Jeffrey Crespin, MD
Gastroenterology & Hepatology located in Midtown West, New York, NY
The discomfort of constipation is generally short-lived, but severe or repeated blockages can be extremely uncomfortable. If you have chronic or painful constipation, Jeffrey Crespin, MD, can help. He offers prompt and accurate diagnosis and treatment of constipation at his three New York City locations in Manhattan. To schedule an appointment, call one of Dr. Crespin's offices in Midtown West, Midtown East, or the Upper East Side, or book your visit online today.
Constipation Q & A
What is constipation?
Constipation is a problem that most people experience now and then, where your stool hardens so much you have difficulties passing it. That can make your rectum feel uncomfortable and cause anal pain and tearing when the stool finally emerges.
Most often, the causes of constipation aren't serious, and your stools pass within a day or two. However, it can sometimes be a symptom of a digestive disorder. If you have severe constipation, the stool can build up until it forms a plug. This is a fecal impaction and requires urgent treatment.
Why do I get constipation?
There are many reasons why you might get constipation. The most likely are that your diet is low in fiber and you're not drinking sufficient water. Other possible causes include:
- Dietary changes
- Excess of dairy foods
- Lack of exercise and immobility
- Trying to retain stools
- Laxative abuse
- Eating disorders
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Digestive system nerve and muscle disorders
Medications including antidepressants, iron pills, strong painkillers like codeine, and antacids containing calcium or aluminum can also cause constipation.
In most cases, you can avoid constipation by making healthy changes to your lifestyle, such as exercising regularly and eating a high-fiber diet.
What should I do if I have constipation?
If you experience the odd bout of constipation, taking natural laxatives such as bran cereal and prunes can help, and make sure you drink lots of water. Laxatives are medicines that help to soften the stool, but you should check with Dr. Crespin to see if they're suitable for you.
If your constipation goes on for several weeks or you're in severe pain when you try to open your bowels, you should call Dr. Crespin for advice. You also need to contact him if you experience other issues in addition to constipation, such as:
- Severe abdominal pain or cramps
- Being unable to pass gas
- Blood in your stools
- Significant changes in size, shape, or consistency of stools
- Unintended weight loss
If you have persistent constipation and lifestyle changes aren't helping, or you experience any of these other symptoms, Dr. Crespin can find the cause. In addition to performing a thorough physical exam, he might take a blood sample to check your hormone levels or run muscle function tests. You might need to undergo a colonoscopy to look for blockages.
For effective long-term relief of the discomfort constipation causes, call Jeffrey Crespin, MD, today or book an appointment online.