Constipation And Diarrhea

Prima Medicine -  - Internal Medicine

Prima Medicine

Internal Medicine located in Fairfax, VA & South Riding, VA

Constipation and diarrhea are two of the most common gastrointestinal complaints. If you have ever experienced either, you know just how frustrating they can be. The team of doctors and nurse practitioners at Prima Medicine in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia, are very experienced in helping their patients effectively treat symptoms of constipation and diarrhea, getting them back to enjoying their everyday lives. Call or go online today to schedule your appointment.

Constipation and Diarrhea Q & A

What is constipation?

While everyone has different bowel habits and experiences different lengths of time between their bowel movements, constipation is classified as an unnaturally long period of time between movements. Usually, any time longer than three days is considered constipation.

When you don’t move your bowels often, your stool becomes harder and more difficult to pass. Most people experience constipation at some point in their lives, and while often not serious, it can be very uncomfortable.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty having a bowel movement
  • Hard stools
  • Bloating
  • A feeling that not everything came out
  • Infrequent bowel movements

Fortunately, relief is available. The team at Prima Medicine are experts at managing and treating constipation. At-home treatments are also available for mild constipation.

How do you treat constipation?

Many steps can be taken to effectively treat mild constipation. These include:

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Eating prunes
  • Drinking four extra glasses of water per day
  • Drinking warm liquids
  • Exercising frequently
  • Taking a laxative

If your constipation does not go away or you experience frequent constipation, it’s important to seek professional medical care.

What is diarrhea?

If constipation is characterized by infrequent and hard stools, diarrhea can be thought of as the opposite. Like constipation, however, it is very common to get and usually not serious, although it can be quite annoying. People with diarrhea have loose, often watery stools, and could have the need to move their bowels more frequently.

Other symptoms of diarrhea include:

  • Cramps
  • Feeling of urgency to move your bowels
  • Bloating
  • Nausea

Diarrhea can sometimes be a cause for concern. Call your doctor if you experience more serious symptoms. These include:

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Bloody stools
  • Diarrhea lasting longer than two days
  • Severe abdominal pain

Again, diarrhea is often not serious and usually clears up on its own. Simple treatments are available.

How is diarrhea treated?

A number of treatments are available. Medications such as bismuth subsalicylate and loperamide can bring relief from frequent and loose stools. It is also very important to drink plenty of fluids to ensure that you don’t become dehydrated due to the increased loss of fluids that diarrhea causes. If your diarrhea persists, it’s important to seek medical care.

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a medical disorder that can cause both constipation and diarrhea. It affects a large number of Americans and can be quite debilitating. If you experience frequent diarrhea or constipation, it’s important to get professional medical care.

Don’t wait. Call or go online today to schedule your appointment with the team at Prima Medicine and get the relief that you need.