Constipation in Utah
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What is constipation?
Constipation is one of the more common GI symptoms and describes when an individual experiences fewer than three bowel movements in the span of a week. Constipation happens when the stool in the GI tract is too dry and hard. Stool will become dry if it migrates too slowly through the GI system or remains in the large bowel for an extended time. If you experience less than three bowel movements within one week, we encourage you to consult a gastrointestinal specialist at Utah Gastroenterology. Call our gastroenterology team in Utah today to reserve a consultation.
What causes constipation?
There are several health conditions that may cause your stool to pass through your colon more slowly than normal. Some reasons for constipation involve:
- Cancer of the rectum
- A bowel blockage
- Colon stricture
- Damaged nerves around the rectum or colon
- Colorectal cancer
- Rectum bulge through the back wall of the vagina
- Anal fissure
Are there ways to relieve constipation?
In some cases, constipation can be relieved with a few lifestyle modifications. Some healthy habits to incorporate to help you prevent constipation involve:
- Getting regular exercise
- Consuming more dietary fiber
- Avoiding dairy products
- Taking prebiotics and probiotics
- Consuming more water
Select nonprescription medications can be a helpful way to alleviate constipation. However, we advise talking with one of our Utah gastrointestinal doctors first, because constipation can sometimes point to a more serious condition.
What foods have high amounts of fiber?
If you are trying to incorporate more fiber-rich foods into your diet, consider the following foods:
- Acorn squash, raw cauliflower, raw carrots, raw spinach, raw Brussels sprouts, raw broccoli, raw cabbage
- Cooked black-eyed peas, cooked zucchini
- Whole-grain cereal, cold All-Bran, Total Bran Flakes, hot oatmeal
- Lima beans, kidney beans
- Peaches, raspberries, apples, tangerines
- Seven-grain bread, whole-wheat bread, Wheatena®
For additional details on altering your eating habits, please call Utah Gastroenterology to partner with one of our licensed dietitians.
When should you see a GI doctor about constipation?
Constipation is a very common issue that most people have experienced at some point in their lives. Chronic constipation, however, can be indicative of a more serious condition. If constipation has been affecting your life on a more frequent basis, please visit a GI physician at your earliest convenience. Along with identifying, treating, and helping to manage digestive conditions, the GI experts at Utah Gastroenterology can screen for more serious illnesses. To receive help for constipation in Utah, please get in touch with our team today.
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