Hi, I have been a faithful reader of your self-help page since I was diagnosed with an anal fissure in November of last year. I began having pain during and immediately after b.m.'s in September but assumed it must be a hemorrhoid and therefore did not seek medical help until November. I was given a remedy that my internist said had been handed down to him from another doctor - a tarry black cream- but aside from ruining many underpants no result was achieved. He also suggested Metamucil daily, sitz baths (very soothing) , and stool softener - which I immediately embarked on along with the tips on your page. Some days I had terribly uncomfortable spasms throughout the day and unbearable itching. I was buying lots of Tucks and basically shoving them up there with some Vaseline to soothe the area.
I was taking up to 1000 mg. of stool softener - the capsule kind worked best for me. The Kondremul suggested on the self help page didn't do anything for me plus it also has a laxative action which I didn't want.
The latest is that since mid-March I have been on a weight loss fasting program where I only take in 500 calories a day of liquid based supplement. I either drink it or make little muffins out of it. I have continued to take stool softener however with less volume going through me, I now take 300-500 mg. a night depending on whether I've had a b.m. or not the previous day. I have been pain free since I started fasting and I don't know if it's because I have not eaten real food since then and am also drinking tons of water (no dairy, meat, etc as other people suggest can be problematic on the self-help page) or because there is basically less activity. I used to have 3 bowel movements a day when I was eating and now have only 1 or 1 every other day.
I'm certainly not recommending that anyone go on a fasting program but only wanted to let you know my experience. I plan to visit my internist when I'm through with the program (about 2 more months) and see if the fissure has healed. The last time he saw me he did prescribe the Nitro ointment which I stopped using when I started fasting. He also said he thought it would heal quite nicely on its own and that it might even heal faster with the diet I was embarking on. I hope that when I start eating all will be well.
Thanks for having such a great resource. It was incredibly reassuring to know I wasn't alone.
Saw my account on the self-help page and thought it might help to clarify for your summary that I didn't go on the fasting program to aid with the healing of my fissure but for the completely separate reason to lose weight. I think it reads like I am fasting for the anal fissure which is not the case and probably confusing to the readers of the help page.
Anyway, I am still fasting, have lost 31 pounds and feel great. As for the fissure, I have some discomfort periodically if I don't drink enough fluids and take in some bran (mixing into the dietary powdered supplements). Also, I still take about 500 mg. of stool softener a night and this seems to help me have painless bm's 95% of the time. I have the periodic painful stool and some bright blood but less frequently than I used to and have not suffered those painful spasms in a while.
Again, it will be interesting to see what happens when I go back to regular eating (incorporating all my fellow sufferers tips of course of what to avoid).
Products I recommend:
Oh you're back! I have been checking the page for updates and figured you were still on hiatus. I have a further update:
After coming off the fast, and eating solids again, I started again to have many problems with constipation and horrific pain upon having a bm. I tried everything-stool softener capsules, introducing more fiber, 3 liters of water a day, but it all came to a head on november 16 of this year, when i had a grisly 4 hours of trying to pass what felt like a bowling ball with shards of glass. This had been preceded by a good 3 weeks of very incomplete bm's and tiny stools. I began bleeding so much it was running down my legs. The following day I had to have emergency surgery for a bowel obstruction/impaction and was also examined with a sigmoidoscope for any tumors etc which found nothing. The surgeon said the fissure was not as bad as he had thought after my having told him I had it for 2 years and dilated me ever so slightly. I was fearful of that but so far it has been great. Of course, I have not introduced fiber to my diet as of yet but have been eating soft bland foods and taking 1-3 Tablespoons of mineral oil (which I hate the flavor of but love the results the following morning) every night at bedtime followed by a chaser of apple juice. I have been having pain free bm's for two weeks now and cannot tell you how much my spirits have lifted. I feel like new again.
This page has been a godsend because it has helped me see every time I logged on that I wasn't alone. This problem is not only physically painful but extremely taxing mentally.