Constipation Specialist

Gina Sam, MD, MPH -  - Gastroenterologist

Gina Sam, MD, MPH

Gastroenterologist & Wellness Center located in Midtown, New York, NY

Your diet may slow your digestion and bowel movements from time to time. However, if you go for more than three days without a bowel movement, you’re experiencing constipation. If you struggle to pass stools and suffer from abdominal cramping, contact gastroenterologist and wellness expert, Dr. Gina Sam. She offers customized treatments to improve your digestive flow and reduce constipation from her practice in New York. Call or schedule an appointment online for help today.

Constipation

What is constipation?

“Normal” bowel movements vary greatly from person to person with some people passing stool several times a day and other much less frequently. Constipation is a condition where you have fewer than three bowel movements in a week. When you do have a bowel movement, you strain to pass stool, which is often hard and dry.

Constipation is typically acute, which means it comes on suddenly and doesn’t last long.

Constipation symptoms include:

  • Infrequent bowel movements
  • Straining to pass stool
  • Small, hard, or dry stools
  • Feeling like everything didn’t come out
  • Abdominal bloating

What causes constipation?

A variety of factors can contribute to constipation including your diet, lifestyle, medical conditions, and certain medications. If food stays in your colon for too long, your body absorbs too much water. This makes your stool hard, dry, and difficult for your rectal muscles to push out.

Some of the factors that contribute to constipation include:

Dietary factors

  • Lack of fiber
  • Low fluid intake
  • Inadequate food consumption and eating disorders

Lifestyle factors

  • Low physical activity levels
  • Traveling or changes to your usual routine
  • Stress
  • Frequent use of enemas or laxatives
  • Ignoring the urge to pass stool

Medical factors

  • Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, colon polyps, multiple sclerosis, hypothyroidism, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease
  • Medications like antidepressants, some pain-killers, iron supplements, Parkinson’s disease drugs, and calcium channel blockers

When should I see a doctor about constipation?

You should contact Dr. Sam if you develop sudden and severe constipation when you can’t have a bowel movement or pass gas, or experience severe cramping or pain in your belly. Other signs you need medical attention include:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Severe pain with bowel movements
  • Constipation symptoms have lasted for more than two weeks

How is constipation treated?

As a leading gastroenterologist, Dr. Sam offers comprehensive diagnosis and customized treatments for constipation. Depending on the cause of your condition, she provides lifestyle modifications and treatments to ease your symptoms and improve your digestive function.

Some lifestyle modifications include:

  • Increase your water intake - aim for 100 ounces every day
  • Add fiber to your diet including fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Reduce the dairy products and caffeine in your diet
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day

Dr. Sam can also prescribe medications like laxatives to help food move through your digestive tract.

If your constipation is caused by an obstruction, rectal prolapse, or other functional problem, Dr. Sam offers procedures to remove blockages and restore full functionality.

Call or book an appointment online for effective treatments for constipation today.