Constipation occurs when bowel movements become infrequent, slow or simply difficult to pass. Although many people experience constipation at some point during their life, the problem can become serious if pain is present or if the stools become impacted. In some cases, bowel obstruction develops, requiring medical intervention. Even when constipation is an occasional issue, it can still seriously interfere with quality of life and lead to discomfort and pain.
Causes of Constipation
The good news is that most cases of constipation are due to simple-to-resolve issues such as poor fiber or liquid intake. Some medications can also cause constipation, as can a lack of physical activity. Making changes in your daily habits or asking your doctor to switch your medication to a different drug might help resolve the issue.
If such changes do not resolve constipation, visiting a pelvic health specialist becomes essential to determine any underlying pelvic floor issues and develop a treatment plan to address your symptoms.
First Treatment Steps
Addressing simple issues like diet is a good way to start dealing with constipation. For example, adding more fiber to the diet or drinking more water can sometimes resolve the problem or at least ease some of the more serious symptoms, such as bloating and pain.
Some prescription medications, including diabetes and hypothyroidism drugs, can cause constipation. During your initial consultation, let Dr. Grace know of any medication you are taking so this can be taken into account when formulating a treatment plan.
Pelvic floor dysfunction can sometimes cause constipation, so physical therapy can become an important part of your treatment.The pelvic floor muscles play a key role in defecation, as they must relax in order for the abdomen to contract and push stool out. People who suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction may have difficulty relaxing their pelvic floor muscles and as a result have more difficulty passing stool.
Choosing a Form of Treatment
Determining what’s causing the constipation is essential to choosing the correct form of treatment. Without a proper consultation, it might be difficult to address the problem properly.
During your initial consultation and examination with Dr. Erika Grace, clues to your constipation issues will be uncovered. For example, high pelvic floor muscle tone, hemorrhoids or other abnormalities may be contributing to your issues.
If pelvic floor dysfunction is determined to be behind the constipation problem, biofeedback can be used. Biofeedback can help you understand how to properly contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles. Learning to control the movement of these muscles can aid in defecation, especially when combined with other forms of pelvic health therapy. Biofeedback is extremely effective for pelvic floor dysfunction treatment and can sometimes solve associated issues of constipation quicker than any other form of treatment.
If your current dietary choices are not optimal, Dr. Grace can also discuss with you how to increase your intake of fiber and liquids to help with constipation.
If you are suffering from ongoing issues with constipation, call Dr. Erika Grace today to schedule a consultation. She will help give you the tools you need to improve and manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.