Valli P. Kodali, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF
Gastroenterologist located in Cary, NC
If you have difficult bowel movements, despite having the urge to go, turn to Park Gastroenterology in Cary, North Carolina. Board-certified gastroenterologist Valli Kodali, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, and his highly trained team offer several treatments for constipation to relieve your discomfort and ease your bowel movements. Call the office today to schedule an appointment or book one online.
Constipation Q & A
What is constipation?
Constipation describes infrequent bowel movements or problems passing stools despite having an urge to go. Constipation happens to everyone now and again, but chronic (ongoing) constipation can cause pain or serious complications.
Generally speaking, constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. Treatment with Dr. Kodali at Park Gastroenterology can offer you relief.
What are the symptoms of constipation?
Common symptoms associated with ongoing constipation include:
- Lumpy or hard stools
- Fewer than three stools weekly
- Not being able to empty stool completely
- Straining during bowel movements
- Pain with bowel movements
- Blockages that prevent bowel movements
Chronic constipation is diagnosed if you have two or more symptoms of constipation that last at least three months.
Complications of untreated constipation include hemorrhoids, anal tears, hardened stool that gets stuck in your intestines, and intestines that protrude from your anus.
What are the causes and risk factors for constipation?
Things that increase your risk of constipation include:
- Anal tears
- Colon, abdominal, or rectal cancers
- Intestinal blockages
- Colon narrowing
- Nerve problems
- Chronic diseases
- Spinal cord injuries
- Weak pelvic muscles
- Being female
- Older age
- Low-fiber diet
- Lack of physical activity
Taking some medications, having a mental health condition (like depression), and eating disorders also increase your risk of constipation.
How does my doctor diagnose constipation?
To diagnose constipation and develop an effective treatment, Dr. Kodali discusses your symptoms and reviews your medical history. He checks your vital signs and completes a physical exam, including a digital rectal exam, when needed.
Dr. Kodali could suggest that you have blood tests, X-rays, an MRI, a sigmoidoscopy, a colonoscopy, colon transit studies, or other diagnostic tests to find the root cause of your constipation.
What are the treatments for constipation?
Dr. Kodali will recommend one or more of the following treatments for constipation:
Things you can do at home to reduce the risk of constipation include eating high-fiber foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds), consuming fewer processed foods, and drinking more fluids. Staying active, properly managing stress, and not smoking can also help.
Laxatives are dietary supplements or medications that soften your stool, allow you to have more and easier bowel movements, and empty your colon.
Prescription medicines from Dr. Kodali can reduce unpleasant symptoms caused by constipation.
Biofeedback training helps you learn ways to relax and tighten pelvic muscles to pass stool more easily.
Surgery is used to reduce blockages or narrowing of the colon that causes constipation.
Don’t live with ongoing constipation when highly effective treatments at Park Gastroenterology are available. Call the office today to schedule an appointment or book one online.