Straining to make a bowel movement when you really feel the need to go can be downright frustrating if not painful, and it’s a symptom of one of the most common digestive disorders in our country today—chronic constipation.
If you or someone you know is struggling with this health concern, there’s an opportunity next week to learn more about what causes it as well as strategies to manage the symptoms. Board-certified gastroenterologist Dr. Maria Johnson will host a Sept. 12 information session at the Hartford Hospital Wellness Center at Blue Back Square. This event in West Hartford is free, and runs from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Dr. Johnson will give a presentation and take your questions afterward.
Health complications aside, chronic constipation can have far-reaching consequences, from the ability to focus at work to simply spending time relaxing with loved ones or friends. The stress that comes with this condition can be tremendous, and that’s why knowledge is so critical—armed with facts about chronic constipation, those who suffer from it can curb their anxiety and take steps toward improving their health and regaining control of their lives.
Chronic constipation is responsible for more than 2 million doctor visits each year. Millions of dollars are spent on medications. The definition varies among different people. Infrequent bowel movements for weeks at a time is a common complaint, and those who suffer from the debilitating digestive order may have hard or formed stools, small stools or mix of all it all.
Complications that can come with chronic constipation include:
- Anal fissure (torn skin in the anus).
- Fecal impaction (stool that can’t be expelled).
- Hemorrhoids (straining can cause swelling in veins around the anus).
- Rectal prolapse (straining can cause the rectum to protrude from the anus).
Among the strategies to avoid chronic constipation, Johnson said, are adopting a diet that includes fewer processed foods and more high-fiber foods such as fruits and whole grain items.
Drinking plenty of fluids is a good habit, too.
It’s important to remember that symptoms and strategies vary from person to person, and that means the first and most critical step anyone can take is to talk to a physician to identify what’s happening and tailor solutions that could be the most effective.
Dr. Maria Johnson will host a free information session Sept. 12 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Hartford Hospital Wellness Center at Blue Back Square, 65 Memorial Road, Suite 425, in West Hartford. Registration is required for the hourlong event. Click here to sign up.