The anus is the lowermost part of the excretory system through which the stool passes. Its main function is to control the expulsion of feces.
Causes and symptoms
Common causes of the ailments of the anus are:
- Passing of long and hard stools
- Poor eating habits
- Lack of fiber in the food
- Spending a long time in the toilet
Common symptoms of anal ailments are
- Constant pain, especially when you use the toilet
- An Itching sensation when you sit down
- Pain associated with bowel movements
Ailments of the anus
There are various disorders/ailments associated with anus, some of which are:
There is no specific cause for anal itching, and it also generally goes away without any treatment. The most common cause is poor hygiene but in a few cases, fungal infection is also responsible for this situation. Excessive cleaning of the area and satisfying the urge to itch can make the situation even worse.
Changing diets and applying appointments in the area can reduce the itching.
It is a type of cancer that develops from the lining of the large intestine and rectum. A button like structure is formed on the lining of the intestine and it can also pass to the lymph nodes.
In Western countries, colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. It is more common in men than in women. The use of alcohol and tobacco increases the chances of colorectal cancer.
Anal fissure is a tear or ulcer in the anus. It occurs when a person passes large or hard stools. It is also caused by loose bowel movements. Anal intercourse is also one of the reasons. The sphincter muscles go into spasm which further worsens the pain. It can happen to a person of any age group but is most common in children.
As soon as a person feels pain or sees blood in his or her stool, he should immediately consult a doctor as it may be anal fissure.
Its treatment includes eating fibrous foods, stool softeners and sitz baths.
Piles are swollen and twisted blood vessels in the lower rectum or the anal region. This may either remain in the rectal region or may bulge outward the anus. The swelling in the vessels is due to excess pressure in the region.
It can cause a sensation of itching and also bleeding during bowel movements.
In most cases, piles can go without any treatment but severe cases can be treated using stool softeners, sitz baths, sometimes a doctor may also prescribe you a rubber ring to sit down upon, as it may help to get relief from the pain.
Anorectal abscess is a pus-filled cavity caused by bacteria surrounding the mucous lining of the anus and rectum. The abscess is generally formed between the rectum and the upper part of the anus. It does not form in the anus as the blood flow in that region is rich, despite anus being a part rich in bacteria. It can cause substantial damage to the nearby tissues and also lead to loose bowel movements.
The infection caused by bacteria can cause pain and produce pus. Surgery is required to drain the abscess.
Anorectal fistulas are common in people who already have anorectal abscess. It generally occurs after surgery of anorectal abscess but there is no clear cause of it. It is more common in boys than in girls. If an infant suffers from it, it is usually a birth defect.
Just like anorectal abscess, anorectal fistula can also produce pus and cause severe pain.
In most of the cases, anorectal fistula requires surgery but nowadays, some less invasive techniques are also available in the medical field.
Levator syndrome is pain occurring at irregular intervals in the rectum. This pain occurs in the muscle called levator ani muscle, which is near the anus. Proctalgia fugax and coccydynia are variations of Levator syndrome. The proper cause is not known why the levator ani muscle spasms. The spasms do not only occur during bowel movements but can occur at any time of the day and last around 20 minutes. The magnitude of pain may also vary.
In severe cases, the pain may prevail up to some hours and can occur very frequently. Treatment includes pain killers, sitz baths and sometimes physical therapy.
Rectal prolapse occurs when the rectum protrudes through the anus. It is generally painless. In this situation, the rectum slips out of its original position and turns inside out. It protrudes out of the anus as a finger-like projection, which is dark red. There is no pain unless the prolapse is severe.
Common symptoms include bleeding and uncontrolled bowel movements.
It is generally caused when a person strains during a bowel movement. In infants, it heals on its own whereas, in adults, surgery is needed.
Proctitis is the inflammation of the lining of the rectum (rectal mucosa). Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly common. It has many causes including sexually transmitted diseases, like syphilis, gonorrhea. A person who has a weak immune system is also vulnerable to this disorder. It may also occur due to bacteria, or by the use of antibiotics which destroys good intestinal bacteria. It can be both painless and painful depending on the situation. If proctitis is caused by an infection, it can be easily treated using antibiotics.
It generally develops in the anal cells or the area between the rectum and the anus (anal canal). Cancers of the anus are squamous cell carcinomas. It is more common in women.
One should take proper care of his digestive system by consuming an adequate amount of fiber. It will help in stool softening and prevent ailment of the anus. Maintain proper hygiene and clean the area well to avoid any of the above problems.
Sometimes, even after taking all the precautions these disorders may occur. At that time, one should be vigilant enough to consult a doctor whenever the aforementioned symptoms show up.