CAN MEDICATIONS CAUSE CONSTIPATION?
Yes. Pain killers, tranquilizers, psychiatric medications, blood pressure medications, diuretics, iron, calcium, and antacids all can contribute to constipation.
WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR ABOUT MY CONSTIPATION?
Any persistent change in bowel habits, increase or decrease in stool size, or difficulty evacuating warrants evaluation. If symptoms last longer than 3 weeks or there is bleeding, consult your physician.
CAN THE CAUSE OF CONSTIPATION BE DETERMINED?
A history, including medical problems and medications will be taken. A physical exam and digital rectal exam will be done. Tests include xrays, marker studies, colonoscopy, ano-rectal manometry and nerve testing. These tests usually give results, but in some cases no cause may be found.
HOW IS CONSTIPATION TREATED?
Most treatments include dietary changes, increase fluid intake, and fiber supplements.