North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC
Gastroenterologists located in Sherman, Anna, & Across North Texas
If you have to continually strain during bowel movements or find that you can’t eliminate a stool due to constipation, turn to North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC in Sherman and Anna, Texas. Joseph Kim, MD, Jermaine Clarke, DO, MBA, and their expert staff treat constipation to reduce your risk of complications and give you a better quality of life. Call the office for an appointment, or book one online today.
What is constipation?
Constipation is the usual diagnosis if you have three or fewer bowel movements a week. When you do have a bowel movement, the stool can be dry, hard, and painful to pass. Nearly everybody gets constipated from time to time, but if it happens often and causes pain, see the North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC team for an evaluation.
What are the symptoms of constipation?
Common symptoms of constipation include:
- Lumpy, hard stools
- Infrequent stools (less than three a week)
- Straining with bowel movements
- Feeling like you can’t empty your bowels
- Pain with bowel movements
Complications associated with untreated constipation include:
- Tears in the anal skin (called anal fissures)
- Accumulation of hard stool
- Intestines that protrude from your anus
Constipation linked to untreated cancer can be life-threatening.
What are the risk factors for constipation?
Anybody can develop constipation, but some things boost your risk. These include being a woman, older age, dehydration, a low fiber diet, and physical inactivity. Some medications, mental health conditions, cancers, nerve damage, hormone fluctuations, blockages in your colon or rectum, and chronic diseases can cause constipation.
How does my provider diagnose constipation?
To find out if you have constipation and determine its root cause, your North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC specialist reviews your medical history and symptoms. They complete a physical exam and could recommend that you undergo blood tests, a colonoscopy, a sigmoidoscopy, colon transit studies, X-rays, MRIs, or other imaging procedures.
What are my constipation treatment options?
Depending on the cause of your constipation, your GI specialist will suggest one of the following treatments:
Making lifestyle changes can reduce the episodes of constipation. Examples include eating more fiber, taking supplements if your doctor recommends it, drinking lots of water, getting regular exercise, managing stress, and making medication changes as directed by your specialist.
Taking laxatives or other over-the-counter or prescription medications as directed by your doctor can help you pass stools more frequently.
During biofeedback training, your specialist works with you to relax, tighten, and strengthen your pelvic muscles using exercises.
If other constipation treatments haven’t worked, or you experience a blockage or other serious medical problem, your specialist will likely suggest surgery as a last resort.
Don’t live with severe or long-lasting constipation when simple treatments are within reach at North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC. Schedule an appointment by phone or book online today.
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