Colon and Rectal Surgery of Manhattan, P.C.
Colorectal Surgeons & Proctologists located in Manhattan, New York, NY
Constipation can be very uncomfortable. At Colon and Rectal Surgery of Manhattan, our doctors can obtain a diagnosis and begin treatment right away to ensure that New York City, NY patients are feeling better as soon as possible.
Constipation Q & A
What does being constipated mean?
Being constipated means bowel movements have become difficult or are occurring less frequently. It typically occurs for everyone at some point, and it is not typically a sign of something more serious. It can be very uncomfortable, however. The typical length of time between movements will vary widely from individual to individual. Some individuals have movements up to three times a day while others will have them maybe once or twice in a week. Three or more days without one can be too long, however. After this period, the stool becomes harder and more difficult to pass.
What are the symptoms?
People may experience:
- Little to no bowel movements
- Trouble having a bowel movement and straining
- Hard or small stools
- A feeling that everything did not come out
- Swollen abdomen
- Abdominal discomfort
Why does it happen?
Causes of constipation can include:
- Antacid medicines which contain calcium or aluminum
- Fluctuations in typical diet or activities
- Colon cancer
- Consuming a large amount of dairy products.
- Eating disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Neurological conditions including Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis
- Poor activity levels
- Dehydration or lack of fiber in the diet
- Overuse of laxatives which can weaken the bowel muscles
- Issues with the nerves and muscles in the digestive system
- Avoiding and delaying bowel movements, which some individuals do because of hemorrhoids
- Some medications, particularly strong pain medications including narcotics, antidepressants, or iron pills
- Under active thyroid; known as hypothyroidism
How do doctors diagnose it?
If you are having difficulty with your bowel movements for longer than two weeks, scheduling an appointment with your doctor will be the best way to find out what is causing it. Tests used to determine the cause of the constipation include:
- Blood tests to monitor hormone levels
- Barium studies where the patient drinks a special liquid to find blockages in the colon
- Colonoscopy or other tests to check for blockages in the colon
Accepted Insurance Plans
Our practice accepts most major insurance plans and most of the smaller insurance plans. If we do not participate with your insurance and your plan allows out of network benefits, our office staff will assist you with the necessary paperwork so you can receive reimbursement directly from your insurance company. If you do not see your insurance listed below, please call the office to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members about your individual coverage.