Tag Archives: Defecation

Bowel control

Other Names: Bowel incontinence,Fecal incontinence

Description:
Bowel incontinence is the loss of bowel control, leading to an involuntary passage of stool. This can range from occasionally leaking a small amount of stool and passing gas, to completely losing control of bowel movements..CLICK & SEE

You have a bowel control problem if you accidentally pass solid or liquid stool or mucus from your rectum.* Bowel control problems include being unable to hold a bowel movement until you reach a toilet and passing stool into your underwear without being aware of it happening. Stool, also called feces, is solid waste that is passed as a bowel movement and includes undigested food, bacteria, mucus, and dead cells. Mucus is a clear liquid that coats and protects tissues in your digestive system.

Among people over age 65, most surveys find that women experience bowel incontinence more often than men. One to three out of every 1,000 women report a loss of bowel control at least once per month.

To hold stool and maintain continence, the rectum, anus, pelvic muscles, and nervous system must function normally. You must also have the physical and mental ability to recognize and respond to the urge to have a bowel movement.

Ringlike muscles called sphincters close tightly around your anus to hold stool in your rectum until you’re ready to release the stool. Pelvic floor muscles support your rectum and a woman’s vagina and also help with bowel control.

Causes:
Bowel control problems are often caused by a medical issue and can be treated.

*Chronic constipation, causing the muscles of the anus and intestines to stretch and weaken, and leading to diarrhea and stool leakage (see: encopresis)

*Chronic laxative use

*Colectomy or bowel surgery

*Decreased awareness of sensation of rectal fullness

*Emotional problems

*Gynecological, prostate, or rectal surgery

*Injury to the anal muscles due to childbirth (in women)

*Nerve or muscle damage (from trauma, tumor, or radiation)

*Severe diarrhea that overwhelms the ability to control passage of stool

*Severe hemorrhoids or rectal prolapse

*Stress of unfamiliar environment

*A disease or injury that damages your nervous system

*Poor overall health from multiple chronic, or long lasting, illnesses

*A difficult childbirth with injuries to your pelvic floor—the muscles, ligaments, and tissues that support your uterus, vagina, bladder, and rectum

Diagnosis:
To diagnose what is causing your bowel control problem, your doctor will take your medical history, including asking the questions listed in “What do I tell my doctor about my bowel control problem?” Your doctor may refer you to a specialist who will perform a physical exam and may suggest one or more of the following tests:

* anal manometry
* anal ultrasound
* magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
* defecography
* flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy
* anal electromyography (EMG)

Anal manometry. Anal manometry uses pressure sensors and a balloon that can be inflated in your rectum to check how sensitive your rectum is and how well it works. Anal manometry also checks the tightness of the muscles around your anus. To prepare for this test, you should use an enema and not eat anything 2 hours before the test. An enema involves flushing water or a laxative into your anus using a special squirt bottle. A laxative is medicine that loosens stool and increases bowel movements. For this test, a thin tube with a balloon on its tip and pressure sensors below the balloon is put into your anus. Once the balloon reaches the rectum and the pressure sensors are in the anus, the tube is slowly pulled out to measure muscle tone and contractions. No sedative is needed for this test, which takes about 30 minutes.

Anal ultrasound. Ultrasound uses a tool, called a transducer, that bounces safe, painless sound waves off your organs to create an image of their structure. An anal ultrasound is specific to the anus and rectum. The procedure is performed in a doctor’s office, outpatient center, or hospital by a specially trained technician, and the images are interpreted by a radiologist—a doctor who specializes in medical imaging. A sedative is not needed. The images can show the structure of your anal sphincter muscles.

MRI. MRI machines use radio waves and magnets to produce detailed pictures of your internal organs and soft tissues without using x rays. The procedure is performed in an outpatient center or hospital by a specially trained technician, and the images are interpreted by a radiologist. A sedative is not needed, though you may be given medicine to help you relax if you have a fear of confined spaces. An MRI may include the injection of special dye, called contrast medium. With most MRI machines, you lie on a table that slides into a tunnel-shaped device that may be open ended or closed at one end; some newer machines are designed to allow you to lie in a more open space. MRIs can show problems with your anal sphincter muscles. MRIs can provide more information than anal ultrasound, especially about the external anal sphincter.

Defecography. This x ray of the area around your anus and rectum shows whether you have problems with

* pushing stool out of your body
* the functioning of your anus and rectum
* squeezing and relaxing your rectal muscles

The test can also show changes in the structure of your anus or rectum. To prepare for the test, you perform two enemas. You can’t eat anything for 2 hours before the test. During the test, the doctor fills your rectum with a soft paste that shows up on x rays and feels like stool. You sit on a toilet inside an x-ray machine. The doctor will ask you to first pull in and squeeze your sphincter muscles to prevent leakage and then to strain as if you’re having a bowel movement. The radiologist studies the x rays to look for problems with your rectum, anus, and pelvic floor muscles.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. These tests are similar, but a colonoscopy is used to view your rectum and entire colon, while a flexible sigmoidoscopy is used to view just your rectum and lower colon. These tests are performed at a hospital or outpatient center by a gastroenterologist—a doctor who specializes in digestive diseases. For both tests, a doctor will give you written bowel prep instructions to follow at home. You may be asked to follow a clear liquid diet for 1 to 3 days before either test. The night before the test, you may need to take a laxative. One or more enemas may be needed the night before and about 2 hours before the test.

In most cases, you will be given a light sedative, and possibly pain medicine, to help you relax during a flexible sigmoidoscopy. A sedative is used for colonoscopy. For either test, you will lie on a table while the doctor inserts a flexible tube into your anus. A small camera on the tube sends a video image of your bowel lining to a computer screen. The test can show problems in your lower GI tract that may be causing your bowel control problem. The doctor may also perform a biopsy, a procedure that involves taking a piece of tissue from the bowel lining for examination with a microscope. You won’t feel the biopsy. A pathologist—a doctor who specializes in diagnosing diseases—examines the tissue in a lab to confirm the diagnosis.

You may have cramping or bloating during the first hour after these tests. You’re not allowed to drive for 24 hours after a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy to allow the sedative time to wear off. Before the test, you should make plans for a ride home. You should recover fully by the next day and be able to go back to your normal diet.

Anal EMG. Anal EMG checks the health of your pelvic floor muscles and the nerves that control your muscles. The doctor inserts a very thin needle wire through your skin into your muscle. The wire on the needle picks up the electrical activity given off by the muscles. The electrical activity is shown as images on a screen or sounds through a speaker. Another type of anal EMG uses stainless steel plates attached to the sides of a plastic plug instead of a needle. The plug is put in your anus to measure the electrical activity of your external anal sphincter and other pelvic floor muscles. The test can show if there is damage to the nerves that control the external sphincter or pelvic floor muscles by measuring the average electrical activity when you

* relax quietly
* squeeze to prevent a bowel movement
* strain to have a bowel movement

Treatment:
Home Care:
Incontinence is not a hopeless situation. Proper treatment can help most people, and can often eliminate the problem.

Treating bowel incontinence should begin by identifying the cause of the incontinence. There are several ways to strengthen the anal and pelvic muscles and promote normal bowel function.

Rutine pelvic floor exercise  may improve the condition.

FECAL IMPACTION:
Fecal impaction is usually caused by chronic constipation. It leads to a mass of stool that partially blocks the large intestine. If constipation or fecal impaction contributes to fecal incontinence, usually laxatives and enemas are of little help. A health care provider may need to insert one or two fingers into the rectum and break the mass into smaller pieces that can pass more easily.

Take measures to prevent further fecal impaction. Add fiber to your diet to help form normal stool. Use other medications your health care provider recommends. In addition, drink enough fluids and get enough exercise to enhance normal stool consistency.

DIET:
Bowel incontinence often occurs because the rectal sphincter is less able to handle large amounts of liquid stool. Often, simply changing the diet may reduce the occurrence of bowel incontinence.

Certain people develop diarrhea after eating dairy foods because they are unable to digest lactose, a sugar found in most dairy products. Some food additives such as nutmeg and sorbitol may cause diarrhea in certain people.

Adding bulk to the diet may thicken loose stool and decrease its amount. Increasing fiber (30 grams daily) from whole-wheat grains and bran adds bulk to the diet. Psyllium-containing products such as Metamucil can also add bulk to the stools.

Formula tube feedings often cause diarrhea and bowel incontinence. For diarrhea or bowel incontinence caused by tube feedings, talk to your health care provider or dietitian. The rate of the feedings may need to be changed, or bulk agents may need to be added to the formula.

Eating, Diet, and Nutrition:
Changes in your diet that may improve your bowel control problem include

*Eating the right amount of fiber. Fiber can help with diarrhea and constipation. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Fiber supplements sold in a pharmacy or health food store are another common source of fiber to treat bowel control problems. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day for adults and “age plus five” grams for children. A 7-year-old child, for example, should get “7 plus five,” or 12, grams of fiber a day. Fiber should be added to your diet slowly to avoid bloating.

*Getting plenty to drink. Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of liquid a day may help prevent constipation. Water is a good choice. You should avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, milk, or carbonation if they give you diarrhea.

*Kegel exercise  or pelvic floor exercise is very much useful. This exercise
consists of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor, now sometimes colloquially referred to as the “Kegel muscles”. The exercise needs to be performed multiple times each day, for several minutes at a time, for one to three months, to begin to have an effect.

MEDICATIONS:
In people with bowel incontinence due to diarrhea, medications such as loperamide (Imodium) may be used to control the diarrhea and improve bowel incontinence.

Other antidiarrheal medications include anti-cholinergic medications (belladonna or atropine), which reduce intestinal secretions and movement of the bowel. Opium derivatives (paregoric or codeine) or diphenoxylate (lomotil), as well as loperamide (Imodium) increase intestinal tone and decrease movement of the bowel.

Other medications used to control bowel incontinence include drugs that reduce water content in the stools (activated charcoal or Kaopectate) or that absorb fluid and add bulk to the stools (Metamucil).

MEDICATION EVALUATION: With your health care provider, review all the medications you take. Certain medications can cause or increase bowel incontinence, especially in older people. These medications include:

*Antacids
*Laxatives

OTHER THERAPIES:
If you often have bowel incontinence, you can use special fecal collection devices to contain the stool and protect your skin from breakdown. These devices consist of a drainable pouch attached to an adhesive wafer. The wafer has a hole cut through the center, which fits over the opening to the anus.

Most people who have bowel incontinence due to a lack of sphincter control, or decreased awareness of the urge to defecate, may benefit from a bowel retraining program and exercise therapies to help restore normal muscle tone.

Special care must be taken to maintain bowel control in people who have a decreased ability to recognize the urge to defecate, or who have impaired mobility that prevents them from independently and safely using the toilet. Such people should be assisted to use the toilet after meals, and promptly helped to the toilet if they have the urge to defecate.

If toileting needs are often unanswered, a pattern of negative reinforcement may develop. In this case people no longer take the correct actions when they feel the urge to have a bowel movement

You may click & See : Toileting safety

SURGERY
People who have bowel incontinence that continues even with medical treatment may benefit from surgery to correct the problem. Several different options exist. The choice of surgery is based on the cause of the bowel incontinence and the person’s general health.

RECTAL SPHINCTER REPAIR
Sphincter repair is performed on people whose anal muscle ring (sphincter) isn’t working well due to injury or aging. The procedure consists of re-attaching the anal muscles to tighten the sphincter and helping the anus close more completely.

GRACILIS MUSCLE TRANSPLANT
In people who have a loss of nerve function in the anal sphincter, gracilis muscle transplants may be performed to restore bowel control. The gracilis muscle is taken from the inner thigh. It is put around the sphincter to provide sphincter muscle tone.

ARTIFICIAL BOWEL SPHINCTER
Some patients may be treated with an artificial bowel sphincter. The artificial sphincter consists of three parts: a cuff that fits around the anus, a pressure-regulating balloon, and a pump that inflates the cuff.

The artificial sphincter is surgically implanted around the rectal sphincter. The cuff remains inflated to maintain continence. You have a bowel movement by deflating the cuff. The cuff will automatically re-inflate in 10 minutes.

FECAL DIVERSION
Sometimes a fecal diversion is performed for people who are not helped by other therapies. The large intestine is attached to an opening in the abdominal wall called a colostomy. Stool passes through this opening to a special bag. You will need to use a colostomy bag to collect the stool most of the time.

Regular Yoga exercise & Meditation under the supervision of an expart  will defenitely help a lot to get rid of the problem.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/bowel-control/Pages/ez.aspx
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003135.htm

Some Health Quaries & Answers

 

Q: My husband and I both have corns on our feet. His corns fell off after he applied corn caps. Mine did not even though I used the same caps. The caps keep falling off instead.

CORNY REMEDY :-

A: If the corn caps worked for your husband, trying the same brand makes sense. For self-treatment to be successful, the foot has to be dry when you apply the caps. Also, do not walk barefoot even in the house. When you have a bath, tie your leg in a plastic bag so that the caps do not get wet. You need to leave them on as long as possible.

Even though the lesions appear similar, in your case the diagnosis may be something else like warts. If they are still present after three months of self-treatment with corn plasters, consult a dermatologist and consider having them surgically removed.

HIS  FACE WAS PARALYZED :-

Q: My uncle was travelling in a car sitting next to the window. After he reached home he found that he could not move the right side of his face, or even close the eye. Is this a stroke?


A: This sounds more like “Bell’s palsy” than a stroke. It is an isolated paralysis of the facial nerve. It is common in persons between 15-60 years of age and in diabetics. It occurs because the facial nerve passes through a narrow bony canal in the ear before its branches enter the facial muscles. Exposure to cold can cause the nerve to swell up. It then becomes compressed. The pressure causes the paralysis. This can also occur as a result of an infection with the Herpes Simplex virus.

Treatment is with antiviral agents, steroids and physiotherapy. Recovery is usually complete.

POTTY TRAINING

Q: My six-year-old son has no control over his bowel movement. His pants and underwear are constantly soiled because part of the motion leaks out. It is not diarrhoea. This happens in school too, and it is becoming a problem.


A: If your son had control of his motion initially and has now lost it, he probably suffers from a condition called “encopresis”. It occurs when the child does not go to the toilet when he feels the urge. This results in chronic constipation. Once the rectum is full of impacted stools, liquid motion from above can leak out of the anus causing this problem.

Treatment of encopresis focuses on clearing the colon of retained, impacted stool and encouraging healthy bowel movement. This means training your son to go to the toilet as soon as the urge to defecate occurs. Also, try to send him to the toilet every day at a fixed time.

The diet should contain dietary fibre in the form of four to five helpings of fruits or vegetables a day.

DARK PATCHES

Q: I developed dark patches on my arms and legs. I went to one of the clinics advertised on television and they diagnosed macular amyloidosis (I don’t know what that is) and advised laser treatment. I am a bit nervous about this.


A: Macular amyloidosis is a skin condition in which itchy lesions appear as flat dusky-brown or greyish spots that may eventually form patches of darkened skin. It is found symmetrically distributed over the upper back between the shoulder blades, on the chest, sometimes on the arms, and rarely on the legs.

The diagnosis has to be made after a biopsy. All dark patches are not macular amyloidosis (yours seem non-itchy) nor do they require expensive treatment like laser therapy. Go to a dermatologist, confirm the diagnosis and then start treatment. Usually anti histamines and topical steroids are tried initially. Do not believe everything said in advertisements on television.

CURE  FOR  PCOS

Q: My daughter has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Each time the doctor puts her on tablets, and she is alright for a few months. As soon as the treatment is discontinued, her periods become irregular.


A: PCOS occurs because of an inherited abnormal gene for food metabolism. As a result the sufferer tends to become obese, develop acne and have irregular periods. The gene will always be present. The tendency to manifest the gene can be controlled if —

* Your daughter jogs 40 minutes a day

* She maintains her BMI at 23 (BMI is weight divided by height in metre squared).

Pills or exercise — the choice is hers.

ATTEMPTED  RAPE

Q: A relative tried to rape me during my childhood. Now I have abdominal pain all the time. I think I have an infection.


A: Since you are worried, and with reason, test your blood for VDRL, HIV and HbAg. Also, do an ultrasound of the abdomen and pelvis. If all these are normal, you have nothing to worry about.

Move on with your life and forget the past. Almost 95 per cent women face unwelcome unwanted sexual advances at some time in their life. Take lessons in karate, Kung Fu or some other martial art. It will make you more confident and ensure nothing like that happens again.

Source: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Regular Elimination Promotes Optimum Health!

When you can’t properly empty your bowels, you will experience damage to every cell, gland and organ in your body. Even worse, without regular, daily elimination and colon cleansing, your bloodstream and lymph system can become overloaded with toxins, chemicals and rotting waste.

…..

If you continue to be plagued by symptoms such as occasional diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowels, smelly elimination, bloating, excessive and smelly gas, cramping and heartburn… then you may have a clogged and unhealthy excretory system.

In fact, your colon may even be a breeding ground for harmful parasites. According to June Wiles, Ph.D., “Parasites are vermin that steal your food, drink your blood and leave their excrement in your body to be reabsorbed into the bloodstream as nourishment.”

You can also be exposed to parasites if you eat meats such as pork and fish… drink tap water… eat raw fruits and vegetables… take antibiotics… work or live with children… travel out of the country… shake hands with people… or touch door knobs.

To help rid your body of parasites once-and-for-all and restore healthy bowel eliminations for a whistle-clean colon, look for amazing digestive nutrients such as cascara sagrada, senna leaf, black walnut bark and slippery elm bark.

Doctors and nutritionists agree that the best way to prevent sickness and maintain good overall health is through a well-functioning colon that’s free from toxins and waste build-up. A clogged colon can lead to digestion problems, as well as create the perfect breeding ground for parasites… contribute to kidney and heart problems… and even weaken your immune system.

Your colon may be in trouble if you’re experiencing…

*Occasional constipation or diarrhea

*Irritable bowels

*Intensely smelly elimination

*Straining to have a bowel movement

But adding daily fiber to your diet with plenty of water can help you to properly and regularly empty your bowels with a decreased transit time between eating and elimination. Plus, you may have more energy and get relief from bloating and heartburn.

When you experience proper bowel elimination with natural solutions, you’ll be promoting a clean and healthy colon for years to come.

Source:Better Health Research. Feb.8th.2010

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Anal Itching (Pruritus Ani)


 

Definition:
Anal itching is itching around your anus — the canal that’s the outlet for your rectum. The itch, located in your anus or on the skin just around your anus, is often intense and may be accompanied by a strong urge to scratch. You may find anal itching to be an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation.

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Anal itching, also known as itchy bottom, pruritus ani or anusitis, is irritation and sometimes inflammation of the anus – located at the exit of the rectum.

Itching severity varies and is usually exacerbated by such factors as type of clothing worn, whether the patient is seated or upright, moisture levels, pressure and general rubbing of the anal area. Anal itching can become so severe that some people find it intolerable, describing the sensation as one of incredible burning and soreness.

Numerous factors may cause anal itching to be more intense — including moisture, abrasion caused by your clothing and the pressure of sitting.

Anal itching is a common problem that many people have experienced. Don’t be afraid to talk with your doctor about this condition. With proper treatment and self-care measures, most people can achieve complete relief from anal itching.

Anal itching is not a disease in itself, but rather a sign or symptom. In the majority of cases, there is an underlying cause or condition which causes the anal itching. However, sometimes the underlying cause is never found.

Regardless of the cause, virtually every type of anal itching sign or symptom can be successfully treated.

Most humans and other animals sometimes scratch their bottoms. For a person with pruritus ani (anal itching) the urge to scratch around the anus is very strong and persistent. Although the urge may occur at any time of day or night, it is more common after going to the toilet; especially if stools are liquidy. Some patients say the itching becomes more intense just prior to falling asleep in bed at night.

Things that set off anal itching or exacerbate it are:
#Anxiety
#Heat
#Mental stress
Moisture
#Soiling (defecating or pooing in one’s clothing)
#Some clothing or bedding materials, such as wool
#Having nowhere private to go into nearby

According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, pruritus ani is “itching of varying intensity at the anus; may be paroxysmal or constant, associated with seborrheic candidiasis or moniliasis, with irritated and enlarged hemorrhoidal veins, or may occur independently of any cutaneous lesions in association with systemic disease.”

Symptoms:-

The symptoms of anal itching are self explanatory – “itching of the anus and the anal area”. The patient generally experiences:
#Burning
#Intense itching
#Soreness
#Pain (sometimes)

Symptoms may be short-term or persistent. Some individuals may experience irritation that is so intense that the desire to scratch must be satisfied there and then – this can be bothersome problem. For some people, the irritation is so intense that the urge to scratch is both irresistible and embarrassing.

Causes:-

Most cases of anal itching are caused by a harmless problem. Occasionally, however, anal itching can also be a sign of more-serious medical issues. Possible causes of anal itching include:

#Skin type – if the skin around the anal area is too dry there is a significantly greater risk of developing persistent and sometimes severe anal itching.

#Moisture levels – if moisture levels around the anal area are high, the chances of having anal itching are raised. High moisture levels can be the result of several different factors, including over-sweating, allergies, diarrhea, very wet and sticky stools, inappropriate clothing, fecal incontinence, and not having access to toilet paper or any means of cleaning oneself.

#Abrasive rubbing – cleaning your bottom with toilet paper can aggravate anal itching if the sensitive skin area is rubbed too hard, for too long, or too often.

#Excessive washing. Excessive wiping with dry, harsh toilet paper or excessive scrubbing with harsh soaps can cause or aggravate anal itching. Failure to rinse away the soap completely also may cause irritation.

#Some chemicals
– some substances found in some soaps, douches, laundry detergents and body sprays may irritate the skin and cause anal itching.

#Type of toilet paper – the texture and substances added to toilet paper may irritate and inflame the skin in the anal area, resulting in itching.

#Some foods some people may develop anal itching after consuming certain types of hot sauces or spices. The irritation may occur when the food is anywhere in the digestive system, even when stools are exiting through the anus.
.

#Some medicines – some medications, such as antibiotics can cause diarrhea, which can cause anal itching.

#Laxative abuse – if laxatives are used inappropriately and the patient has diarrhea or very liquidy stools, the probability of anal itching occurring  becomes much greater.

#Hemorrhoids – when the veins around the anus or in the rectum are swollen or inflamed the patient has hemorrhoids . Hemorrhoids can occur both inside and above the inside of the anus. They can also appear externally, under the skin of the anus. People with hemorrhoids commonly suffer from anal itching.

#STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) – also known as STIs (sexually transmitted infections) cause anal as well as genital itching.

#Parasites- some parasites may cause anal itching. Parasites are more commonly a cause of anal itching in tropical countries, or tropical regions of countries.


#Some yeast infections –
this generally affects women. Yeast infections which affect the genital area, may spread to the anus, causing intense irritation.

#Forced bowel movement – if the stool is dry and large and the individual heaves and still pushes it through, there is a risk of an anal abrasion (small tear in the anus). A deeper tear is called an anal fissure, which may also cause itching.

#Food irritants.
Anal itching may be the result of irritating chemicals in some foods, such as those found in spices and hot sauces. Similarly, some foods may directly or indirectly irritate your anus as they exit your colon. Common culprits include chocolate, alcohol, tomatoes, nuts and popcorn. Consuming certain beverages, including milk or caffeinated drinks, may cause some people to experience diarrhea followed by anal itching.

#Medications. Anal itching may be a side effect of certain medications, including some antibiotics, that can cause frequent diarrhea.

#Overuse of laxatives. Excessive or improper use of laxatives can lead to chronic diarrhea and the risk of anal irritation and itching.

#Skin disorders.
Common skin problems — such as psoriasis, seborrhea and eczema — can involve and irritate the area in and around your anus.

#Yeast infections.
This common infection, which usually affects women, can irritate your genital and anal areas.

#Anal abrasions and fissures. An anal abrasion is a small tear in your anus, usually caused by forced bowel movements through a tight anus. An anal fissure

is a deeper tear. Both conditions can cause anal itching, as well as painful bowel movements and bleeding.

#Anal tumors. Rarely, benign or cancerous tumors in or around the anus may be a cause of anal itching.

#Other causes. Anal itching may be related to anxiety or stress. Sometimes, the cause remains undetermined.

Although anal itching is almost never a problem of cleanliness, your own actions may contribute to the problem. Whatever the cause of anal itching, your natural reaction is to scratch the area. But scratching worsens the problem by removing superficial layers of skin. In addition, the natural tendency in response to an irritation is to wash the area frequently with soap and a washcloth. However, excessive washing can aggravate the condition by removing your skin’s natural protective oils.


Diagnosis:

Doctor may be able to diagnose the cause of your itching simply by asking you questions about your symptoms.

Click for Anal eatching Diagnosis Throgh question & answer:

If the cause of your itching isn’t obvious, your doctor may refer you to a skin specialist (dermatologist) or a doctor who specializes in treating rectal and anal problems (proctologist) for further evaluation. A rectal exam may be all that’s required for you to get an answer — and a solution — to a very uncomfortable problem.

Diagnosis can also be made just from a rectal exam. This will involve the doctor checking the anal area for any skin that is inflamed, cracked or bleeding. An internal exam may then be required; the doctor inserts his/her finger into the patient’s anus. Doing this can help determine what is causing the anal itching as well as eliminating more serious conditions, such as colorectal cancer. Sometimes a more detailed exam of the digestive system, such as a colonoscopy or a proctoscopy may be required.

Other tests, such as proctoscopy or colonoscopy to view more of the digestive tract, are sometimes needed to identify an underlying cause of anal itching. However, the precise cause of the itching may never be identified.


Treatment:

Treatment of anal itching depends on the cause of the problem. It may include self-care measures, changes to your diet, treatment of infections or, rarely, surgery to correct an underlying problem.

Most of the time it is easy to  treat  Anal itching  and   treatment responds very well. However, this may not stop it from recurring in the future. The type of treatment chosen is dependent on the cause of the anal itching. The various methods of treatment may include:

#Anal cleanliness/dryness – When suffering from anal itching, keeping your anus clean and dry is very important. Each time you pass a stool and before going to bed it is advised that the skin around the anus is carefully cleaned using water and then dried thoroughly.

#When drying, be gentle,
avoid vigorous rubbing as this could further irritate the area. Another option is using a hair dryer on low heat or patting with a dry pad.

#Be careful when washing with soap
– When washing the skin around the anus avoid perfumed soap, try using one which is mild and unscented, and be sure to rinse away all the soap with water.

#When trav elling
-The above options may not be possible when on the move or away from home. In this case try using damp toilet tissues to clean yourself.

#If the area keeps getting moist due to sweat – Putting a cotton tissue in your underwear will absorb the sweat/moisture and reduce itching.

#Avoiding consumption of certain foods
– There are a number of food types that can make the anal itching worse. If you notice the urge to itch getting worse after eating a particular kind of food, you should try to cut down on it.

Below is a list of foods that are known to make anal itching worse:

*Chocolate
*Citrus fruits
*Coffee
*Dairy Products
*Nuts
*Spicy food
*Tomatoes
*Too much liquid consumption


#Things you can do yourself – There are some other ways you can keep control of your anal itching symptoms. These are as follows:

*Use colorless plain toilet paper
*Make sure you have a shower every day
*Wear underwear that is made of cotton and not too tight.
*Be sure to wear clean underwear every day.
*Trim your fingernails regularly; scratching the anal area with long fingernails can damage the skin. Ideally scratching the area should be avoided altogether, as it can make the itching worse.


#Prescription Medication
– Doctors can prescribe medication to help relieve the symptoms.

*Creams – Doctors can also prescribe creams or ointments.

*Corticosteroids – Patients with anal itching where the anal area is tender and inflamed may be prescribed a short course of corticosteroids (less than 7 days). It is applied onto the skin around the anus and will relieve the itching impulse and inflammation. It is known on occasion to make the itching worse, if this is the case it you should stop taking it and contact your doctor.

*Antihistamines – This is to be taken at night and can alleviate your itching and help you sleep.

*Treating the underlying cause – If the anal itching is the result of an underlying cause, the doctor will nead to treat that first. In most cases, if that underlying cause is effectively treated, the anal itching will resolve itself.

With proper treatment, most people experience relief from anal itching in less than a week. Anal itching that continues for more than six weeks needs to be evaluated carefully  by your doctor.

Prevention:
Prevention of anal itching mainly involves washing properly and avoiding irritants. If you already have anal itching, try these self-care measures:

#Cleanse gently. Wash the area in the morning, at night and immediately after bowel movements. But don’t scrub and avoid using soap. Instead, use a wet washcloth, wet bathroom tissue, unscented flushable bathroom wipes, cotton balls moistened with water, unscented baby wipes or a small squeeze bottle of water to cleanse the area.

#Dry thoroughly. After cleansing, pat the area dry with toilet paper or a towel. Or dry thoroughly with a hair dryer. Once dry, place a piece of cotton gauze against the anus to help keep the area dry. Replace the cotton as necessary. Nonmedicated talcum or cornstarch powder also can help keep the area dry.

#Use over-the-counter treatments correctly. Apply OTC creams sparingly. Don’t use these treatments unless directed by your doctor. For some people, creams or ointments may cause more irritation, and they may mask a persistent problem.

#Don’t scratch.
Scratching further irritates your skin and leads to persistent inflammation. If you can’t tolerate the itching, apply a cold compress to the area or take a lukewarm bath to find some immediate relief. Keep busy to distract yourself from scratching.

#Switch tissue. The skin around your anus may be sensitive to bathroom tissue that contains dyes or perfumes. Use unbleached, unscented tissue. You may want to use tissue that’s moistened or made extra soft for comfort, or unscented flushable bathroom wipes.

#Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing. This helps keep the area dry. Avoid wearing pantyhose and other tightfitting garments because these can trap moisture. Change your underwear daily and whenever it’s soiled.

#Avoid irritants. Avoid bubble baths and genital deodorants. Cut back or avoid beverages or foods that you know irritate your anal area. Avoid overuse of laxatives that increase diarrhea and the risk of anal irritation and itching.

Click to see->Home Remedies for Anal Itch and Rectal Burning.

Related articles:

Seeing someone scratch an itch ‘makes you itchy too’

Itching study ‘finds chemical that makes us scratch’

Itching and scratching a ‘vicious cycle’, say researchers

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anal-itching/DS00453
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/168728.php

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Anoscopy

Definition:
An anoscopy is an examination of the rectum in which a small tube is inserted into the anus to screen, diagnose, and evaluate problems of the anus and anal canal.

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Anoscopy views the anus and anal canal by using an anoscope. An anoscope is a plastic, tube-shaped speculum that is a smaller version of a sigmoidscope. Before the anoscope is used, the doctor completes a digital rectal examination with a lubricated, gloved index finger. The anoscope is then lubricated and gently inserted a few inches into the rectum. This procedure enlarges the rectum to allow the doctor to view the entire anal canal with a light. If any suspicious areas are noticed, a piece of tissue can be biopsied.
What is the Purpose of the test?
Doctors use anoscopy to diagnose rectal cancer and cancer of the anus. This procedure can also help the doctor:

*:detect any lesions that could not be felt during a digital examination

*determine whether squamous cell carcinomas involving lymph nodes in or near the groin (inguinal lymph nodes) originated in the genital area or in or near the anus or rectum

*confirm the source of malignancies that have spread to the anorectal area from other parts of the body
Doctors also perform anoscopy to determine whether a patient has hemorrhoids or anal:

*growths or nodules (polyps)
*ulcer-like grooves (fissures)
*inflammation
*infection

.How do you prepare for the test?
Before the test, you might want to empty your bladder or have a bowel movement to make yourself more comfortable. The doctor may suggest using:

*a laxative,
*an enema,
*or some other preparationto clear the rectum.

What happens when the test is performed?
This test is usually done in a doctor’s office. You need to remove your underwear.After removing underwear, the patient bends forward over the examining table or lies on one side with knees drawn up to the chest. The doctor performs a digital examination to make sure no tumor or other abnormality will obstruct the passage of a slender lubricated tube (anoscope). As the doctor gently guides the anoscope a few inches into the rectum, the patient is told to bear down as though having a bowel movement, thenrelax.

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By tensing and relaxing, the patient makes it easier for the doctor to insert the anoscope, and discover growths in the lining of the rectum that could not be detected during the digital examination.

Directing a light into the anoscope gives the doctor a clear view of any tears or other irregularities in the lower anus or rectum. A doctor who suspects that a patient may have cancer will remove tissue for biopsy in the course of this procedure.

Slowly withdrawing the anoscope allows the doctor to thoroughly inspect the entire anal canal. As the procedure is being performed, the doctor explains what is happening, and why the patient feels pressure.

Removing tissue samples for biopsy can pinch, but anoscopy does not usually cause pain. Patients do experience the sensation of needing to have a bowel movement.

Risk Factors:
There are no significant risks from anoscopy. Sometimes, especially if you have hemorrhoids, you may have a small amount of bleeding after the anoscope is pulled out.

Must you do anything special after the test is over?
You can return to your normal activities immediately.
How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor can tell you about your anoscopy exam right away.

RESULTS:

Normal Results

A normal anoscopy reveals NO evidence of:

*tumor
*tissue irregularities
*polyps
*fissures
*hemorrhoids
*inflammation
*infectionor other abnormalities. The size, color, and shape of the anal canal look like they should.

Abnormal Results

Abnormal results of anoscopy can indicate the PRESENCE of:

*cancer
*abscesses
*polyps
*inflammation
*infection
*fissures
*hemorrhoids

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/anoscopy.shtml
http://www.answers.com/topic/anoscopy-1