Constipation

Constipation

WHAT IS CONSTIPATION? – Constipation means that a person has three bowel movements or fewer in a week. The stool is hard and dry. Sometimes it is painful to pass. You may feel ‘draggy’ and full. Some people think they should have a bowel movement every day. That is not really true. There is no ‘right’ number of bowel moments. Each person’s body finds its own normal number of bowel movements. It depends on the food you eat, how much you exercise, and other things. At one time or another, almost everyone gets constipated. In most cases, it lasts for a short time and is not serious. When you understand what causes constipation, you can take steps to prevent it.

WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT CONSTIPATION? – Changing what you eat and drink and how much you exercise will help relieve and prevent constipation. Here are some steps you can take.

  • Eat more fiber. Fiber helps form soft, bulky stool. It is found in many vegetables, fruits, and grains. Be sure to add fiber a little at a time, so your body gets used to it slowly. Limit foods that have little to no fiver such as ice cream, cheese, meat, snacks like chips and pizza, and processed foods such as instant mashed potatoes or frozen dinners. The chart below lists some high-fiber foods.
  • Drink plenty of water and other liquids such as fruit and vegetable juices and clear soups. Liquid helps keep the stool soft and easy to pass, so it’s important to drink enough fluids. Try not to drink liquids that contain caffeine and alcohol, both tend to dry out your digestive system.
  • Get enough exercise. Regular exercise helps your digestive system stay active and healthy. You don’t need to become a great athlete. A 20 to 30-minute walk ever day may help.
  • Allow yourself enough time to have a bowel movement. Sometimes we feel so hurried that we don’t pay attention to our body’s needs. Make sure you don’t ignore the urge to have a bowel movement.
  • Use laxatives only if a doctor says you should. Laxatives are medicines that will make you pass a stool. Most people who are mildly constipated do not need laxatives. However, if you are doing all the right things and you are still constipated, your doctor may recommend laxatives for a limited time. Your doctor will tell you if you need a laxative and what type is best for you. Laxatives come in many forms: liquid, chewing gum, pills, and powder that you mix with water, for example.
  • Check with your doctor about any medicines you take. Some medicines can cause constipation. They include calcium pills, pain pills with codeine in them, some antacids, iron pills, diuretics, and medicines for depression. If you take medicine for another problem, ask your doctor whether it could cause constipation.
FruitsVegetablesBreads, Cereals, Beans
ApplesAcorn squashCooked black-eyed peas
PeachesRaw BroccoliKidney Beans
RaspberriesRaw BrusselsLima Beans
TangerinesSproutsCold All-Bran
Raw CabbageTotal Bran
Raw CarrotsWhole-Grain Cereal
Raw CauliflowerHot Oatmeal
Raw SpinachWhole-wheat
Seven-grain Bread

Gastroenterologist Services

Click on one of the services below to learn more.

Patient Reviews

" I have been having my endoscopy with Dr. Kamath for the past 4 years. I would recommend anyone to have their procedures done at this facility. The staff is professional, loving and efficient. Everyone knows what they are doing so there’s no confusion. Dr. Kamath greets me with a smile each time I’ve met him and handled my visits to his office like I’m a human being and never a number. The facility is clean . Smells and looks great and my favorite of all is… I never wait long. The office gives you an appointment, and they take you on time. I’ll go to dr Kamath and recommend him always."
- Ruth Ilyas

Our Locations

Florida Digestive Services – St. Pete
5651 49th Street
St. Petersburg, FL 33709
Tel: (727) 443-4299   Fax: (727) 443-0255

Florida Digestive Services – Clearwater
1417 South Belcher Road, Suite A
Clearwater, FL 33764
Tel: (727) 443-4299   Fax: (727) 443-0255

Bay Area Endoscopy and Surgery Center
5771 49th St North
St. Petersburg, FL 33709
Tel: (727) 528-2261 

Our Hospitals

Northside Hospital
6000 49th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33709
Tel: (727) 521-5158

St. Petersburg General Hospital
6500 38th Ave North
St Petersburg, FL 33710
Tel: (727) 461-8057