There are many diseases that people are ashamed of. While serious and terminal illnesses can make people feel bad, there are some simple diseases that make people embarrassed to seek medical treatment. Yet even simple-sounding diseases can be life-threatening, especially when they’re not treated properly or immediately. Anal fissures are one of these embarrassing, simple-sounding, yet potentially dangerous diseases.
The idea of having cracks, wounds or tears in the anus may be disgustingly hilarious, but people who suffer from anal fissures know that it’s no laughing matter. Anal fissures are painful, and can cause serious health problems when left untreated. Here are some ways to relieve and cure anal fissures.
What are Anal Fissures?
Anal fissures are unnatural cuts, tears and wounds found in the anus, and usually extend up the anal canal and the rectal walls. Anal fissures are very common among infants; studies show that 80% of babies will have had an anal fissure before they turn a year old. As the anal walls develop, the frequency and severity of anal fissures decrease.
While the anal wall is a very strong membrane, it is unsupported to enable feces to pass through; this makes the anus prone to tears, cuts and wounds. Shallow, superficial cuts in the anus heal over time, although deeper cuts may need immediate medical attention or even surgery.
There are many causes for anal fissures among adults:
- Passing of large and hard stools. Stool that’s larger and harder than what you usually pass can take a lot of effort to release. If you strain to pass the stools, you can risk developing anal fissures.
- Constipation and diarrhea. Constipation (See how to use home remedies for constipation), diarrhea, and irregular bowel movements can weaken the anal wall, and make it more prone to fissures. (For diarrhea treatments, read how to get rid of diarrhea)
- Unsafe anal sex habits. Excessive anal intercourse or excessive anal masturbation also weaken the anal wall, especially if you don’t use enough lubricant or if you indulge in anal sex too much. Using large anal beads or having anal sex without lubrication can also cause anal fissures.
- Childbirth. A woman’s rectal walls can be weakened from pregnancy and the birthing process. Pregnant women, or women who have just delivered their child, are also very prone to anal fissures.
Signs and Symptoms of Anal Fissures
Here are some common signs and symptoms of anal fissures:
- Painful bowel movement
- Blood on the surface of – not mixed in with – the stool
- Blood on toilet paper
Some patients with anal fissures may also have other diseases like anal fistula, anal abscesses, or hemorrhoids (learn how to relieve hemorrhoids). It is important to seek medical attention when you have deep anal fissures because of the possibility of serious diseases like blood poisoning or other systemic diseases and infections.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals can help heal small and shallow fissures on the anus. Your doctor may prescribe stool softeners, although you can do just as well with foods rich in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber attracts water during the digestive process, and adds bulk to the stool. Fiber reduces the chances of abnormal and unhealthy bowel movements, like diarrhea and constipation. Just because they are good for you doesn’t mean that they taste bad; you can make many interesting, flavorful, and tasty recipes from healthful foods like cookies, casseroles, or a side dish.
Here are some foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber:
- Oats (particularly oat bran)
- Peas (fresh split peas and snow peas are a great source of soluble fiber)
- Prunes (whole prunes are still best, although you can eat preserved prunes as long as they come with natural prune juice)
- Broccoli (don’t only eat the tree part; the stems are also very good for you)
Clean the Area Gently
Some people can get anal fissures because they wipe too hard after they pass stool, or the bidet nozzle is adjusted for a really high pressure. It’s best to use soft, unscented toilet tissue to wipe your anus after defecation. Do not use scented, pre-moistened towelettes. If you already have anal fissures, you may need to moisten toilet paper with water before using it, although it’s best to clean yourself with water and a mild soap to help speed up the healing process.
Practice Safe Sex
Some people enjoy anal intercourse, and it is relatively safe as long as it’s done with precautions. Excessively rough or prolonged anal sex can cause deep anal fissures that may eventually develop into abscesses, or other serious diseases and injuries like a perforated anal wall. Always use condoms and lubricant when you have anal sex. If you need to use anal masturbation aids, you should make sure that they are safe for use. Stay away from aids that are too large, or come with edges or spikes that may seriously damage your anus.
Try Botox Treatment
Botox is no longer just for cosmetic treatments and plastic surgery. A small amount of botulinum toxin injected into the anal wall can relieve spasms of anal muscles and speed up the healing process. While not as effective as surgery, botox injections can help close up smaller, shallower anal fissures. Botulinum toxin is usually used to treat acute and chronic anal fissures. Talk to your doctor before having botox treatment.
Opt for Surgery
For major fissures, a surgical procedure called lateral internal sphincteroctomy is used to cure the illness. A portion of the lateral internal sphincter is removed. The surgery can be performed in the emergency room with the aid of local anesthesia, although most doctors recommend that the patient should be admitted days in advance and the surgery be performed under general anesthesia. The surgery itself usually takes half an hour to complete, and recovery should be expected within three weeks. Surgery is a very effective way to get rid of deep, chronic anal fissures.
It’s not easy to have a condition as sensitive and as private as anal fissures. With the right remedies, a proper diet, and a fit and healthy lifestyle, anal fissures will be the least of your health concerns. If you enjoy learning this article might as well read how to get rid of anal itching.
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