An anal fissure is a tear or ulcer (open sore) that develops in the lining of the anal canal. The anal canal is the last part of your large intestine, and is located between your rectum (a reservoir where stools are stored) and your anal orifice (the opening through which stools are passed out of the body). These anal fissures are very painful and if you suspect you may have a fissure speak to a colonic therapist or visit your GP.
Many people, including some GPs, say you cannot get rid of anal fissures. Our customer’s told us different! If you REALLY want to avoid suffering from a painful anal fissure then get a game plan together that could include the use of either pharmaceutical or natural products….or both. Discuss your game plan with your GP as some of the medicines in the list below are only available by prescription.
The most common symptoms of anal fissures are:
- a sharp pain when have a bowel movement, often followed by a deep burning pain that may last several hours.
- bleeding – most people notice a small amount of bright red blood either in their stools or on the toilet paper.
Because we can’t give advice we can only list the types of things you could consider discussing with your GP. See positive management of the fissure as the first important step and don’t feel guilty about using prescription medications to get things under control if you feel it is going to help you break the fissure cycle.
The following suggestions have been made by customers who have healed or managed anal fissures without surgery and so wish to share what they have learnt with other sufferers.
If it helps you please let us know, and if you find another fantastic way of helping fissure sufferers we’d be happy to consider adding it to our page here in the information centre.
- Drink lots of water – sip mouthfuls throughout the day rather than gulping glassfuls
- Eat smaller meals and chew chew chew. If it’s not a mush don’t swallow it
- Do not think that eating plenty of bulking fibrous foods will help you – they may more pressure on the area
- Liquid smoothies which contain small amounts of fibre are helpful
- Wheatgrass or Barley Grass may help
- Stear clear of any food or drink that ferment and cause gas or are likely to pass through you undigested (hard walled seeds, corn, alcohol)
- Only gentle exercise
- Don’t stand for long periods at a time
- Don’t sit on the loo for longer than necessary (no reading etc.). Don’t push or strain. It only makes the fissure worse.
- Sit with your feet up when relaxing
- Make sure that you have everything to hand in your toilet and that those you live with understand you have problems during and after opening your bowels.
- Cleaning the rectal area straight after you have been to the toilet helps you to be sure that there is a lesser chance of infection. Showering with warm water is better that using cloth wipes.
- Only use natural products to wash the skin around your anus so that chemicals in the product will not irritate the anal area.
- Pat yourself dry or air dry – don’t drag a cloth over the sensitive area.
Ask your GP about:
- Ask your GP if you can avoid a rectal examination to confirm the presence of the fissure.
- ‘Instillagel’ will help you to not feel any pain when you open your bowels – it is both a gel and a topical anaesthetic so is a blissful product if you are in pain when you go to the loo – apply it in and around the anal area just before you go to the toilet and see if it helps. The theory is that if you don’t feel what you are passing you will not be afraid of any potential for pain. If you don’t feel or fear pain you are less likely to clamp or tense your anus as the stool passes which is one of the problems that fissure sufferers have. Just don’t forget that you could start to physically feel the effects of having opened your bowels later on after the anaesthetic wears off, so don’t push for too long or too hard, stay mindful of the affects of the anaesthetics.
- Take a stool softener
- Rectalgesic (prescription only) can be very helpful for shrinking the inflammation.
- Some anti inflammatory medicines and pain killers help.
- It may be that taking a mild sedative/anti depressant for a short period/weeks would make a difference while the fissure is given a chance to heal. Talk about this with your GP. Customers have been suprised at how much this approach helped. An enlightened GP tried this with one particular lady and it was the turning point for her after many years of pain.
Natural options to support the above
- We do not know of anything natural to numb the anal sphincter area
- You can turn your stools into a very soft slush using Oxy-powder (its a natural blend of stool softening magnesium salts). Having more liquid stools could mean that the sphincter muscle need not be opened far enough to tear it.
- Serraenzyme is a natural anti-inflammatory that is said not to contraindicate with most medicines
- Carlson Laboratory Natural Vitamin E suppositories – helps feed, soothe and protect the skin (customers have said they were really surprised at the difference these little suppositories made, and it was FAST too!).