If you suspect there is a more serious problem, you’ll first seek medical care for constipation from your family physician. A general practitioner provides a routine health screening and gives you the first counseling on lifestyle changes. If he thinks that you require care from another specialist, the family doctor will probably send you to a specialist in digestive disorders.
So before going to your appointment to gastroenterologist, make sure you have all the information needed:
– what symptoms you’re experiencing, even if you think there is nothing to do with your constipation;
– what medications, vitamins or herbal medications you’re taking, even for other thing that bowel disorder (remember medications with constipation as a side effect?)
– if you are pregnant (if it applies to you).
So your medical history and your habits are very important for the doctor to establish the next steps. When you make your appointment don’t forget to ask if there are any pre-appointment restrictions, like eating some specific food or drinking enough water, etc for any testing.
And because you never have enough time during the appointment to know every detail, let’s see what to ask your doctor about constipation:
- How often should I go to the bathroom during the week?
- What is likely causing my constipation?
- Is my chronic constipation a sign of a serious disease such as colon cancer?
- What kinds of tests do I need? Can these tests help you determine the cause of chronic constipation?
- What treatment do you recommend? And besides medication, what other treatments are there for chronic constipation?
- What dietary changes should I make to help chronic constipation? Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- What foods will help make my stools less hard?
These are some questions you may want to ask your doctor to help you having a more regular bowel movement and get rid of constipation.