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Constipation & Diarrhea

Gastroenterology located in St. Clair Shores and Macomb, MI
Constipation & Diarrhea

Constipation & Diarrhea services offered in St. Clair Shores and Macomb, MI

Constipation and diarrhea are such common problems that no one imagines they may end up needing a doctor. But when either condition doesn’t improve, you receive compassionate and understanding care from the team at G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C. As gastroenterologists, they’re experts in treating constipation and diarrhea, whether the conditions occur alone or together with an underlying digestive problem. To schedule an appointment, call the office in St. Clair Shores or Macomb, Michigan.

Constipation & Diarrhea Q&A

What is constipation?

Constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. But that’s not a hard and fast rule, and the definition changes based on your usual bathroom habits.

You have constipation when you have fewer bowel movements than usual, and problems such as:

  • Hard, dry stools
  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement
  • Straining to have a bowel movement
  • Feeling like you can't empty your bowels

Many people also experience abdominal cramping and bloating.

What is diarrhea?

You don’t need anyone to explain diarrhea, but you may be interested in knowing that doctors typically define it as having loose stools three or more times a day.

Acute diarrhea only lasts a day or two and gets better. You can also develop chronic diarrhea that lasts longer than four weeks.

As a general guideline, you should consider getting help at G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C. when you have:

  • Diarrhea lasting longer than two days
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody or black stools
  • A fever

If you let diarrhea go on too long, you lose a lot of fluids and end up dehydrated.

What causes constipation and diarrhea?

Though constipation and diarrhea are opposites, both conditions can arise from many of the same problems, including:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Food intolerances and allergies
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Viral infections
  • Imbalanced gut bacteria
  • Certain medications
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

Other problems can cause just one of these conditions. For example, constipation often occurs if you don’t get enough dietary fiber or have a blocked colon, while sugar substitutes and magnesium supplements can cause diarrhea.

How are constipation and diarrhea treated?

The team at G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C., diagnoses and treats any underlying conditions. They also provide treatments that directly deal with your constipation or diarrhea, such as:

Dietary changes

Different types of dietary changes can help get constipation and diarrhea under control. If you don’t consume enough dietary fiber, you may need to make long-term changes to prevent constipation.

Medications

Medications for diarrhea may slow the movement of food through your digestive tract or regulate fluids, while laxatives treat constipation by adding bulk or water or stimulating muscle contractions. When over-the-counter products don’t help, your provider can give you prescription-strength medications.

Enemas and suppositories

These treat severe constipation or impacted stool.

If you need help with constipation or diarrhea, call G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C.

4.6962