Digestive System Part II

Hemorrhoids

This is a highly prevalent disease in our times. In typical cases, there’s a tear in the anal area brought on by hard stools or when people with constipation strain to pass motion. Thrombus around the anus may be wart hemorrhoids, or perianal hemorrhoids; bacterial infection in the area can lead to anal fistula. Unnecessary strain on the anus as well as not keeping the area clean properly can cause problems. Early symptoms include pain and itchiness, severe pain and bleeding may also occur and make walking and clearing bowels difficult. Which is why it is important not to ignore early symptoms and seek treatment as soon as possible.

Causes of Hemorrhoids

There are three types of hemorrhoids: wart hemorrhoids, anal fissures and perianal abscesses. The symptoms vary.

  • Wart hemorrhoids: Straining during bowel movement is the main cause of this. The extra pressure around the anal area leads to the swelling of veins and ultimately hemorrhoids. Usual symptoms are bleeding and discomfort and pain; should the hemorrhoids grow and become external warts, the pain becomes more acute.
  • Anal fissures: This condition is common among women, it is believed. A fissure is a tear in the anus, caused by stools that may be too large, or hard as a result of constipation. Even repeated passing of motion due to diarrhoea may lead to fissures. Fissures can be painful and if they persist for more than six weeks they are considered chronic and require treatment by medicine or surgery.
  • Perianal abscess: This is a painful condition in which a collection of pus develops near the anus. Most anal abscesses are a result of infection from small anal glands. If the symptoms get worse and the abscess reaches deeper layers, it gets more painful and also causes high fever.

Prevention of Hemorrhoids

Both constipation and diarrhoea can cause hemorrhoids. Therefore, it is important to prevent both these conditions. A balanced and regular diet is important. Ensure there’s enough fibre in your food. A moderate amount of exercise is effective. Try not to take too many cold things as this has an adverse effect and also do not get irritated by minor things, staying calm and at peace with yourself can be very helpful.

The right way to move bowels

It is important not to spend an unnecessary amount of time in the toilet, and put too much pressure on the anus. When you feel the urge, go promptly, and sit for only as long as you need to.

Do not put burden on the anus

Try and make sure the anal area doesn’t get too cold, so in a gym, it is better to wear warm, thicker undergarments. Consider cutting down on smoking, alcohol, too much spice in your food, or anything that is harsh to the region.

Care of hemorrhoids

Fecal matter carry harmful ingredients. While wiping with toilet paper, take care not to rub too hard as it will affect the hemorrhoids and may cause harmful ingredients to stay on. It is important to wash the area with warm water later for thorough cleaning.

Bathing regularly

One of the effective means of caring for hemorrhoids is bathing regularly and keeping the area clean by thorough washing with warm water. Improving the blood circulation in the anal region has a positive impact on hemorrhoids.

Medicines

There are external medicines for hemorrhoids, such as ointments for topical application. Many of these contain inflammation and bleeding reducing components. In addition, there are oral medicines which reduce swelling, prevent constipation, and improve blood circulation to enhance healing. Please consult with the physician to find out the appropriate medication for your condition.

Diarrhoea, loose stools

An increased urge to pass stools frequently along with stools that are more fluid in consistency are the common symptoms of diarrhoea. In normal stools, the moisture content is 80-80%, and the solid consistency is retained, but in this case the moisture content is much higher, stools become watery. There may be several causes of diarrhoea, for example, problems in digestion, poor nutrition and digestive enzymes, inflammation of bowels due to allergy or neurological issues, etc. Other than taking medicines, one must replace fluids in the system by taking more water and drinks like Yuzamashi. The body’s moisture level gets depleted in the constant passing of stools, this can cause dehydration. If the conditions persist, do seek medical help, it may be a case of food poisoning or something more serious.

How diarrhoea occurs

In the normal course of things, food ingested moves through the esophagus and stomach and reaches the S-shaped colon just above the rectum in about 10 hours. During this, moisture is absorbed from the contents and a moderate hardness is reached. But in the case of diarrhoea, the water secretion from the intestinal mucosa is increased for some reason; this affects the movement of the contents and it tends to accumulate in the intestinal tract. Which in turn triggers increased bowel movement as the intestines try to return to normal. The frequency of bowel movement goes up, the stools become muddy and liquid.

Acute diarrhoea

Three or more stools per day of decreased form from the normal may be described as acute diarrhoea. It may be caused by a host of reasons including over eating, excessive alcohol, food allergies leading to intestinal inflammation, etc. This may flare up and then subside in a few days.

However, if there is severe abdominal pain and fever and/or vomiting, then this might be something more serious, such as bacterial enteritis in addition to diarrhoea. Keep an eye out for blood in the stools. In all these cases, seeing a doctor immediately is a must.

Chronic Diarrhoea

If you tend to suffer from diarrhoea repeatedly, it is considered to be chronic in nature. Diarrhoea that lasts for more than 2-4 weeks is said to be persistent or chronic. Many things including medication, stress, altered immune function, intestinal disorders; and parasitical, bacterial or viral infection may cause it. It is often accompanied by fever and blood in the stools and immediate medical attention is recommended.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This is a very common ailment these days affecting many. It is often caused by stress and how the mind and body react to it. As a result, intestinal movements are severely affected with an impact on clearing of bowels. Frequent diarrhoea nad constipation is a typical symptom.

Treatment

It is extremely important to give adequate liquids to the patient in order to fight dehydration caused by diarrhoea. Dehydration can severely complicate matters. As long as there is no nausea, fluids should be taken regularly. It is best to avoid milk at this point and drink ionized drinks or Yuzamashi. Also, so as not to let the body get too cool which is detrimental, keep warm, cover up.

Intestinal remedy

To contain diarrhoea, intestinal remedies may be used. Anti-diarrhoeal agents, such as loperamide may be used, except in cases where there is blood or pus in the stool or if the diarrhoea is accompanied by high fever. Loperamide slows down the muscle movements in your gut so that more water is absorbed from your stools. This makes your stools firmer and they are passed less frequently.

Note that most anti-diarrhoeal medications are not suitable for children or if there’s blood or mucus in your stools, see a doctor immediately.

Substances that stop diarrhoea

Anti-diarrhoeal drugs use substances such as berberine that acts as disinfectant and also help suppress the erratic movements of the intestine by absorbing harmful toxins. Astringent tannic acid such as bismuth protects the intestinal mucosa. Please consult appropriate medication with your doctor.