One of the most embarrassing people most people deal with is constipation. Many people experience constipation but do not know if they should schedule a doctor's office visit to deal with it. These are some of the things you need to know about constipation and whether you should see a doctor.

You Should Take Some Steps Before Going to the Doctor

There are a few steps you can take at home to help with constipation before you ever see a doctor. These steps can help alleviate the symptoms so that you are not in pain.

For example, you can incorporate more fruits into your diet. A diet rich in fruits (and fiber) can help you use the bathroom more efficiently. Staying hydrated can also help prevent constipation, as not having enough water in your stool can prevent comfortable trips to the bathroom.

You Should See the Doctor Right Away in These Situations

There are some times when you should make an appointment with a doctor right away. For example, you should talk to your doctor if you have not had a bowel movement in an abnormally long time. Some people might book an appointment after five days of not being able to use the bathroom, for example.

You should also alert your doctor if you experience other symptoms alongside constipation, like fever, nausea, weight loss, abdominal pain, or dehydration. It's also important to speak with your doctor if you have recently undergone a medical procedure, like surgery, or are taking prescribed medications.

You Should First See Your Family Doctor

You might wonder what kind of doctor you should see about constipation. Typically, people begin by seeing a family or general practitioner. This doctor may refer you somewhere else for additional treatment or testing for a diagnosis.

So, what will happen during your appointment? It will depend on your symptoms, most likely. Your doctor may want to perform a blood test, x-ray, physical examination of the rectum, colonoscopy, MRI, or something else to assess the health of your digestive system. The next steps will depend on what the doctor finds.

Schedule Your Doctor Office Visit Today

The sooner you schedule your doctor's office visit for constipation, the better. A doctor can help diagnose the cause of your constipation as well as provide you with treatment options that will help you feel normal as soon as possible. You do not have to live with constipation and digestive discomfort.