When it comes to pain and discomfort of the lower extremities, there are issues you should not take lightly; and the most difficult aspect is determining what is causing the discomfort. While you may not be able to tell what it causing the on-set pain, you may think it is related to a hemorrhoid. But what if something is different and this time you are experiencing a slightly different type of discomfort? Hemorrhoids and anal fissures may have similar traits, but they are crucially distinct. These tips will help you determine what you might be experiencing and how to treat it.
Signs of Anal Fissures/Hemorrhoids
First, let’s look at the signs and symptoms of both incredibly uncomfortable ailments.
Anal fissures are cuts or tears that occur on the outside of the anus, on the andoderm skin. This can be extremely painful because of where the fissures develop. You may notice blood appear after a bowel movement. This part of the anus lacks oil and sweat glands and contains a high number of somatic sensory nerves that are sensitive to touch and pain. Anal fissures are usually a result of heavy and intense bowel movements, as this puts the most stress on the anus.
Hemorrhoids exhibit similar symptoms as they often accompany fissures. Again, any major stress put on the anal area is going to worsen the chances of hemorrhoids. These often appear in the lower rectum as the tissue weakens, causing the skin in that area to swell with blood. After passing a bowel movement, you may also notice blood. Hemorrhoids have many topical treatment options but finding the right one can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what to look for.
Although it may be difficult to differentiate the two ailments, your best bet is to find a proctologist who can.
Treatment options for Fissures and Hemorrhoids
Many prescriptions and over-the-counter medications act as a relief for these ailments, but only few actually work. The best way to tell what works is to consult your physician about a medication you are using or intend to use. He or she will direct you to the right product out on the market today. While you’re home, you can take care by using natural remedies and treatments to help soothe the sore area.
Anal fissures and hemorrhoids can be soothed with a warm sitz bath. A sitz bath requires soaking the area in warm water. This can be done two or three times a day, depending on the severity of the ailment. Your proctologist will have a better idea of how often is best for you. It is also crucial to relax the anal muscles while passing bowel movements. This eases the pressure off of the area, allowing the swelling to subside. Some individuals find relief when applying an ice pack to the area. This also eases the pressure and swelling. Something else to consider reducing the inflammation or your chances of another occurring later on is changing your diet. A fibrous diet that strays away from grease and saturated fats will increase healthy bowel movement, decreasing your chances for constipation. Your intake of water needs to increase daily in order to regulate healthy bowel movements.
Are you feeling discomfort or pain and seeing blood in your stool? Consult your doctor to put you in the right direction of an experienced proctologist. Dr. Butler can alleviate the ailment while working in conjunction with your doctor to get you on the road to healing.