By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published April 11, 2015, Last updated October 21, 2016
Anal fissures are cracks in the mucosal lining of the anal canal. It can also be understood as a cut or a tear. Anal fissures affect both men and women almost equally. All ages are also involved. Even infants may have anal fissures. They are actually the most common cause of rectal bleeding in infants.
An anal fissure usually causes pain and bleeding while passing stool. Anal fissures may be acute or chronic. Most acute anal fissures heal on their own in a couple of weeks. But in some cases, the anal fissures persist for a long time. These are known as chronic anal fissures. These require treatment.
Causes of anal fissures
The smooth lining of the anal canal is soft and elastic in nature so as to allow stool to pass. It is hairless and full of small nerve endings. Therefore it is quite sensitive to touch and pain. That is precisely why fissures are quite painful.
- Anal fissures are caused by injury or trauma to the anal mucosa. This trauma may result from hard or large stools.
- It may also occur due to repeated diarrhoea or constipation when one has to strain a lot to pass stool.
- It may also occur during labour when there may be a tear in the perineal region.
- Occasionally insertion of rectal thermometer or a colonoscope or during enema.
- In other cases HIV, anal cancer, syphilis, leukemia or TB may cause an anal fissure.
- There is also the possibility of anal fissure being caused by the presence of inflammatory bowel diseases like Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease.
Symptoms of anal fissure
The usual symptoms of an anal fissure are because of the crack or cut in the anal fissure. As mentioned earlier, the anal mucosa is rich in nerve endings. This makes the area sensitivie to any touch or injury.
- There is a lot of pain which is worse while passing stool. The pain may be burning or stinging in character. The pain may last for a long time after passing stool. This can make sitting or walking difficult. At times, the pain is so severe that the patient dreads bowel movements and desists from passing stool.
- Itching in the anal and perineal region may also be present. This is another common symptom observed in patients with anal fissures. Some patients may describe it as irritation.
- Bleeding is also commonly seen in patients with anal fissures. The blood may be bright red in colour. Usually the bleeding is not profuse.
- A crack or a wound like feeling may be experienced by patients.
Do’s and Don’t’s for anal fissures
A few precautions can help in managing anal fissures. All these things are easy to perform and involve minor changes in one’s routine.
- Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Nuts are also helpful. This allows a lot of roughage in diet and prevents constipation. When the stool is soft, it does not cause any injury to the anal mucosa while passing. At the same time, this allows sufficient time for the fissure to heal.
- Take lots of water every day. Staying hydrated is very important. It again allows the stool to remain soft and prevents constipation.
- Walk or exercise daily. This keeps the digestive system in good condition and also improves blood circulation. 30-40 minutes of walk every day is advisable.
- Avoid constipation by all means. If the stool remains constipated despite all efforts, one can take a little bit of laxative like psyllium husk or isabgol. This keeps the stool soft by adding fibre.
- Taking Sitz bath is also very helpful. Sitz bath means sitting in a bath tub with some warm water in it. This allows the hardened tissue to soften, keeps the area clean and promotes healing.
Anal fissure treatment
A common belief, which is actually completely misplaced is that there is hardly any treatment for anal fissures. Most of the people believe that surgery is the only possible option when it comes to anal fissure treatment. This is completely wrong. While there is no treatment of anal fissures in allopathy except surgery, Homeopathic remedies can easily cure anal fissures. There is no need to get a surgery done if you are suffering from anal fissures. Just improve your lifestyle as has been mentioned above. Follow the diet and exercise patterns that have been given above.
Homeopathic treatment of anal fissures
Homeopathic remedies like Graphites, Nitric Acid, Ratanhia, Thuja, Berberis Vulgaris and Silicea are commonly used for the treatment of anal fissures. These and the other homeopathic medicines that are used for the treatment of anal fissures are capable of completely curing the problem. You can easily get yourself cured and that too without any surgery.
Advantage of Homeopathy- treating anal fissures naturally
There are added advantages of Homeopathy. First and foremost, homeopathic treatment is completely natural. There are no chemical or synthetic preparations that are used in homeopathic medicines. All homeopathic medicines are made from natural sources like plants and minerals. Even during the preparation, these natural medicines are not put through any chemical processes. Therefore, one can always remain assured that whatever homeopathic medicines you take are purely natural and will be safe. There is no chance of any side effect or any adverse reaction either. The fact remains that Homeopathy is the safest system of medicine. There are no side effects. You can rest assured that you will not be suffering from a dozen other problems while taking medicines for one problem.
Also, it is much more economical than the allopathic system of medicine or the surgical option which can cost a bomb. Moreover, taking Homeopathic treatment is as effortless as breathing. The homeopathic medicines are easy to take. You can carry them in your pocket anywhere and take them at the appointed time. At the same time, there is no problem of taste with the homeopathic medicines also. In fact, the taste is one of the reasons that children crave for the medicines more and more.