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Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division


Almost everyone experiences constipation at some point. But if you suffer from frequent or long-lasting constipation, the board-certified gastroenterologists at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division can help. They provide a comprehensive diagnosis and personalized treatment plan at their offices in Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, and Highland, New York. Call the practice today or schedule a consultation online if you have severe or chronic constipation.

Constipation Q & A

What is constipation?

Technically, constipation occurs when you have fewer than three bowel movements a week. However, everyone has different “normal” bowel movements. Some people go several times a day, while others only have a few bowel movements in a week. 

In addition to absent or infrequent bowel movements, constipation also causes:

  • Hard, dry stool
  • Painful and difficult bowel movements
  • Feeling like you haven’t emptied your bowels


You might also have abdominal pain or feel bloated or nauseous. 

What causes constipation?

Constipation occurs when your colon absorbs too much water from your bodily waste. In many cases, constipation is due to not eating enough fiber or drinking too little water. Lifestyle factors like stress, not getting enough exercise, and taking certain medications can also contribute to the condition. 

Additionally, constipation is a symptom of health issues, including endocrine problems, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, structural defects in the colon, and colorectal cancer. 

When should I talk to a doctor about constipation?

Most of the time, constipation passes after a couple of days. You can treat it at home by drinking more water and taking an over-the-counter stool softener or laxative. 

Some of the signs you should talk to the team at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division include:

  • Black or bloody stool
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Bloated, rigid abdomen
  • Fever 
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing problems or fainting

When untreated, chronic or severe constipation can cause complications ranging from hemorrhoids to anal fissures, fecal impaction, and pelvic floor damage. 

How is constipation treated?

The team at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division provides thorough exams and testing to identify the cause of constipation. When necessary, they use 3D anorectal manometry, a state-of-the-art bowel function test, to confirm your diagnosis. 

In most cases, they help you adjust your diet and increase your water consumption to improve your digestive motility. They might also recommend daily exercise or a laxative. 

However, suppose your constipation is due to a more serious condition. In that case, the team provides customized treatments, including dietary advice, medication, and minimally invasive procedures to restore your gastrointestinal health and regular bowel movements. 

Call Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division today or make an appointment online if you have severe painful constipation or any accompanying symptoms that indicate a gastrointestinal health problem.