A reader asks: Doctor, I have been suffering from anal itch for a long time. The itching is only at one point inside the anus and it bothers me a lot.
I have been to a gastroenterologist, after couple of tests he told me it is due to hemorrhoids. I don’t have any other issue due to hemorrhoids, except gas and occasional stomach problems.
The doctor game me fiber supplements and medicines to keep my bowel movement smooth. But the problem still persists. Every now and then I get anal itch. Is there any solution in Ayurveda for this problem? Please advise.
Dr Jomol Mariam Thomas, Dubai Health Authority licensed Ayurveda Practitioner, Senior Ayurveda Consultant, Dr Shyam’s Ayurveda Centre, Dubai, replies: The itching in anus at one point inside the anus should not be due to any other reason than the hemorrhoids as diagnosed by your gastroenterologist. As you know hemorrhoids is nothing but the protruded veins from the rectal mucosa, which cause swelling like mass of varying sizes.
The internal and external hemorrhoids can cause unbearable itching, but it is not necessary that everyone with piles develop itching. But the associated symptoms of gas and stomach problems could be due to the obstruction of gas due to the pile mass. Being an extremely uncomfortable and embarrassing problem it is highly essential to start the treatment of piles instead of a symptomatic treatment for itching.
In Ayurveda, the condition is called Arsha and the prime cause for piles is constipation, the others being sedentary way of life, lack of exercises and some morbid conditions of liver. There are a couple of causes of itchy hemorrhoids.
- The basic reason is because of inflammation. When an area becomes inflamed, it tends to swell up and fill with fluid and white blood cells. The excess fluid and cells cause the body tissues to stretch which can make the area become irritated and itch.
- The pile mass around the anus rub against the surrounding skin can cause the irritation and itching.
- Post defecation left over fecal matter if trapped in between the tags can also lead to a mild infection or skin irritation.
- Internal hemorrhoids may rub against the surrounding mucus membranes causing additional mucus to be produced to alleviate the irritation. The mucus can flow outside the body and dry on the skin leads to itching.
- Other things that can cause itching include wiping too hard or too frequently, eating spicy foods, allowing the area to remain moist, sitting or walking for a long time, and friction from clothing.
Relief from anal hemorrhoid itching can be achieved in several ways.
- Practice good hygiene and keep the area clean.
- Bathe daily and be sure to get around the anus.
- Dry the area completely and wear dry underwear.
- Wear loose clothing to prevent itching from friction.
- To avoid the irritation that comes from wiping with toilet paper, use soft wet cloth wipes to clean up after bowel movements.
Ayurvedic way to relieve the itching in anus
- Sits’ bath in warm decoction of Triphala or Aragwadha and application of Pilex ointment is found to be useful.
- Application of Aloe Vera with castor oil, neem oil or murivenna may also relieve itching.
FOLLOW THIS DO’S AND DON’TS INORDER TO PREVENT ANY PROGRESS OF THE PRESENT CONDITION
- Drink Plenty of fluids, including barley water, buttermilk etc
- A glass of warm milk at night acts as a good laxative ,if stool is too hard, add it with aswakola (isabgol)
- Eat foods, which are good sources of fibre, such as whole grain or bran, cereals and fresh vegetables and fruits, and, if necessary, add bran to your foods (about three to four tablespoonfuls per day)
- Regularize food intake and chew your food properly to enhance digestion
- Exercise regularly. Walking is the one of the best things
- Lose weight, if you are overweight
- You should also cut back on spicy and oily foods.
- Keep the anal area clean
- Take warm baths
- Have enough sleep
- Don’t sit too much on a hard surface because it can restrict blood flow around the anal area
- Don’t exert to defecate
- Don’t drink coffee or alcohol or cold and carbonated drinks
- Don’t use laxatives regularly as it may become a habit and cause the bowels to lose its ability to function normally
- Avoid keeping awake at night
- Avoid the gas producing and heavy to digest foods
Ayurveda recommends the use of certain standard Ayurvedic medicines to increase the digestive power to relieve constipation and flatulence by which the pain and itching associated with piles can be relieved to a greater extend for an appropriate suggestion you can meet an Ayurvedic physician in person.
Disclaimer: This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of doctors are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.