Diarrhea & Constipation

Illinois Gastroenterology Group -  - Gastroenterology

Illinois Gastroenterology Group

Gastroenterology located in Arlington Heights, IL & Elk Grove Village, IL

While you might occasionally have diarrhea or constipation due to something you ate, these bowel movement problems can also indicate more serious underlying conditions. The experienced gastroenterology team at Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Elk Grove and Arlington Heights, Illinois, diagnose the cause of your diarrhea and constipation and offer expert treatment to relieve your symptoms and address the underlying issue. Call Illinois Gastroenterology Group or schedule a consultation online today.

Diarrhea & Constipation Q & A

What is Constipation?

If you have infrequent bowel movements that are hard, dry, and difficult to pass, you have constipation. Some of the common signs of constipation include:

  • Having less than three bowel movements a week
  • Straining to pass a bowel movement
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Hard, dry stools
  • Feeling like you have a blockage in your bowel
  • Feeling like you can’t empty your bowel

Constipation symptoms are uncomfortable and can last for a day to several weeks.

What is Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is frequent, loose, watery stools. You could have diarrhea for a day or your symptoms could last for much longer. 

If you have chronic diarrhea that lasts for more than a few days, you should talk to one of the experts at Illinois Gastroenterology Group.

What Causes Constipation and Diarrhea?

Many things contribute to diarrhea and constipation. For example, if you don’t eat enough fiber or are dehydrated, you could develop constipation. Other causes of constipation include:

  • Weak pelvic muscles
  • Low physical activity
  • Anal fissures

While you might get diarrhea because of a virus or something that you ate, chronic diarrhea could indicate a digestive condition like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, or Crohn’s disease.

When Should I Talk to a Doctor About Diarrhea or Constipation?

If you have diarrhea or constipation that lasts longer than a week, you should make an appointment with the team at Illinois Gastroenterology Group. 

In most cases, viruses or digestive issues caused by food clear up in 10 days or less. More serious conditions that need medical attention and treatment cause prolonged symptoms.

How are Diarrhea and Constipation Treated?

The team at Illinois Gastroenterology Group begins treatment with a comprehensive exam to identify the cause of your diarrhea or constipation. Your exam can include blood tests, X-rays, CT scans, and/or a colonoscopy.

Once your provider has identified the issue, they create a customized treatment plan. While your treatment is designed to meet your specific needs, most programs include changes to your diet and exercise habits.

If your symptoms are due to a more severe issue like an anal fissure, bowel obstruction, or colon cancer, your provider will recommend surgical procedures to address the problem.

If diarrhea and constipation are interfering with your health and quality of life, call Illinois Gastroenterology Group or make an appointment online today.