Skip to main content

Constipation Specialist

Arkansas Gastroenterology Associates & Endoscopy Center -  - Gastroenterology and Endoscopy

Arkansas Gastroenterology Associates & Endoscopy Center

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy located in Hot Springs, AR

Constipation is a common, uncomfortable issue that affects almost everyone at some point during their life. Prolonged constipation, however, can be a sign of a more serious problem. At Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center in Hot Springs, Arkansas, John Brandt, MD, and J. Steven Mathews, MD, diagnose the cause of constipation and offer personalized treatment to resolve your issue. Call the practice or schedule a consultation online today if you have chronic constipation.

Constipation Q&A

What causes constipation?

Some people have one or more bowel movements every day, while others have less frequent bowel movements. However, if you have fewer than three bowel movements a week, you have constipation.

Constipation is very common and is often due to changes in your diet or dehydration. However, constipation is also a sign of other gastrointestinal disorders, such as:

  • Anal fissures
  • Bowel obstructions
  • Colon cancer
  • Celiac disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Bowel stricture
  • Rectal cancer
  • Rectocele 
  • Nerve damage
  • Problems with your pelvic muscles

Your risk of constipation increases with age or if you have a low-fiber diet. A sedentary lifestyle and medications like opioid painkillers, antidepressants, and blood pressure drugs can also cause constipation.

When should I talk to a doctor about constipation?

Constipation isn’t comfortable. You might have abdominal cramping or feel like you need to strain to empty your bowel. 

If your symptoms don’t subside or you have infrequent, small dry bowel movements for more than a week, make an appointment at Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center. 

Don’t ignore chronic constipation. When left untreated, it can lead to uncomfortable complications such as hemorrhoids or rectal prolapse. 

How do you diagnose the cause of constipation?

The team at Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center provides an exam and testing to identify the cause of constipation. Your specialist reviews your medical history, symptoms, and lifestyle details. They might include a digital rectal exam during your consultation.

The team also uses a variety of tests to diagnose the condition causing constipation:

  • Blood tests
  • X-rays
  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Stool sample

Your specialist might also use tests that allow them to observe how your bowel and supporting muscles move during defecation.

How is constipation treated?

Your specialist creates a personalized treatment plan to address the underlying cause of your constipation. Depending on your condition, they might begin with conservative treatments such as increasing your fiber intake and adding exercise to your daily routine. 

Your specialist might also prescribe laxatives or stool softeners to help your stool move through your body more efficiently. You might also benefit from physical therapy or biofeedback training to improve the way your muscles work and support your bowel and rectum.

If you have a condition like an anal fissure or conservative treatments don’t relieve your constipation, you might need surgery to repair your colon or rectum.

Call Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center or make an appointment online today if you have persistent or chronic constipation.