My butt hurts

Our bodies have an amazingly complex waste disposal system.  It is a function we mostly take for granted and gratefully have very little to do with in the normal course of events.  We don't even think about the fact that our rectums can tell the difference between solid, liquid and gas, and pretty successfully discrimnate in which one gets through.  Whenever there is a complicated function, it implies that there are many different componenets that can go awry.

I think it is a common experience to the human condition to occasionally have discomfort in the anus. As with most problems, our bodies are usually able to fix most things. If you are experiencing an episode of pain in this area, there are some simple ways to support your body's healing efforts as well as give yourself some comfort.

Certainly, what goes in must come out.  If you are having pain with bowel movements, a simple response would be to take less in so that the area can rest a bit.  Clear liquids like broth, Jell-o, and sports drinks, like Gatorade, can keep you going with adequate fluid, salts and calories while putting nothing into the gut that would need to pass the rectum.  If you stick with a clear liquid diet for a day, you can really give your anus a chance to recuperate.  Thereafter, keeping the stool soft will help prevent reinjury.  Fruits, cooked vegetables and plenty of water will work toward that end. (Sorry about the pun.)  Simple stool softeners, without laxatives are also helpful.

Application of a soaking hot compress will bring more circulation to the area.  My recommendation is that every time you go into the bathroom, even if it's just to pee, run the water really hot and get a handful of tissues or toilet paper dripping with this hot water and hold it right on your anus as you sit on the toilet.  Keep it there for just a minute or two.  Then dry off and go about your day.  This simple measure can help promote your body's natural healing process, and it feel good.

If you have a lump in the area, it's most likely a hemorrhoid, but you won't know that until someone looks at it.  If you're having a little bit of blood with bowel movements, it might be hemorrhoids or a fissure.  But you won't know until someone takes a look.  Take care of yourself. Don't be afraid to insist that your medical professional LOOK AT the problem.  I've been astonished and embarassed for my profession when patients tell me that they've been to doctors who ordered expensive and invasive tests for these problems with out even examining them. 

Please respect this highly intricate system.  It is amazingly efficient and user-friendly.  Give it the attention it deserves. 

For a more in depth discussion, see www.faterMD.com  and go to "articles".

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