Constipation is a digestive disorder in which a person experiences difficulty in performing bowel movements or cannot perform them altogether. Constipation is a moderate disorder, however, it can lead to complications and it can cause serious discomfort if not resolved in a timely manner. Constipation is also characterized by hardened fecal matter, bloating, cramping, and frequent stomach pains. Dr. Davidson, a Los Angeles resident and digestive specialist, has years of experience treating conditions such as constipation. As a gastroenterologist, he is an authority on the digestive process, complications that occur within it, and how to alleviate problems of digestion.
There are many reasons why a person may become constipated. Often, understanding why disorders occur can lead to clues about how to solve them. To begin, proper diet is a key factor in digestion. A proper diet includes nutrients, more specifically insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber passes through the digestive system, it gathers moisture and makes the passing of bowel movements easier. Improper hydration is another cause of constipation. A digestive system without water will experience stress and friction. Just like getting the oil changed in your car allows the parts to work properly, so too does the body need water to provide lubrication.
Another condition, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, can also exacerbate the symptoms of constipation. When patients have this condition and choose not to have treatment, the symptoms may persist or further advances. If obstructed defection occurs, long-term damage may occur to the colon.
A dietitian once said, “the best medicine is good food”. Adding foods rich in fiber such as: spaghetti, barley, bran flakes, avocados, berries, artichokes, etc. will ease moderate cases of constipation. The recommended amount of fiber per day is 10 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories of food. Therefore, in order to prevent constipation, if you consume 2,000 calories per day, you should try to include 20 grams of fiber as well. If you find it difficult to include enough fibrous foods in your diet, fiber supplements work just as well and are readily available in grocery and pharmaceutical stores.
Unfortunately, eating a proper diet doesn’t doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be affected by constipation, nor is it guaranteed to cure constipation. That’s why it’s important to understand alternative treatments to constipation. These include: laxatives, stool softeners, and enemas. All of these stimulate the intestines and induce bowel movements. None of these alternatives should be used as a long-term solution, or misused. Long-term use of these products can actually cause constipation and other serious health issues. They should be used circumstantially or under the supervision of your doctor/physician.
Prolonged bouts of constipation can have serious side effects. Vomiting, nausea, anal fissures, bleeding, and leakage, are all examples of conditions prolonged constipation can cause.
Constipation has over-the-counter solutions and can also be treated with natural compounds. At Dr. Davidson’s practice, the most effective and personalized treatment plans can be formulated after a scheduled consultation.
If you or someone you know is experiencing prolonged or frequent episodes of constipation, there may be a greater underlying issue. Let Dr. Davidson help you understand what you can do to alleviate chronic constipation. Serious cases of constipation will require more in-depth analysis and Dr. Davidson can provide numerous specialized services to get your digestion under control.