How do you feel about our website?
Great   Indifferent

When to See a Doctor About Constipation

Even though it’s not easy to talk about constipation, it’s a very common problem. If you’re one of the 2.5 million people who deal with constipation, you might wonder when it’s time to pause the at-home treatments and see a doctor.

Here at Atlantic Medical Group, gastroenterologist Eric Ibegbu, MD, and our expert team are pros when it comes to providing constipation relief. We don’t just mask the problem. We pinpoint the cause of your constipation so you can get lasting relief.

Read on to learn more about this condition and the signs that it’s time to give us a call.

Is constipation common?

Constipation refers to infrequent or hard-to-pass stools. You might also feel bloated or incomplete after using the restroom. Constipation is normal, and there are many factors that contribute to bouts with constipation, including:

Pregnant women may also experience constipation more often during their pregnancy. About 75% of expectant mothers deal with constipation at least once. 

What happens if constipation is left untreated? 

Many people get relief from occasional constipation by drinking more water, consuming more fiber intake, and increasing physical activity

Lifestyle habits aren’t the only cause of constipation. Sometimes constipation can occur as the result of IBS or blockages in your colon. If a blockage in your colon or a problem with your muscles is increasing constipation, at-home treatments won’t be enough for you to feel better.

We know that constipation isn’t the easiest topic to bring up, but don’t let your symptoms go unchecked. Prolonged constipation can increase your risk of unwanted complications including hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, or fecal impaction.  

When to seek medical attention

Occasional constipation isn’t unusual, but chronic or prolonged constipation can be a sign of other underlying issues. Consider seeking medical attention if you’ve been dealing with constipation for three weeks without any relief from at-home remedies. 

You might also need medical attention if:

Constipation can cause stomach discomfort, but if your pain is severe, you might be dealing with a medical emergency such as appendicitis or perforated intestines. Vomiting in conjunction with constipation may also be a sign of fecal impaction, which requires swift medical attention.

Here at Atlantic Medical Group, our first task is to determine what’s causing your constipation. We guide you through your next steps, whether that’s supplements, lifestyle changes, or mediations. If needed, we may suggest surgery to eliminate any blockages.

Don’t brush off the symptoms of constipation. To explore your options and get the relief you need, call our Kinston or Jacksonville, North Carolina, office today. You can also request an appointment online or fill out this form.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Avoid These Foods if You Have IBS

If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you may notice that certain foods trigger a flare-up. But which foods are the most common offenders? Continue reading to learn about some of the foods you should avoid if you have IBS.

Benefits of Nonsurgical Weight Loss

Do you need help losing weight but don’t want to undergo weight loss surgery? Nonsurgical weight loss procedures might be right for you. Read on to explore the top benefits of nonsurgical weight loss.

Complications of Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is known for causing heartburn and indigestion, but is there more? In this blog, we dive into the three complications of untreated (or undertreated) acid reflux and how we can help you manage acid reflux.

Who’s At Risk for Colon Cancer?

Knowing your risk for colon cancer can help you determine when (and how often) you need a colon cancer screening. In this blog, we share the risk factors for colon cancer and what you can do to lower your risk.

Do I Just Have to Live With Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux causes heartburn, a burning sensation in your throat, and it can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. But are you stuck with these symptoms forever? Here are six lifestyle tips to help you get comfortable.

4 Symptoms of Hemorrhoids

Talking about hemorrhoids can be embarrassing, but the sooner you get treatment, the better you will feel. Read on to explore four symptoms of hemorrhoids and how to tell you when you need more than at-home care.