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Constipation Specialist

Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC

Robert M Narvaez, MD, MBA

Digestive Healthcare Center & Gastroenterologist located in San Antonio, TX

When having a bowel movement feels challenging, uncomfortable, or terribly painful, you likely have constipation. This common condition can occur both on its own or as a symptom of an underlying gastrointestinal disorder. At Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC, renowned gastroenterologist Robert Narvaez, MD, MBA, uses the most advanced medical innovations to diagnose and treat your constipation. For constipation relief, call the San Antonio, Texas, office or use the online booking tool.

Constipation

What is constipation?

Constipation is a bowel function issue that causes infrequent or painful bowel movements. Bowel movement frequency can vary from one person to another, but in general, doctors may diagnose constipation if you have fewer than three bowel movements a week. 

What are the symptoms of constipation?

Constipation symptoms often include:

  • Discomfort or pain during bowel movements
  • Abdominal cramping before bowel movements
  • Straining to have a bowel movement
  • Hard stools 
  • Small, pellet-like stools
  • Feeling that bowels are full, even after a bowel movement
  • Bloated feeling

Sometimes, you can also have bowel leakage that resembles diarrhea when you’re constipated. This could be a sign that you have a blockage, and the stool is leaking out around it. 

What causes constipation?

Constipation can occur on its own or as a symptom of an underlying condition. When constipation appears on its own, it’s often due to:

  • Eating too little fiber 
  • Too little hydration
  • Eating a lot of fatty and sugary foods
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Eating a low calorie diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle (not exercising)
  • Taking opioid medications like codeine or hydrocodone 
  • Delaying bowel movements
  • Sudden dietary changes 

Constipation is sometimes a symptom of an underlying condition such as irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, neurological disease, diabetes, or thyroid dysfunction. 

How do you treat constipation?

At Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC, Dr. Narvaez reviews your symptoms, performs an exam, and may run imaging tests if he suspects an underlying disease or condition. He prescribes specific treatment approaches according to your individual needs. 

Often, lifestyle changes are the most essential part of your constipation treatment. You may need to change your diet, take supplemental fiber, boost your water intake, and start exercising more frequently to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal system and eliminate constipation. 

Dr. Narvaez recommends establishing a routine, attempting a bowel movement at the same time each day. You may also need to change or adjust your medications if they’re contributing to your constipation. If other interventions don’t work, Dr. Narvaez may recommend laxative use. 

If you have an underlying disease, like inflammatory bowel disease, you could eventually need surgery to correct the problems within your intestines. 

Struggling with adult constipation? Don’t be embarrassed. It’s a common issue, and Dr. Narvaez can help. Call Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC, or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.