Hemorrhoids And Bowel Disorders

Hemorrhoids And Bowel Disorders refer mainly to disorders in the lower sections of the digestive system, namely the Large Intestine (which is also called the Colon and Bowel), Rectum, and Anus. These organs are essential to digestion, and the loss of any function of these organs can have very serious health consequences indeed.

Included within Hemorrhoids And Bowel Disorders are the following conditions:

Anal Fissures
Anal Fissures are small tears in the lining or opening of the anal canal that can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, and some bleeding. They tend to occur fairly commonly in infants aged from 6 to 24 months and they may also occur in older children and adults as a result of passing hard or large stools during bowel movements.

While most anal fissures heal without requiring any treatment, some others require either creams or suppositories to provide relief as they heal.

Anal Itching
Anal Itching (which is also known as Pruritus Ani) is an intense itching of the anus and/or the skin around the anus, which produces a strong urge to scratch that can cause both discomfort and embarrassment.

There are many factors that can cause the condition and the itching can be aggravated by moisture, clothing abrasion, and the pressure of sitting. The itching is often worst at night and immediately following bowel movements.

Anal Itching is a common problem that is easily cured with the proper treatment.

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed and filled with pus, causing a great deal of pain around the navel or lower right abdomen. The appendix is a finger-shaped organ on the lower right side of the abdomen that projects outwards from the colon. The appendix performs no known essential functions, but it can still cause problems.

If left untreated, appendicitis is potentially fatal. The standard treatment for appendicitis is surgery.

Collagenous Colitis / Lymphocytic Colitis
Collagenous Colitis / Lymphocytic Colitis (also known as Microscopic Colitis) are rare inflammations of the colon that cause chronic watery diarrhea that are more common in the elderly. Treatment for this condition involves a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes and medications. In some rare cases, surgery may be required.

Colon Polyps
Colon Polyps are small clumps of cells that form on the lining of the colon, and are believed to occur in about one in three adults. In the vast majority of cases, these polyps are harmless, but in some cases they can become cancerous. Colon polyps may cause no symptoms, or they may cause rectal bleeding, bowel movement changes, and abdominal pain.

The risks of developing polyps are higher for older people, people who are overweight, smokers, those who eat a high-fat / low-fiber diet, and people who have a family history of either colon polyps or colon cancer.

Constipation is a condition that involves bowel movements that are less frequent than normal, passing hard stools, and straining during bowel movements. You are probably constipated if you pass dry, hard stools less than three times a week . Other symptoms of constipation may be feelings of being bloated, sluggish, discomfort, and/or pain.

In almost all cases, all that is required to treat constipation are simple lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise, eating high-fiber foods, and drinking plenty of water.

Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s Disease is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) which occurs when the digestive tract lining becomes inflamed, causing severe diarrhea, potentially debilitating abdominal pain, and may cause life-threatening complications.

Although there is currently no known cure for Crohn’s Disease, there are therapies that can significantly reduce the symptoms of the disease.

Diarrhea is a common digestive disorder that occurs when stools become very loose and watery, causing abdominal pain, frequent trips to the toilet, and larger than normal volumes of stool. There are a number of various factors can cause Diarrhea, including poor absorption of nutrients (known as malabsorption), infections from viruses, bacteria, and parasites, medications such as antibiotics, and artificial sweeteners.

Diarrhea can also occur as an effect of some other medical condition, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or some other Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Chronic Diarrhea occurs when the condition is severe and lasts longer than four weeks. Diarrhea can cause the loss of significant or even dangerous and life threatening amounts of water and salts.

A range of medications can successfully treat the condition.

Diverticulitis develops from another condition called Diverticulosis, which is a condition that is common amongst people aged over 40, and causes small, bulging pouches (called diverticula) somewhere along the digestive tract. In most cases, these pouches do not create any problems, but in some cases one or more of the pouches can become inflamed or infected, causing severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and a marked change in bowel habits.

When diverticula become infected, the condition is called Diverticulitis.

Most cases of Diverticulitis can be treated with rest, changes in your diet (in particular eating more fiber), and antibiotics. However, surgery may be required in serious cases.

Encopresis (also called Stool Holding) occurs when a child resists having bowel movements or is chronically constipated, causing compressed stool to collect in the colon and rectum. When the colon is full of impacted stool, liquid stool can leak around the stool and out of the anus, causing underwear staining.

Treatment for Encopresis involves clearing the colon of impacted stool and following self-care measures (healthy diet, plenty of water, etc) to ensure regular bowel movements.

Fecal Incontinence
Fecal Incontinence (also called Bowel Incontinence) is a fairly common condition that occurs when a person loses the ability to control their bowel movements, causing feces and gas to leak from their rectum at unwanted times. The severity of the condition can range from occasional leakage to complete loss of bowel control. The condition can be caused by constipation, diarrhea, muscle or nerve damage (e.g. following childbirth), or an anal sphincter weakened with age.

The embarrassment caused by this condition can cause a person to stay at home and not participate in social events because they are afraid of an accident happening. Many treatments are available to improve or cure this condition.

Hemorrhoids (also commonly known as Piles) are a fairly common condition that occurs when veins in the anus and rectum become swollen and inflamed, resulting in bleeding, itching and pain. Hemorrhoids are caused by a number of factors, such as straining during bowel movements or increased pressure on the veins during pregnancy.

In most cases, treatment simply involves self-care and lifestyle changes. If these are not sufficient, then medications and other treatments are effective.

Hirschsprung’s Disease
Hirschsprung’s Disease is a rare condition that affects the large intestine, causing problems with passing stools (constipation) and absorbing nutrients. The condition is congenital, in other words it is present when a baby is born with missing nerve cells in the muscles of a portion of their colon.

Treatment for Hirschsprung’s Disease involves the surgical removal of the diseased portion of the colon.

Intestinal Ischemia
Intestinal Ischemia is a rare condition which occurs when there is a diminished blood flow to the small intestine, causing pain and other symptoms. The condition may occur suddenly (Acute Intestinal Ischemia) when a blood clot prevents blood flow to the intestines, or it may develop slowly over time (Chronic Intestinal Ischemia).

In severe cases, the condition can cause sections of dead or damaged intestinal tissue, which can be fatal and requires immediate medical care.

Treatment options include medications, surgery, or medical procedures to open the arteries.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a fairly common disorder that causes abdominal cramping, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and/or constipation. In many cases, IBS can be controlled with diet and lifestyle changes, and by reducing the stress in your life.

IBS does not cause intestinal bleeding, permanent damage to the bowel, or cancer, and it does not require surgery, nor will it shorten your life.

Ischemic Colitis
Ischemic Colitis (also called Colonic Ischemia) occurs when part of your large intestine becomes inflamed and injured, causing pain on the left side of the abdomen, reduced blood flow, and impaired intestinal function.

In severe cases, this condition can cause ulcers along the lining of the colon and may even become life-threatening. Ischemic Colitis occurs mostly in people who are over 50 years of age.

Pinworm Infection
Pinworm Infection is the most common type of roundworm infection, where the parasites use the body as a host to allow them to live, lay eggs, grow, and reproduce. In the majority of cases, the parasites cause mild digestive problems or even no symptoms at all. However, if hundreds of worms or more are involved, then serious symptoms and complications can occur.

Treatment for pinworm infection involves practicing good hygiene, and medication.

Proctitis is an inflammation of the lining of the rectum, which can be as a result of either a sexually transmitted disease, or alternatively inflammatory bowel infections and diseases, such as Ulcerative Colitis. Proctitis can also be a side effect of some medical treatments, including antibiotic usage and radiation therapy.

When transmitted sexually, Proctitis is most common in promiscuous men who engage in anal or oral-anal intercourse. The condition may be short-lived, or it may last for months or longer.

The treatment options for Proctitis vary depending upon the cause of the condition.

Pseudomembranous Colitis
Pseudomembranous Colitis (also called Antibiotic-Associated Colitis and C. difficile Colitis) is an inflammatory condition of the large intestine that sometimes occurs after antibiotic usage, which causes an imbalance between “good” and “bad” bacteria in the intestine, allowing the proliferation and spread of harmful bacteria.

In severe cases, the condition can cause serious health complications and can even be life-threatening.

Solitary Rectal Ulcer Syndrome
Solitary Rectal Ulcer Syndrome is a very rare condition where a single ulcer occurs in the rectum, causing rectal bleeding and straining when attempting to pass a stool.

In mild cases, treatment usually involves simple dietary and fluid intake changes, however in more severe cases medications and even surgery may be needed.

Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative Colitis is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and potentially debilitating and life-threatening health complications.

The condition has no known cure, however a range of therapies are available that can significantly reduce the symptoms and even bring about long-term remission.

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