Common bowel problems: hemorrhoids, constipation, diarrhea

The modern lifestyle created an epidemic of the most embarrassing problems, no one likes to talk about hemorrhoids, constipation, and diarrhea. More and more people have abdominal issues as a result of the lack of physical activity, improper eating habits, lack of sleep, and the cause of that is our busy lives with very little if any free time.

Hemorrhoids are enlarged, swollen veins at the end of the colon. They are distinguished as external and internal hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids come out of the anus and they are in the size of a hazelnut. They are very painful, itchy, and sometimes can bleed. Internal hemorrhoids swell inside the rectum, they are less painful than external hemorrhoids, because there are less nerve endings in the colon and have the same symptoms.

There are many causes for hemorrhoids: prolonged sitting on the toilet, sitting too long, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, heavy lifting, aggressive use of toilet paper, straining during a bowel movement, or straining during some physical activity. The treatment for hemorrhoids consists of some dietary changes, eating more fiber, or eating less fiber in case you have diarrhea. The medication used for hemorrhoids are creams, suppositories, and pills. There is no definitive cure for hemorrhoids, but in most cases, they can be cured with some lifestyle changes. Mild physical activity, for example walking, using water instead of toilet paper, stress management, etc.,.

There are four grades of hemorrhoids: first degree hemorrhoids there is no protrusion, second degree hemorrhoids the veins protrude out of the anus, third and fourth degree hemorrhoids are extreme cases in which the ending of the colon is coming out of the anus and the only cure is surgery. If you notice blood in your stool, or if your stool is black you should consider seeing a doctor, as bleeding can be a symptom of a more serious condition like colon cancer.

There is no definitive rule of how many bowel movements we should have. From 3 bowel movements a day, to 3 bowel movements a week is considered normal. If you have less than 3 bowel movements a week, then you have a condition called constipation. Symptoms of constipation are: having difficulty emptying the bowels, hard stool, inability to empty your bowels completely, abdominal pain. Most common causes for constipation are: low fiber intake, drinking low amount of water, eating too much meat, junk food, eating too much fiber without adequate water intake, cardiovascular medication, antidepressant, and anti stress pills.
The treatment for constipation is eating more fruit, vegetables, going to the toilet when you have the urge to go, oral laxatives, and suppositories. Laxatives and suppositories should be your last resort. The habit of using laxatives causes addiction and it could lead to damage of the colon. If the you are constipated more than a week you must schedule a meeting at your GP. Long term constipation may lead to hemorrhoids, bowel incontinence, and fecal impaction.

Frequent watery bowel movement up to three times, or more in a day is considered diarrhea. Diarrhea is caused by a virus, bacteria from infected food or water. Other causes include: antibiotics, alcohol, hyperthyroidism, laxative, caffeine, diabetes, etc.,. Diarrhea may lead to vomiting, abdominal pain, constant urge to defecate, soft stool, etc.,. Research has shown probiotics are effective cure for diarrhea. Probiotics restore the balance in the abdomen. Probiotics are living bacterias that already exist in our digestional tract.
Recommended probiotics for diarrhea are lactobacillius reuteri and saccharomyces boulardii. Probiotics should be taken while taking antibiotics to prevent diarrhea, and they are effective and safe to use for people with chronical abdominal illnesses as Crohn's disease or IBS. Diarrhea often leads to dehydration, so it is very important to drink lots of fluids. If probiotics don't work and your diarrhea becomes chronic consult your doctor. Don't be ashamed to talk to your doctor about your intestinal issues, it's their job and they are used to it.


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