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Constipation

Samuel Cho, MD -  - Gastroenterologist

Samuel Cho, MD

Gastroenterologist located in Flushing, NY

Constipation is unpleasant and can lead to serious complications if left untreated. At his practice in Flushing, Queens, board-certified gastroenterologist Samuel Cho, MD, and his experienced team find the underlying cause of constipation and offer treatments that ease symptoms and drastically improve your quality of life. Call the New York City office today for an appointment or use the online scheduling tool.

Constipation Q & A

What is constipation?

Constipation occurs if you have three or fewer bowel movements within a week. Signs and symptoms of constipation include:

  • Stool that is difficult to pass
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Hard, dry stools
  • Lumpy stools
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Struggling to make a bowel movement

Almost everybody gets constipated from time to time, but if it persists for several weeks or interferes with your everyday life, check in with Dr. Cho to determine the cause and find a treatment that best matches your needs.

What causes constipation?

Constipation may occur because of lifestyle habits or an underlying medical condition. Examples include:

  • A low fiber diet
  • Dehydration
  • Too little physical activity
  • Older age
  • Certain medications
  • Chronic diseases
  • Other underlying medical conditions

Numerous diseases and medical problems can lead to constipation. Examples include intestinal blockages, rectal cancer, colon narrowing, a stroke, nerve damage, weak pelvic muscles, diabetes, thyroid problems, depression, eating disorders, and much more.

Complications associated with chronic constipation include hemorrhoids, torn skin near your anus, fecal impaction, and the protrusion of your intestines. Fecal impaction occurs when hardened stool accumulates in your intestines.

How is constipation treated?

When you arrive at the office, Dr. Cho reviews your symptoms and medical history. He may complete a physical exam or order blood tests, X-rays, a colonoscopy, or other gastrointestinal tests to detect underlying health conditions associated with constipation. Your personalized treatment plan might include:

  • Increasing fiber
  • Laxatives 
  • Medications
  • Dietary supplements
  • Pelvic muscle training
  • Surgery
  • Treatment of underlying medical conditions

Surgery for constipation is rarely necessary, but might be an option if you have chronic constipation caused by a blockage.

Can I prevent constipation?

You can’t always prevent constipation, but there are several ways to lower your risk of developing it. Examples include:

  • Get regular exercise
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other high-fiber foods
  • Take a fiber supplement
  • Eat fewer processed food
  • Use laxatives if your doctor recommends it
  • Find out if your medications cause constipation
  • Manage stress

Don’t let constipation lead to pain or discomfort when simple solutions are within reach at Dr. Samuel Cho, MD, PC. Schedule an appointment by phone or online today.

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