Constipation is a difficult problem, not because we cannot treat it but we hesitate to get treated in the first place. Our diet and food habits are increasingly becoming westernised which is resulting in low intake of fiber and increased consumption of refined carbohydrates, all of which causes constipation. Frequent constipation results in perianal problems such as Piles, Fissures, Fistulae, and Abscesses etc.
Piles, also known as Hemorrhoids, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum, similar to varicose veins. In the third trimester of pregnancy, the baby’s head descends into the pelvis and can result in pressure in that area resulting in piles. As a General Surgeon, I regularly see people suffering from all these perianal conditions but they usually ignore immediate treatment and come to a surgeon as a last resort.
In India, especially, women suffer a lot before consulting a doctor. They are also hesitant to share such problems with their family or even to their husbands and keep postponing treatment while suffering in silence. I agree that perianal diseases like piles, fissure, fistulae etc are not life threatening but they are so painful and inconvenient! Why go through all this pain when they are all amenable to simple treatment?
Another challenge with most of the Indian patients is that they try to avoid surgery at all costs. Even if it means years of suffering, medications, living a hermit lifestyle, it doesn’t matter to them as surgery is considered a curse.
It’s the 21st century! We have the most advanced and simple procedures available today to treat piles, fissure, fistulas etc. With LASER technology, the surgeries have become completely painless.
It is high time we stop postponing right treatments in favour of home remedies and non scientific techniques. We must educate ourselves and seek help when essential.
So here are some simple signs that tell you the need to see a Surgeon
Pain while passing stools
Bleeding with or after stool
Passage of very hard stool
Pus coming from anywhere near your anus
Sensation of some mass/tissue coming out of your anus
Of course, Prevention Is Better than Cure. So we must
Drink 8-12 glasses of water per day (that’s 2-2.5lit)
Include a portion of fruit and vegetables in our diet
Cut down on refined foods, breads, non-veg, spice, fried food
Avoid sitting for long hours at a stretch
So, to conclude, do not hesitate to get yourself treated for constipation in the initial stages itself. Go for a consultation right away!