Specialists in Gastroenterology
Board Certified Gastroenterologists located in St. Louis, MO
If having a bowel movement is painful or frequently difficult, you can find solutions to treat chronic constipation at Specialists in Gastroenterology. The St. Louis, Missouri, office is fully equipped with diagnostic testing services, including anorectal manometry, to pinpoint the underlying cause of your constipation. The board-certified gastroenterologists use the information to design a treatment plan that regulates your bowel movements and prevents anal tears and other complications. To schedule an office visit or diagnostic testing for constipation, call or book online today.
Constipation Q & A
What causes constipation?
Constipation describes difficulty passing stool or infrequent bowel movements, usually less than three a week. This condition develops when stool moves through your digestive system too slowly and causes it to become dry and hard.
You might develop occasional constipation due to your diet or dehydration. If your constipation is chronic, it might be due to underlying medical conditions like:
- Rectal or colon cancer
- Intestinal blockages
- Dysfunction in your anal muscles
- Use of certain medications
Specialists in Gastroenterology determines the root cause of chronic constipation and customizes a treatment plan to protect your gastrointestinal health.
You should schedule a diagnostic evaluation for constipation if you have difficulty passing stool or feel like you can’t completely eliminate stool when you use the bathroom.
How is constipation diagnosed?
To get a better understanding of your lifestyle and diet, your provider takes time to learn more about your eating and exercise habits, and reviews your health history.
Specialists in Gastroenterology offers several on-site tests to identify the cause of constipation, including:
Anorectal manometry is a diagnostic test that uses a very thin tube to measure the pressure of the muscles in your rectum. It can determine if muscle weakness or dysfunction is causing your constipation.
The SmartPill motility testing system collects information about the temperature, pH, and pressure inside your GI tract. The system uses a wireless transmitter that you swallow to record this information, which your provider downloads to a computer for review.
How is constipation treated?
Treatment for constipation depends on its underlying cause. Specialists in Gastroenterology customizes a care plan that reduces the frequency and severity of your constipation and prevents complications like anal tears and hemorrhoids.
In general, you can expect to make changes to your diet to ensure you’re getting enough fiber. You also need to get physical exercise every day for at least 30 minutes to improve the activity in your intestines.
You might need to take stool softeners or laxatives to make it easier to pass stool and you shouldn’t ignore the urge to go to the bathroom.
If you have an obstruction in your bowels that causes chronic constipation, you might need surgery to remove it and preserve the health of your lower GI tract.
To find out which treatment options for constipation are right for you, schedule a consultation online or by calling Specialists in Gastroenterology today.