Goa Medical College Hospital gets on an average 50 patients a day suffering from piles, fistulas and anal fissures, claims the GMC dean. Proper diet, early diagnosis and the consumption of fluids will keep colorectal problems at bay.
Speaking to the Gomantak Times, Goa Medical College Hospital's dean Dr Shivanand Bandekar said that colorectal disorders are related more to the lifestyle of people.
People who live in a temperate climatic condition in Goa, tend to experience more heat, leading to a susceptibility to colorectal issues.
Another reason for these issues is that people do not eat the right food at the right time. Our elders have always advised us to make rice part of our diet at dinner, a more climate-appropriate meal.
But most of us tend to eat junk food which generates heat in our body and creates an environment for haemorrhoids, Dr Bandekar said.
When asked about the aversion to discussing colorectal disorders among people, Dr Bandekar agreed it was true and revealed that most people do not disclose or consult doctors during the primary stage and this delays medical treatment.
He also cited one example wherein a known person who had a fungating mass in her breast kept silent for a long period due to her embarrassment.
But when the matter became worse, she then sought medical help. If someone is having health issues or a disease, it is best that they disclose their health problem to the doctor and not hide it due to shame.
Dr Bandekar said, “Here in GMC, we have ladies’ doctors too, therefore, there is no need for the women to feel ashamed or hesitate to refer to doctors here if they are facing any colorectal disorders.”
Further, Dr Bandekar said, “After the age of 20 until their 40s – this age group of people are more prone to colorectal disorders. And many of our patients are from this age group.”
He added that the 20 to 50 age group has a high Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which leads to heat being generated in the body. Haemorrhoids are dilated veins due to excessive body heat, hard stools and constipation.
When questioned about the efficacy of the facilities at GMC to treat colorectal disorders, Dr Bandekar informed us that GMC is well-equipped and has almost all the expertise.
He said on average, of 300 patients who come into the OPD, 50 patients have a colorectal disorder related to piles, fissures, fistula, etc.
Dr Bandekar said, “Colorectal disorders have stages. If the problem is at the primary level, then the problem could be sorted out by giving medication. If it goes beyond the second stage, then it is referred to surgery or any tests if necessary.”
Commenting on post care in the colorectal disorder surgery, he said that perineal hygiene, sitz baths, exercise, proper intake of fluids, eating green leafy vegetables, avoiding spicy, junk food and avoiding sitting for too long or too much travelling could be beneficial.
When questioned about the recurrences of colorectal disorders, Dr Bandekar said, “According to my observation, 20 per cent of cases see recurrences. But maintenance of personal hygiene and proper diet could help in a big way to keep colorectal problems at bay.”
Another highly placed medical official at GMC, on the condition of anonymity, pointed out that the majority of colorectal disorders boil down to an improper diet, faulty lifestyle and constipation.
The official further said that a diet change and poor consumption of fluids throughout the day lead to constipation. This leads to people exerting more pressure to pass their stools, which creates friction in the anal mucosa region.
This puts pressure on the soft tissues present in the anal region. This results in haemorrhoids, anal fissures and fistula.
When asked how doctors identify the exact problem with a colorectal disorder, the official revealed that they do a colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy to identify the cause behind these issues. There is a possibility that haemorrhoids could be the symptom of a more life-threatening disease.
Later when asked why it is mostly the people in the coastal belt facing these colorectal problems, the official said we need to increase the consumption of vegetables, etc, which will give provide more fibre and will aid in the digestion of food.
He also stated that if colorectal disorders are left untreated for a long period, they could disrupt the life of a person. Primary-level problems are healed quickly with medication, so it is best to nip the problem in the bud.