Suzanne Saylor

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Suzanne Saylor
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F.N.P.
Kingsport
Gastroenterology
Gastroenterology Associates
135 W Ravine Rd # 3-A
Kingsport
TN
37660

As I am getting older, why am I having trouble having bowel movements?

In persons 50 and older, the digestive system gets more sluggish and the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles become weaker which may contribute to constipation. If you are having a hard time or not able to pass stool or are having very hard stools please talk with your health care provider about medications and health problems that could cause constipation. Drinking too few fluids, not eating enough dietary fiber, not being active enough, and resisting the urge to pass stool may also aggravate constipation.

What can I do to relieve constipation?

Eat food high in dietary fiber (bran: whole-grain breads and cereals and fresh fruits/vegetables). Drink at least 6 to 8 cups of water and other liquids daily (hot water, tea or coffee may stimulate the bowel). Get plenty of exercise. Do not resist the urge to eliminate. Do not misuse laxatives. Discuss with your primary care provider any medications (prescribed or over the counter) and other health issues which may cause constipation. Some heart, pain, antidepressants, antacids, antihistamines, and diuretic medicines may cause constipation. Some chronic conditions such as diabetes may slow the digestive tract.

My spouse was recently diagnosed with Hepatitis C. Is it likely that I am also infected?

Hepatitis C is a viral illness caused by Hepatitis C virus, usually spread through contact with infected blood, through sex with an infected person, or from mother to baby during childbirth. Overall the risk of transmission to a monogamous sexual partner is low. You should avoid sharing personal items that could expose you to your spouse’s blood. These include razor blades, toothbrushes, etc. Most people who are infected with Hepatitis C do not have any symptoms for years. A blood test can tell you if you have it. 

Suzanne Saylor
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Suzanne Saylor
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