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Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford

Colon and Rectal Surgeons located in Bloomfield and South Windsor, CT

Constipation is an experience everyone goes through now and then, but if you have chronic or recurring constipation, you should seek medical advice. The highly experienced team at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford can diagnose the cause of your constipation and provide the most effective solution to the problem. New England’s largest specialist colorectal practice provides services at their convenient office locations in Bloomfield, South Windsor, Connecticut. Call the branch nearest you today or book an appointment online.

Constipation Q & A

What is constipation?

Constipation is a problem most people experience from time to time. It happens when your stool hardens, so it becomes difficult to pass. You’ll have fewer bowel movements if you’re constipated.

Most causes of constipation aren’t due to serious diseases. It can be distressing and extremely uncomfortable, though. Passing hard stools can tear the anus, which is full of nerve endings. Anal tears or fissures are, therefore, very painful.

The hardened stool can sometimes build up to form a mass that blocks the rectum. This is called fecal impaction, which needs urgent medical attention.

Why would I get constipation?

Of the many reasons you can get constipation, the primary causes are having a diet that contains too little fiber and not having enough water. Other possible causes include:

  • Changes in diet
  • Excess dairy
  • Not enough exercise
  • Holding stools in
  • Chronic stress
  • Eating disorders
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Pregnancy
  • Colon cancer
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)

Some medications can cause constipation too, particularly some types of antidepressants, iron pills, prescription painkillers, and antacids containing calcium or aluminum. Taking too many laxatives can also cause constipation.

What should I do if I’m constipated?

An episode of constipation now and then is usually nothing serious, so you can use home remedies to ease the passage of hardened stool. Natural laxatives like bran cereal and prunes usually can help. It’s also necessary to drink lots of water.

Longer-term, lifestyle changes are the most effective way to reduce the likelihood of getting constipation. Eat more fiber and exercise regularly to keep your digestive system healthy. Keep drinking lots of water every day, and if you’re stressed, find ways to relieve the problem.

Before you take any over-the-counter medications for constipation, talk to the Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford team for advice. They can tell you which medication to try and provide other helpful information.

You should also call the team if your constipation becomes a chronic or recurring problem or you experience other symptoms like:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Trapped gas
  • Bloody stools
  • Unexplained weight loss

Other signs to look out for include severe pain during a bowel movement and any other obvious changes in color or shape of your stool. You might need to undergo tests like blood tests or a colonoscopy for underlying health problems.

If you’re having problems with constipation, call Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford to schedule a consultation or book your appointment online.

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