Constipation and Related Problems
Constipation is a problem of 21st century. As our world is increasingly westernised, so have our diets and food habits. This has resulted in a decline in intake of fibre and increased consumption of refined carbohydrates. As our fibre intake reduces, we start suffering from constipation. This in turn results in a lot of perianal problems such as Piles, Fissures, Fistulae, and Abscesses etc. As a practising surgeon, I regularly see people suffering from all these perianal conditions. The sad part is that they choose to see me only when the problem becomes really unbearable. Mostly, they feel uncomfortable telling their families about their problem.
In India, especially, women suffer a lot from these problems before seeing a doctor. They are busy with work and taking care of their families and forget to take care of themselves. They drink less water, eat less of healthy fruits and vegetables and then land up getting constipation. But they refuse to see a doctor early. They have a lot of hesitation to tell about their problems even to their family or husbands. Also they hesitate in consulting male doctors. Agreed that perianal diseases like piles, fissure, fistulae are not life threatening. But they are so painful and inconvenient! Why go through it when they are all amenable to simple treatment?
Another speciality of Indian patients is to avoid surgery at all costs. Even if it means years of suffering, medications, living a hermit lifestyle, it doesn’t matter. But surgery is considered a curse.
People! It’s the 21st century! Stop worrying about bad outcomes. We are out of the dark ages (mostly and thankfully).
So please. Stop going to quacks. Stop ignoring the bleeding/pain when you pass stool. And please see a surgeon.
So here are some signs that you 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
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
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time at a stretch