The digestion of the foods we take often take anywhere from 35-70 hours before they
pass out as stools, hence you get a regular or normal bowel movement 3-6 times in
a week. The defecation reflex in our gastrointestinal colon or large intestine is
what prompts us to look for the nearest toilet seat.
If this is weak or is ignored for what ever reason, the reflex won’t get back until
several hours by which time, the fecal mass in the large intestines gets harder and
drier, and so you suffer constipation or have difficulty in expelling the fecal mass
out of your body. If this goes on often enough, you can be a candidate for getting
Constipation At A Glance
Constipation is a bowel condition where you need to exert force in your lower abdomen
to flush out hard and dry stools.
Occasional constipation can be normal when it occurs less than twice a week, but
chronic or persistent constipation strains the vein-filled lining of the inner anorectal
tissues which, if genetically predisposed due to weakness or looseness, can distend
and be inflamed to form hemorrhoids.
Constipation traces its roots more commonly in a diet that lacks fiber and fluid.
Making a habit out of delaying your bowel movement is another.
Other causes include:
• Prolonged bed rest or inactivity
• Diabetes and neurological tissue diseases
• Antidepressants and narcotics
• Radiotherapy and chemotherapy
Internal And External Piles
Varicose veins are no different from hemorrhoids but occurring along the inner linings
tissue linings of the anorectal canal. In some cases, hemorrhoids can be temporary
and will go away without treatment. But for many, it is a cause for worry. It is
basically an inflammation and loosening of these linings so they distend, bleed and
cause discomfort and pain. This is internal hemorrhoid.
If the tissue distends large enough to protrude outside the rectal canal, then you
have a visible and palpable hemorrhoidal mass that’s called external hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids are most common and frequently cause all the bleeding, pain
and discomfort associated with the condition.
Prevention And Treatment
Prevent constipation and you prevent hemorrhoids:
• Eating a nutritious and balanced diet with foods rich in fiber and fluid, will
help you prevent constipation.
• Diet supplements rich in fiber like Citruel, Metamucil, Fibercon, among others,
or stool softeners like Colace can help prevent constipation if you can’t always
monitor your diet.
• Laxatives, particularly fruits rich in papace like Papaya also work to ease the
passing of stools. Exercise will tone your abdominal muscles and further reduce constipation.
Once you suffer from it, hemorrhoids can’t be cured. You can only relieve its symptoms.
In mild to moderate severity, you can get over-the-counter medication that can help
relieve pain, swelling, discomforts and even shrink the hemorrhoidal mass so they
dry up and go away. Otherwise, you may need to get into some private consultation
with a doctor for a more powerful prescriptive medication or a short out-patient
clinical procedure to excise severe hemorrhoidal tissue mass.
Changes in bowel movement frequency, the color, shape and consistency of your stools,
constipation with vomiting, rectal and abdominal pain and bleeding every time you
defecate – all these can be symptoms of something more serious ailment. A thorough
medical check-up is always a good start in diagnosing hemorrhoidal symptoms. You
could be suffering a more sinister ailment that results in similar symptoms.