Constipation Specialist

Joseph Saracino, MD, FACG, FACP -  - Gastroenterology and Endoscopy

Joseph Saracino, MD, FACG, FACP

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy located in Kinston, NC

Occasional constipation is usually not a big deal, but if you have chronic or recurrent constipation, you can rely on the expertise of experienced gastroenterologist, Joseph Saracino, MD. At his office in Kinston, North Carolina, Dr. Saracino performs a physical exam and diagnostic testing to find the cause of your constipation. Through a customized treatment plan of medications and lifestyle changes, he can help you find relief from the discomfort of constipation. To schedule a diagnostic evaluation, call the office of Joseph Saracino, MD, or request an appointment online today.

Constipation Q & A

What is constipation?

Constipation is a common condition that describes bowel movements that are less frequent than normal. While bowel movements vary from person to person, you may have constipation if you go three or more days without having one.

When you haven’t moved your bowels for several days, stool becomes hard and more difficult to pass. This may result in a diagnosis of constipation.

What causes constipation?

There are a number of reasons why you may experience frequent constipation. Your diet is a primary factor in the condition, and if you’re not eating enough fiber or drinking enough water each day, you may be at increased risk for constipation.

Your lifestyle can also contribute to constipation. If you don’t engage in daily exercise, or you experience persistent stress or depression, you may be more likely to become constipated.

Other causes of constipation include:

  • Colon cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Weakened pelvic muscles

To rule out serious causes of constipation and to help Dr. Saracino create the right treatment plan, it’s important that you schedule a diagnostic evaluation for your frequent constipation.

How is constipation diagnosed?

To determine the root cause of your constipation, Dr. Saracino takes time to review your personal and family medical history, your lifestyle habits, and your diet.

He also physically examines your rectum to rule out obstructions or other problems. He may request a diagnostic procedure, like a colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy, which uses a lighted tube to evaluate your rectum and the lower part of your colon.

What treatments can alleviate constipation?

Your initial treatment for constipation may involve stool softeners to make it easier to have a bowel movement. Dr. Saracino can also work with you on dietary changes to ensure you’re getting enough fiber.

Depending on the frequency and severity of your constipation, Dr. Saracino may prescribe medications that help bring water into your intestines.

Laxatives can also treat constipation, but overuse of this type of medication can lead to loose rectal muscles that result in more serious complications.

Dr. Saracino also recommends increasing your daily exercise to keep you physically active and help you maintain a healthy body weight.

To find out more about your options for treating constipation, book an appointment online or call the office of Joseph Saracino, MD, today.