Dear Doctor: I am 24 years old and still battling a constipation problem that started at the age of nine. I do not know how to treat it now that my anus is injured and blood comes out whenever I visit the toilet. My anus also itches and I have the so-called ensundo. What medicine can I use to get rid of this condition because it is getting worse?
Dear Sancto: Constipation interferes with vein blood flow in the rectum leading to their expansion into balls called piles, which depend on how high in the rectum the affected veins may be. Piles may bleed, hurt and itch during emptying of the bowels.
It is important to correct constipation if the piles have to heal, failure of which you should consult your doctor.
A diet with enough fibre (20 to 35 grammes each day) helps the body form soft stool. High-fibre foods include beans, matooke, whole grains and bran cereals, fresh fruits, vegetables such as cabbages and carrots. For people prone to constipation, limiting foods that have little or no fibre, such as ice cream, cheese, bread, meat and processed foods, is also important.
Ugandans drink water only because they are thirsty. Water can be used as a drug, including drinking it even when you are not thirsty. Engaging in regular physical exercise and reserving enough time to go to the toilet may be useful.
If all these fail, it is important to visit a doctor. A person may in some cases take laxatives without prescription in order to go to toilet (cathartic colon).