Constipation Specialist

Digestive Disorders Associates and MDTEC

Gastroenterology & Hepatology located in Annapolis, MD

When constipation is a problem for you, like it is for 42 million other Americans, it can dampen your outlook and general well-being. The doctors at Digestive Disorders Associates of Annapolis, Chester, and Gambrills/Waugh Chapel, Maryland understand that this condition can cause pain, as well as frustration. Using a number of tools and their expert knowledge, they are committed to helping you treat your constipation. If you would like a consultation, call or book your appointment online today.

Constipation Q & A

What is constipation?

Constipation — having hard, dry stools or passing stool less than three times a week — is the most common digestive problem in the United States. This issue will most likely affect everyone at one time or another. For some, this is an ongoing issue, making management of their chronic (long-term) constipation important to their long-term health care plan.

For a healthy colon, which is responsible for the management of waste and elimination, movement of the waste is important. As the stool sits in the colon, water from the stool is absorbed by the body. When stool lingers too long, for a variety of reasons, the stool hardens and is difficult to pass.

As that stool stays in the colon, and the body continues to make more stool, it builds up. This creates a vicious cycle of large amounts of difficult-to-pass stool, discomfort and pain on passing. This can lead to significant problems, including impaction and hemorrhoids.

 

What causes constipation?

Constipation can be an issue for several reasons, some of which can be easily reversed, while others will need medical intervention.

Simple causes for constipation may be:

  • Low-fiber diet
  • Dehydration
  • Side effects of drugs
  • Lack of exercise
  • Travel

More severe underlying causes for constipation may be:

  • Colon obstruction
  • Colon cancer
  • Neurological disorders
  • Overuse of laxatives
  • Hormonal disorders

Whatever the cause, the team at Digestive Disorders Associates will be diligent in helping determine the cause of your constipation, and in creating a specialized plan to treat your discomfort.

 

How can my constipation be treated?

In many cases, constipation can be reversed or improved by making a few simple changes to diet and lifestyle. These changes may include:

  • Eating a high-fiber diet
  • Drinking 1.5 to 2 quarts of water daily
  • Maintaining a healthy activity level
  • Limiting alcohol and caffeine
  • Avoiding use of laxatives
  • Adding a fiber supplement to your diet

If your constipation is severe, your doctor may want to perform a series of diagnostic studies to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment plan. These studies may include:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Open access colonoscopy
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray
  • CT or MRI

The medical team at Digestive Disorders Associates is committed, knowledgeable, and skilled to help you find relief from your acute or chronic constipation.

If you would like a consultation about your constipation, call or book your appointment online today.