Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment Home Care dietary fiber pain in adults pain in children warning signs Prevention Underlying Cause Anatomy

Anorectal Pain Home Care

Home care for anal pain includes:

Anorectal Pain Dietary Fiber

A person with anal pain may benefit from the following fiber diet.

Fiber is one of the best ways to soften the stool. Dietary fiber is a plant material that humans cannot digest. Fiber works by increasing the amount of water in your stool and keeps the stool soft. The most well known fiber is bran. Common fiber supplements include Citrucel and Metamucil. It is important to drink plenty of water when you eat fiber.

Fiber comes in two forms, based on whether it will dissolve in water. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. About 3/4 of fiber intake should be the insoluble fiber.

Water Soluble Fiber

ExamplesDietary Sources
Pectins, gums, & mucilagesfruits, vegetables, oats, bran, barley, legumes

Insoluble Fiber
ExamplesDietary Sources
Cellulose, hemicellulosevegetables, wheat bran, & whole grains

Fiber tends to bind water, which leads to softer stools and a more rapid passage of material through the intestines. This may reduce exposure to toxic substances and improve bowel health. Fiber can also bind fat and cholesterol. As an added benefit, high fiber foods usually contain important vitamins and minerals.

Use of a High Fiber Diet
A healthy diet should include more than 25 grams of fiber each day. In general, every extra gram of fiber eaten each day can lower the risk of heart disease by as much as five percent.

A high fiber diet can prevent and treat the following:

General Guidelines
In general, fruits, vegetables and whole grains are high in fiber. Raw foods tend to have more fiber than cooked, canned or pureed items. Dried fruits, beans, black-eyed peas, bran and oatmeal are very high in fiber. Peeling the skin from fruit and vegetables removes fiber.

Unprocessed wheat bran can be added to meals and baked foods. Bran is the outer layer of the wheat grain, and is present in 'whole grain' foods. Adding 2-3 teaspoons of bran per serving is a great way to increase the fiber content of casseroles, meat loaf, and baked goods. Whole grain flour has 6 times the fiber of standard, bleached flour. Oat bran can be used in place of about 1/3 of regular flour when baking.

Change your diet slowly. Rapid changes in the diet can cause bloating, gas and diarrhea.

Example High-Fiber Diet
Eat at least 3 to 10 servings of whole grain food every day. Each serving should contain 3 grams of fiber.

Examples include:
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal or oat bran
  • Rye bread
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole grain bagels
  • Whole grain breads
  • Whole grain muffins
  • Whole grain or bran cereals
  • Whole grain pita bread
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Whole wheat pasta

Eat 3-4 servings of fruit each day. Dried fruits are high in fiber.

Examples include:
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Berries
  • Grapefruit
  • Nectarine
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Pear

Eat at least 3-5 servings of raw, unpeeled vegetables per day.

Examples include:
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Green pepper
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Potatoes with skin
  • Snow peas
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Meat substitutes:
Meat has no fiber, and contains cholesterol and saturated fat. Many high-fiber foods can replace meat in the diet.

Examples include:
  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanuts
  • Pinto beans
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soybeans, but not tofu
  • Split peas
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Veggie burgers
  • Walnuts

Anorectal Pain Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with anal pain include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Anorectal Pain Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain and fever in children with anal pain include:

Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.



Anorectal Pain Warning Signs

Notify your doctor for anal pain and any of the following:

Continue to Anorectal Pain Prevention

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Anorectal Pain References
  1. Antao B, Bradley V, Roberts JP, Shawis R. Management of rectal prolapse in children. Dis Colon Rectum. 2005 Aug;48(8):1620-5. [15981062]
  2. Madiba TE, Baig MK, Wexner SD. Surgical management of rectal prolapse. Arch Surg. 2005 Jan;140(1):63-73. [15655208]
  3. Sagap I, Remzi FH. Controversies in the treatment of common anal problems. World J Gastroenterol. 2006 May 28;12(20):3146-54. [16718832]
  4. Silverman R, Bendick PJ, Wasvary HJ. A randomized, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the effect of a calcium channel blocker ointment on pain after hemorrhoidectomy. Dis Colon Rectum. 2005 Oct;48(10):1913-6. [16175328]
  5. Thompson JR, Chen AH, Pettit PD, Bridges MD. Incidence of occult rectal prolapse in patients with clinical rectoceles and defecatory dysfunction. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Dec;187(6):1494-9; discussion 1499-500. [12501052]
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