
The gastroenterologist performs a physical exam and may run diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out a diagnosis, such as a stool test, bloodwork, X-rays, or colonoscopy.
Treatment for constipation depends on the cause. However, most people with this symptom benefit from making lifestyle changes to improve bowel habits, such as:
The gastroenterologist may also recommend a fiber supplement or stool softener to improve bowel habits. Sometimes a change in medication is needed.
For help with your constipation, call the experts at DLW Gastro Clinic today or use the online booking button to make an appointment.