Having difficulty in the passing of stools and infrequent bowel movements lasting for several weeks or longer is constipation. During this condition, a person has less than three bowel movements a week. A gastroenterologist in Kolkata is experienced in treating constipation.
The main function of the colon is to absorb water from residual food while it passes through your digestive system. This creates a solid matter called the stool. When you have constipation, the food passes too slowly through the digestive tract. As a result of this, the colon gets more time and it absorbs too much water from the residual food. It makes the stool dry, hard and difficult to push out. This leads to constipation.
The causes of constipation include:
- Low-fibre diet
- Lack of exercise
- Changes in your daily routine
- Resisting the urge of having a bowel movement
- Certain medications
- Certain diseases
- Problems in the rectum or colon
- Misuse or overuse of laxatives
- Hormonal problems
You will have the following symptoms if you are suffering from constipation.
- Bowel movements less than three times a week
- Passing hard, dry stools
- Pain or straining during bowel movements
- Feeling full even after having a bowel movement
- Feeling that there is a blockage in the rectum
The risk is more if you are:
- An older adult
- A woman
- Having dehydration
- Not indulging in any physical activity
- Taking certain medications
- Having certain neurological disorders and digestive disorders
You should consult a top gastro specialist in Kolkata if you are suffering from constipation. He/she will ask you various questions about your bowel movements, medical history, lifestyle and daily routine. There will also be a thorough physical exam in which the doctor will check your temperature, blood pressure and pulse. He/she will carry out a rectal exam also. The following tests are necessary as they help the doctor to find out the cause of your constipation:
Lab tests: The doctor can detect signs of infection, inflammation and cancer from the lab tests of a stool sample.
Imaging tests: The doctor can take the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and lower gastrointestinal tract series to identify other causes of constipation.
Colonoscopy: The doctor views the inside of your colon with the help of a colonoscope (a tube with a camera and light source attached to it) in this procedure. He/she can also remove any polyps or take a small tissue sample (biopsy) to test for cancer.
Colorectal transit studies: You have to consume a short dose of a radioactive substance. It can be either in a pill form or in a meal. The doctor then tracks how the substance moves through your intestine and the time it takes.
To check how well your anus and rectum hold and release stool, the doctor may also suggest some other tests.
A gastro specialist in Kolkata will suggest some lifestyle changes that will help you to get relief from constipation. He/she will also prescribe some medicines to treat constipation. These medicines increase the secretions in your intestines and this makes the passing of the stool easy. You may have to stop certain medicines that cause constipation. If a structural problem in the colon is causing constipation, you may need to undergo surgery.