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Constipation

Murtaza Arif, MD -  - Gastroenterology

Katy Digestive Center

Murtaza Arif, MD

Gastroenterology located in Katy, TX

When using the bathroom becomes chronically difficult or painful, it may be time to seek treatment for constipation. At Katy Digestive Center in Katy, Texas, Murtaza Arif, MD, offers diagnostics for identifying the cause of frequent or chronic constipation. Dr. Arif provides compassionate, comprehensive care to alleviate pain and improve your digestive health and quality of life. If you have unexplained constipation issues, call the office now to schedule an appointment or use the convenient online booking system.

Constipation Q & A

What is constipation?

Constipation is a condition where it’s difficult to pass stool or you have infrequent bowel movements, typically three or less within a week.

Occasional constipation can be the result of the foods you eat or due to an acute illness. However, you can also develop chronic constipation that interferes with your overall health and quality of life.

What causes constipation?

Constipation can develop when your stool moves slowly through your digestive tract, causing it to dry out and become hard. This can make it difficult to pass the stool and have a successful bowel movement.

Common causes of chronic constipation include:

  • Bowel obstruction
  • Medications
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Muscular disorder

You may also experience constipation due to a hormonal imbalance or underlying diseases, like diabetes or a thyroid disorder.

Constipation can also result as you get older or if your diet lacks sufficient fiber. Certain medications, including antidepressants and high blood pressure medications, can cause constipation.

What are the risks of constipation?

Untreated chronic constipation can result in hemorrhoids, a condition where the veins in your anus swell. You can also tear anal tissue during straining to eliminate hard, dry stools.

In some cases, you can experience a condition known as rectal prolapse, where your intestine pushes through the rectum and protrudes from your anus.

What can I expect during my consultation for constipation?

During your initial consultation for chronic constipation, Dr. Arif reviews your medical history, your diet, and lifestyle habits to pinpoint a potential cause of your constipation. He performs a physical exam and may recommend a rectal exam to diagnose your constipation-related symptoms.

In cases where a physical and rectal exam isn’t enough to evaluate your digestive health, Dr. Arif may perform a colonoscopy, a diagnostic procedure that uses a flexible tube with an attached camera to explore the colon and rectum to check for abnormalities.

What treatments are available for constipation?

Initially, Dr. Arif may change your diet to increase your fiber intake and promote a healthy digestive tract. He can also provide medications, including laxatives or stool softeners, to make bowel movements easier.

For serious intestinal or bowel blockages due to structural abnormalities, Dr. Arif may recommend surgery.

If you’re struggling with painful or infrequent bowel movements, schedule a diagnostic consultation for constipation today. You can book an appointment online or by calling Katy Digestive Center.