Understanding Constipation - From occasional issues to chronic conditions
Constipation is a common gastrointestinal issue that is defined by difficult or infrequent bowel movements. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of Americans suffer from occasional constipation issues, but for some patients, constipation is a chronic issue.
While normal bowel movements range from a few times a day to more than three times a week, constipation is often characterized as fewer than three bowel movements a week and/or the production of hard or dry stools. Constipation is mostly a temporary issue, but when it becomes more frequent, chronic or severe, Dr. Murrell should be consulted for some of the most comprehensive constipation treatments Los Angeles offers.
What causes Constipation?
Constipation may be as simple as not eating enough fiber or drinking enough water to a more complex cause, ranging from obstructions in the bowel, complications from spinal cord injuries or as a symptom of health conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson's disease. Certain medication also may cause constipation or slowed bowel movements.
When to see Dr. Murrell for Constipation
When constipation symptoms such as decreased or difficult bowel movements persists for more than three weeks, it is time to book an appointment with Dr. Murrell, a Los Angeles proctologist. It is important to note if a patient is having bloody stools. If this is the case, Dr. Murrell should be contacted immediately.
Constipation Treatments in Los Angeles
When Dr. Murrell first sees a patient for constipation issues, a full medical history is discussed along with a digital exam of rectum. A more thorough exam may be the next step, which may include an imaging study of the colon and intestines to help indentify any physical causes including polyps, obstructions or tumors. Other tests may look at the reflexes of the anal or intestinal muscles or a series of x-ray tests to evaluate the anal and/or rectal functions.
For many of Dr. Murrell’s patients, constipation treatments focus on changes to one’s diet. Dr. Murrell will work closely with a patient to design a diet that is high in fiber, whole grains, fruits and vegetables along with increasing the amount of water a patient consumes daily. For some patients, fiber supplements may be recommended to relieve constipation issues. The use of suppositories or laxatives may be directed for more difficult cases. However, patients undergoing this type of constipation treatment in Los Angeles would need to be supervised closely by Dr. Murrell. Surgical treatments for constipation are very rare.
Don’t Live in Discomfort. Schedule a Consultation Today.
Dr. Zuri Murrell understands how constipation issues can range from mildly uncomfortable to severely painful, knows how these issues can interfere with your normal life and sense of well-being. There is no reason to the endure discomfort associated with chronic constipation. Call us at (323) 302-5327 or click here to schedule your treatment with Dr. Murrell today.