Be the first to know! If the dough is too dry and crumbly, you can add a bit more water, one tablespoon at a time. The sweat that makes your perfectly placed fringe stick to your forehead like a greasy pre-teen, and your make-up melt down your face until you look like a serial killer. Instead drink more water that will help maintain a healthy weight. Avoid buying food that contain large amounts of refined sugar.
This material must not be used for commercial purposes, or in any hospital or medical facility. Failure to comply may result in legal action. Medically reviewed on January 30, Itching can develop anywhere in or around your anus. You can make the itching worse if you scratch the area to relieve the itch. This condition can become serious. Your healthcare provider can help you manage and treat the discomfort. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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If you dropped a dull knife onto it, would the knife bounce off it? Do you have small pellet-like rabbit turds? Do you have to strain a long time before it comes out? Do you go only once every few days? Many different things can make you constipated. The usual culprits are: Occasionally, constipation can be a sign of serious disease. If you have serious abdominal pain, a fever, nausea, vomiting, have had previous surgery on your belly, or have bleeding from your anus, contact your doctor immediately, as these can be signs of a blockage obstruction in your gut.
Other things that may make you constipated: Many prescription drugs can also cause constipation — consult your doctor BEFORE stopping you medication if you believe it is causing constipation, as some medications should not be stopped abruptly. Certain conditions and diseases are a set-up for constipation. Eat several servings of green leafy vegetables and fruit daily. This should include prunes or prune juice.
In addition, you should an over-the-counter fiber supplement like Metamucil or Citrucel for a few weeks. Some studies have even shown these fiber supplements decrease your risk of colon cancer, diverticulitis, and hemorrhoids. Obviously, if you have any worrisome symptoms significant pain, blood in the stool, or significant change in your bowel habits from normal, you should to consult your doctor.
One method of getting around this is basically re-toilet-training yourself in addition to fiber therapy. Every morning, after breakfast or coffee, sit on the toilet and try to pass stool. How does fiber work? Fiber is the non-digested part of plant food and adds bulk to the stools by absorbing water. There are two types of fiber: Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is found in oat bran, barley, peas, beans, and citrus fruits.
Insoluble fiber are found in wheat bran and some vegetables. Fiber increases the transit time of the colon and decrease the pressures within the colon. Fiber therefore helps push constipated stool out. Fiber acts like a sponge in the gut, drawing water into the colon, and also making the stool more moist. Adding 20 to 30 grams of non-absorbable fiber to your diet can help you get regular.
There are a few dangers of chronic constipation. Constipation makes you strain when you defecate. This causes high pressure in your colon, and over time may lead to thin outpouchings to form in the walls of your colon. Sometimes, stool or food particles e. This can be life-threatening and is more common than you may think?. Second, this high pressure from straining often causes hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are dilated anal veins. These veins can protrude from the anus, bleed and cause severe pain and itching.
A more sever problem, rectal prolapse, can also occur from chronic straining. Rectal prolapse is caused when part of the inside of the rectum is pushed outwards and protrudes through the anus. Lastly, having little fiber and a lot of fat in your diet has been linked to a higher incidence of colon cancer, though many factors, including genetics are involved in colon cancer. Though studies are ongoing, NOT being constipated seems to be a factor in preventing colon cancer.
Think about it — stool is after all waste, and waste is toxic. How long do you really want toxic waste to hang around in our bodies? Should I use laxatives? Which ones are safe? Generally, you should not need a laxative, or only need one occasionally.
Taking laxatives every day or every few days actually can alter the urge to defecate, and cause constipation and the resulting problems with constipation.
If you feel you need a laxative in the occasional circumstance, the safest laxative may be a plain glycerin suppository inserted into your rectum. The glycerin-containing suppository dissolves and glycerin will lubricate the stool, helping it slide out of your body. Once some stool leaves, more will follow. Mineral oil works in the same way. Not surprisingly, they can also give you cramps.
Stimulant laxatives are generally not a good idea to use except in rare circumstances since regular use can alter your normal gut function and remove the normal urge to defecate.
These should also be used very rarely, if at all, unless recommended by your physician. Diarrhea has many causes ranging from infection to lactose intolerance to medications. Diarrhea means having many loose stools in the course of a day, and passing a lot of stool. The important question to ask yourself is: If you think there may be blood in your stool, consult your doctor, and DO NOT use drugs like Imodium, Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate as these may cause more harm than good.
Also call your doctor if you feel light-headed, weak, or are urinating less than usual as these are signs of dehydration.
Diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites like Giardia, pictured to your right, and Ascaris worms, seen to your left. This young boy took the medicine which killed the ascaris worms causing them to get stuck on their way out of his bowel. Food poisoning food that contains enough of a bacterial or parasite to cause illness is a very common cause of diarrhea.
Click here for a list of the latest foods that have been found to be contaminated. Other causes of diarrhea include medications e. Hemorrhoids are dilated veins that are caused by increased pressure in the rectum. This increased pressure can be caused by constipation and hence straining to get stool out, pregnancy, cirrhosis of the liver, some forms of cancer, or for no good reason at all.
They can occur towards the tail end of the anus external hemorrhoids or towards the rectum internal hemorrhoids. If they are external, they may protrude from the anus and you may be able to feel them with your hand. Sometimes you can have hemorrhoids and not even know it, but the most common symptoms are bright red blood usually found on the toilet paper , pain, and itching. Your doctor should examine you to make sure these symptoms are not being caused by a more serious problem. Treatment usually involves treatment for constipation: Preparation H and other creams, including topical steroids, may help stop the itching.
This is perhaps the most common disease affecting the GI tract. It is estimated that 30 to 50 million people may suffer from this problem at some time in their life.
Approximately 20 to 40 percent of all visits to gastroenterologists are due to IBS symptoms. IBS symptoms affects men and women of all ages and of all races. The most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are:. Since many other gastrointestinal diseases can present with similar symptoms, a diagnosis of IBS should only be made in the right clinical setting.
Many people with IBS report that their symptoms began during periods of major life stressors such as a death of a loved one, divorce or school exams. Many patients also report the onset of symptoms during or shortly after recovering from a gastrointestinal infection or abdominal surgeries. Symptoms of IBS have also been known to appear after eating certain foods to which an individual might be sensitive. The type of food which causes symptoms varies with the individual. Similarly, a flare of symptoms in a patient with long-standing IBS may be triggered by all of the symptoms listed above, or for no apparent reason.
The cause of IBS is not known, though recent studies have shown that approaching the problem from both a physiological and psychological perspective works best in treating the problem.
Treatment therefore consists of lifestyle changes, pharmacological treatment, and psychological treatment, depending on how troublesome this disease effects the patient. In addition to lifestyle and psychological treatment e. One of the first medications used for IBS is usually fiber. As noted above, fiber is the non-digested part of plant food and adds bulk to the stools by absorbing water.
Despite its common use by the medical community, the role of fiber in the treatment of IBS has not been well established in clinical studies. One study showed that the response to bran in terms of daily stool weight, bowel frequency and symptoms was determined more by pre-existing psychometric variables such as anxiety and depression that the amount or nature of the bulking agent administered. Fiber can be added to the diet through the eating of more fiber-rich foods e.
Other common medications prescribed by physicians to treat IBS are anti-spasmodics that help slow the gut and prevent cramping e. Be sure to consult your physician before taking these medications to treat what you believe to be IBS since you may have another problem whose symptoms will be masked by using one of these drugs.
Diverticular disease is a group of bowel illnesses that result in the bulging out of pouches diverticula through the bowel wall pictured in the diagram below.
These can occur anywhere in the colon, but are most commonly found within the sigmoid area. When causing no symptoms or problems, this outpouching state is called diverticulosis.
Diverticulitis is most common in people over age 40 and is believed to be caused by chronic increased pressure within the bowel e. The symptoms of diverticulitis include abdominal pain, bloating, fever, chills, and sometimes bloody stool. If not treated with antibiotics and bowel rest, diverticulitis can cause lead to abscesses, blocked bowels, infection of the blood, and even death.
If you believe you have diverticular disease, be sure your doctor knows about it.. The photograph shows the small outpouching diverticula as seen through a colonoscope. The x-ray to the right, a barium enema, shows the many outpouchings seen in diverticular disease. A diet high in fiber e. These diseases essentially result in the inflammation and chronic irritation of the wall of the bowel.
The underlying cause of this chronic inflammatory disease is not understood. These diseases often cause chronic diarrhea, cramping, and bloody stools. Ulcerative colitis carries an increased risk of colon cancer, and has a clear genetic component.
Because these diseases can cause so many different complications, it is important they be diagnosed and treated by a competent physician. Anybody with chronic diarrhea, bloody stools, or a significant change in normal bowel habits should see their physician for an evaluation. His anus is scarred from chronic inflammation. The small dark holes above and below his anus are called fistula-in-ano and represent abnormal passageways from his rectum to the skin which formed after repetitive bouts of inflammation and scarring.
An itchy ass is a common problem with many number of possible causes. Disorders of the skin, like eczema or psoriasis, can cause this annoying problem. Other causes include STDs, anal infections e.
Commonly, poor anal hygiene such as from difficulty wiping because of obesity can be a set-up for itching. The photograph shows the inflamed and irritated anus of a woman with pruritis ani an itchy anus. If you have an itchy anus, see your doctor since the underlying cause needs to be treated. General things you can do to help itching are: Loose, all cotton underwear, is also felt to be good for the anus though as far as we could find, there are not studies that specifically analyzed underwear type.
The anus is a very sensitive area with many nerve fibers. A fissure, or rip in the skin, is a painful tear of the anal canal which can have several causes.
The first cause is trauma, such as that caused by the passing of a large stool e. Passing of large hard stools can cut the anal canal. Other trauma occurring from injuries or during sexual activities like anal sex are also a common cause of anal fissures. Symptoms usually include a sharp stabbing sudden anal pain as the trauma occurs such as while passing a hard large stool , followed by discomfort, pain, bleeding, mucous production, and anal itching.
Treatment is the same as for hemorrhoids unless an STD is the cause in the latter case the STD must be treated as well.
If, after a few weeks of treatment, the fissure has not healed, surgical repair of the tear may be necessary. Again, it is always best to discuss your concerns with your physician if you believe you have this or another disease involving your gut.
This means that the rectum — which is normally inside the body — turns inside out and protrudes out of the anus.
Though the exact cause is not known, it is more common in people who are always constipated, and in women with weakened pelvic muscles — for example, after childbirth. Symptoms first occur only with defecation and then begin to happen on their own. Underwear may become soiled with stool and mucus, and it may eventually become impossible to put the rectum back inside the body!
Mild cases are treated like hemorrhoids, severe cases require surgery. The photograph shows a prolapsed rectum bright red area as well as a hemorrhoid arrow. An abscess is a walled-off infection with a collection of pus. Anal abscesses can be caused by any number of underlying problems such as infection of one of the glands surrounding the anus. Other common problems leading to abscess include pilonidal cysts, inflammatory bowel disease i.
Abscesses also occur commonly in people whose immune system is weak such as people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS. Symptoms generally include anal pain, anal muscle spasm, fever, chills, and a mucous-like discharge from the anus that may temporarily relieve the pain especially if the abscess drains into the rectum or through a fistula see below. Surgery is the only treatment for this problem, as the cure for an abscess is allowing it to completely drain. An example is a abnormal tract in the skin leading to an anal abscess, or from an abscess into the rectum.
Pictured to the right is a tender swollen abscess. Whatever the cause, severe and permanent damage to the muscles and nerve fibers may occur as a result of the trauma. The photograph to your left shows the perineal area of a girl who suffered severe trauma after getting impaled on a bedpost while jumping in bed. This damage required hours of surgical correction in the operating room where this photo was taken.
Foreign bodies inserted into the rectum to enhance sexual stimulation are also a common cause of trauma and rectal injuries. The x-ray to your right shows an object that got stuck in the rectum of a man. Can you identify the object? Can you guess what happened that brought him to the emergency room? Click here for the answer. Unfortunately, removal of foreign bodies is usually much more difficult — and much less enjoyable. Make sure you clean your anal area thoroughly after each bowel movement and in the shower, and always wipe front to back.
Cleaning gently with wet wipes, or with antibacterial soap and warm water is a good idea. Anal cleanliness helps to prevent anal infections and urinary tract infections.
If you choose to engage in anal sex, always use condoms! As you can see, bowel health and hygiene is a complex subject! Defecation is a simple but crucial function, and constipation can cause problems ranging from relatively harmless hemorrhoids to diverticulitis with life-threatening rupture to cancer and even death.
The current recommendations for healthy bowel movements include eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet, drinking glasses of water daily, and exercising regularly. Folic acid is currently being studied for its potential to decrease the incidence of colon cancer. Remember, those aged 50 and up, should have regular rectal exams to look for microscopic blood and to check the size and shape of the prostate, in men.