End Anal Fistulas
What Is A Fistula?
A fistula is a tunnel joining one surface area of the body with another and they can occur in different places in the body. Usually it is the result of an abscess or boil which did not drain properly, or an infection which was maltreated. Fistulas are never pleasant and should be properly treated as soon as possible. People with compromised immune systems or who suffer from irritable bowel diseases are at increased risk for anal fistula.
Anal fistula has several symptoms that present when there is strain, blockage or infection. Near the anus there will be a lump accompanied by stabbing pain. Once the pus is released, the pain will stop immediately. There can be leakage from the fistula opening of a foul smelling pus, or mucus or fecal matter which will show on undergarments. The constant wetness created by this leaking can cause skin infections and discomfort. A person can experience either constipation or conversely, diarrhea. Should the fistula become blocked again there will be a recurrence of infection and abscess with accompanying fever, illness and possible blood poisoning.
Taking Care of Yourself
Once diagnosed, there are some measures which can be taken to manage the symptoms of fistula. Avoiding constipation by drinking plenty of water and juices is important. By passing stool twice a day, strain on the rectum and anus can be avoided. Strain is a major contributor to the discomfort of fistula. Be sure to follow proper hygienic cleaning and care for the area and take frequent baths of ten minutes each after passing stool. Blood circulation can be enhanced and toxins diluted as a result of increased circulation by using hot compresses on the area.
Fistulas are not easily resolved with medicine. Consequently, surgery is opted for by most medical practitioners. Even with surgery, the chance of recurrence is great due to residual abscess or infection left in the fistula tract. Great caution must be exercised post-operatively to ensure there is no reinfection. Surgical removal of fistula can also result in incontinence, yet another difficult situation for sufferers.
To prevent anal fistula there are a few things which are important as a regular part of daily life. Regular bowel habits which are not strenuous and proper hygienic measures to ensure the anal area is dry and clean are most important. Be sure any infections or boils are treated immediately and not ignored and wear fabrics that breathe close to the body to discourage moisture build-up.