Bidets For 9 Common Health Issues

Bidets can provide relief for many conditions, and in some cases these facilities can actually help treat the condition and prevent symptoms before they can start as well as improving any symptoms that you have:

  • Anal Fissure
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Rectal Prolapse
  • Anal Fistula
  • Anal Itching
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Ostomy

Below are the common health issues that many people experience and ways that using a bidet may help.

Anal Fissure

doctorAn anal fissure can be very uncomfortable or even painful. This condition is a small tear that occurs in the lining of your anus, and it can cause pain, bleeding, and even infections in some cases. You can develop an anal fissure if you are constipated, your stool is extremely hard, or your stool is abnormally large, as well as for other reasons. If you have an anal fissure then you may have pain when you have a bowel movement, you may notice blood after a bowel movement, and you could have spasms of the sphincter muscle. Most anal fissures will clear up in 4-6 weeks if you keep the area clean and do not irritate your anal tissues further.

A bidet can be very beneficial if you have an anal fissure. Wiping with toilet paper can be painful, and this can also lead to infection because of missed bacteria. A bidet uses clean water to flush any residue away, leaving you completely clean. The water will also soothe any discomfort and make irritated tissues feel better.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are varicose veins in the area in or near the anus, and these can be internal or external. It is possible for you to have both types of hemorrhoids at the same time. External hemorrhoids will protrude from the anus and be visible on the outside, internal hemorrhoids may not be visible but you can still feel them and you may experience symptoms. Many people experience hemorrhoids and these are not usually a serious medical problem but they can be very painful. Hemorrhoids can be caused by many things. These are extremely common during pregnancy, they can be cause by constipation or straining to have a bowel movement, or even being overweight. When there is excessive pressure on the pelvic veins hemorrhoids can develop.

A bidet can offer benefits if you suffer from hemorrhoids. Because of the swelling and irritation wiping with toilet paper, or even using light pressure on the affected area, may be excruciating. This often causes you to wipe ineffectively, leaving behind residue that leaves you feeling unclean and that can lead to infection in some cases. The water from the bidet will cool your inflamed hemorrhoids while also cleaning your anal area completely. Since you do not wipe you will not add further inflammation and irritation to your already sore behind. Using water can also eliminate rectal itching that can be caused when you are not cleaning your anal area properly because of discomfort.

Rectal Prolapse

Rectal prolapse can be a serious medical condition or it can be mild, depending on the individual. If you have a rectal prolapse then the wall of your rectum has slid out of place In severe cases the rectum may actually protrude from the anus. A partial prolapse can be caused by something as simple as straining because you are constipated. A complete prolapse means that your rectum wall has slid out of place completely, and this tissue can stick to your rectum. In this situation your rectal wall may actually come out of your anus, initially when you are having a bowel movement but over time the tissue may not slide back in and may stick out continuously.

A bidet can help keep your anal region clean, fully washing away any unwanted bacteria and fecal matter. If you have a rectal prolapse then you may have part of your rectal wall sticking out of your anus, at least while you are having a bowel movement. If this tissue is not cleaned thoroughly then harmful bacteria can thrive and flourish. This can lead to an infection of the anus or even the entire digestive tract. A bidet will also soothe any inflamed tissues, minimize discomfort, and stop any itching. Many people who suffer from rectal prolapse also experience mucous that leaks out of the anus and rectal bleeding, and the bidet can clean these fluids without any rubbing or other irritation so that you feel clean and fresh.

Anal Fistula

An anal fistula usually starts out as an anal abscess, which is a cavity in the anal and rectal area that has become infected and filled with pus. Roughly half of all people who develop an anal abscess will get an anal fistula. The small glands in the anal and rectal area become infected, and then a tunnel forms under the skin that leads between the abscess and the infected glands. An anal fistula can lead to the skin surface on the buttocks near your rectal area. The external opening of the tunnel can cause drainage to occur. Surgery is usually used to close up the tunnel, and you may be given antibiotics for an anal fistula if there is still any infection present. Redness, pain and discomfort, swelling, and drainage from an opening are all possible signs of an anal fistula.

Using a bidet can help if you have an anal fistula or if you have recently had surgery to correct this problem. In fact bidet use may help you prevent an anal fistula before one can begin. Since the initial cause of this condition is an infection in the anal and rectal area keeping clean in between bowel movements is critical. A bidet uses water to clean the area after you use the toilet, and all residue and fecal matter is cleaned away. Without toilet paper there is a much lower risk of foreign matter clogging the anal glands, and this can also contribute to an anal fistula. When you use toilet paper and wipe small fibers can come free and clog up your anal glands, and this can lead to an anal abscess.

Anal Itching

man comfortedAnal itching is a very common problem that most people experience at one time or another. If you experience anal itching, also called anal pruritis, you may feel like you are slowly losing your mind because the itching may be intense or occur frequently. There are many causes for anal itching, and a number of available treatments as well. Certain foods, an infection in your anus or rectum, moisture in the rectal area, skin sensitivity, cancer, and other factors can contribute to anal itching. Sometimes you may experience anal itching if you do not clean the anal region well after each bowel movement, and fecal matter that is left behind can cause irritation and itching. Even frequent diarrhea can cause anal itching or make this worse.

Using a bidet may help relieve your anal itching in several ways. When the itching is caused by inflammation of the anus and rectum then the water may help these tissues feel better. Water can be soothing, and some bidets have adjustable water temperatures so you can use warm water which can help with any swelling or irritation that may be contributing to your condition. Staying clean will help prevent anal itching in several ways, making you less likely to scratch and any underlying issues less likely to lead to infection or torn tissues from scratching.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease caused by your immune system and abnormal responses to your own body tissues. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition which can cause pain and discomfort, inflammation in your colon, and small ulcers that can produce mucous or pus. You may need to go to the bathroom more frequently because your colon will want to empty often. Ulcerative colitis is one of the most common types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Crohn's Disease is the other.

When you have food or bacteria in your colon your immune system mistakes these as foreign invaders and responds accordingly when you have ulcerative colitis. The white blood cells in your body travel to your colon and line the walls, leading to inflammation and small sores called ulcers.  Persistent diarrhea can be a big problem, your stool may be bloody, you may feel the need to have a bowel movement more frequently and the need to go to the bathroom may become much more urgent. You may also experience a weight loss and lack of normal appetite. These symptoms may appear and disappear without any set schedule, and you may go for long periods in between flare ups. Approximately 700,000 Americans suffer from ulcerative colitis.

A bidet can be very useful at treating some of the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, and it can make going to the bathroom easier and more comfortable for you. Frequent diarrhea can cause irritation to the rectum as well as making it difficult to stay clean in your anal region. Water is far less irritating than toilet paper, and a soft towel can be used to pat dry so that you do not irritate or damage your rectum and anus further. Warm water from a bidet may also help you relieve your bowels fully by relaxing the sphincter muscles, eliminating the need to strain as much. Straining can lead to other problems that may include hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, anal fistulas, anal itching, and anal fissures.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, often called IBS, is a disorder of your gastrointestinal tract that interferes with how well this system works and the muscle contractions that occur in your bowel. IBS is not considered a disease but is instead a group of symptoms, and in the past it may have been diagnosed as a spastic bowel, irritable or nervous colon, colitis, or other conditions. The set of symptoms were renamed Irritable Bowel Syndrome because the causes can be either physical or mental but the results on your life are very real and the symptoms are not imagined. Before Irritable Bowel Syndrome is diagnosed you must have abdominal pain, cramping, or discomfort at least 3 times each month for the previous 3 months without any identified disease causing the symptoms. The discomfort and other symptoms that you experience may happen when you have a change in bowel movement frequency, and having a bowel movement may provide some relief from your symptoms. There are 4 different subtypes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and these are classified according to the consistency of the stool that you pass. These are:

  • IBS-C
  • IBS-D
  • IBS-M
  • IBS-U

The initial stands for the stool type that you have. Constipation, diarrhea, mixed, or unsubtyped. No matter what subtype of Irritable Bowel Syndrome you have a bidet can be very beneficial, and may help minimize your pain and other problems related to using the toilet. If you are constipated the water from the bidet can relax and stimulate your sphincter muscles, making it easier to have a bowel movement and requiring less straining and pushing. This can prevent hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and even rectal prolapse. A bidet will also help you keep your rectum and anal area clean without any fibers which can block anal glands, so that there is less chance of an infection or anal itching and this can prevent anal fistulas from forming. A bidet is also far more gentle than toilet paper and you will feel fresher without any added irritation to sore or raw areas.

Crohns Disease

Crohn's Disease is one of the two common types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, with the other being ulcerative colitis. Crohn's Disease is not limited to the lining of the colon like ulcerative colitis is, instead Crohn's can affect every layer of the wall of your bowel. In addition Crohn's Disease can occur in any part of your gastrointestinal tract and not just your colon. Another difference between Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis is that Crohn's can actually skip spots in the GI tract, so you may have areas of completely healthy intestinal tissue in between areas that are diseased and affected.

Symptoms of Crohn's Disease can include pain and discomfort, diarrhea, a weight loss and lack of appetite, fever, bleeding from the rectum with bowel movements, and the frequent need to go to the bathroom and have a bowel movement with great urgency. Other signs that you may have Crohn's Disease include fatigue, night sweats, and for women a loss of their normal menstrual cycle.

A bidet can be a great investment if you suffer from Crohn's disease and it can offer many health benefits. Frequent bowel movements, bloody stool, and mucous leakage can cause your rectum and anus to stay irritated and sore, and constantly wiping with toilet paper or even moist wipes can further inflame the area and make it even more painful. This can also lead to your skin becoming chapped, small tears occurring around your anus which could cause anal fissures, and fecal matter and dangerous bacteria being left on your skin. These conditions are perfect for an infection to take hold, which can lead to other common health problems like an anal fistula or anal itching. A bidet can help you gently clean the area, protect your skin and minimize your discomfort and soreness, and prevent further complications from Crohn's Disease.

Ostomy

An ostomy is a surgical opening that is created so that body wastes can be removed, and there are several ostomy types. An ileostomy is an opening that allows part of the illeum to discharge waste through the skin, a colostomy is an opening created so that the colon can drain waste properly, and a urostomy is used to divert urine away from the bladder. Any time an ostomy is created the purpose is to create a diversion so that waste can drain from your body properly while bypassing diseased tissue or organs. A stoma is the living tissue that is pulled through the ostomy opening so that urine or stool can pass outside of the body, and a pouch and appliances are used to contain the waste and prevent leakage.

One of the biggest problems with an ileostomy or colostomy is the acid. Since your large intestines neutralize the acid in your stool and an ostomy removes the fecal matter before it can pass all the way through the intestines the stool is very acidic and it can burn and even damage your skin tissues. The area around the ostomy may become red, raw, very painful, and a burning sensation is very common. The pouch must be emptied and replaced on a regular basis, and this can add to skin irritation. Wiping the area of the ostomy with gauze or toilet paper may be unbearable because of the skin damage and soreness.

A bidet can be very useful if you have an ostomy, and this appliance can offer health benefits as well. Completely removing any drainage so that it can not cause further irritation is critical, but you do not want to get any fibers or other foreign particles in the area of your surgical opening. A bidet allows you to clean your skin and your pouch with water instead of wiping with paper or harsh gauze. Any acidic residue from your waste is washed away and there is no risk of infection from any fibers. You will be able to keep your ostomy and your skin in the best possible condition and minimize your complication risks, and you will not dread visits to the bathroom any longer. You can go without the pain and discomfort that using toilet paper or even moist wipes can involve when you have an ostomy. A bidet can also allow you to rinse out your pouch without getting your hands dirty.

Resources:

http://www.ccfa.org/what-are-crohns-and-colitis/what-is-crohns-disease/
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anal-fissure/basics/definition/con-20024998
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/hemorrhoids-topic-overview
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/rectal-prolapse-topic-overview
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12911486
http://colorectalsurgeonssydney.com.au/?page_id=427
http://www.fascrs.org/patients/conditions/anal_abscess_fistula/
http://ibdcrohns.about.com/od/mentalhealth/a/Do-I-Need-A-Bidet.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/ibd/
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ibs/#what
http://www.ostomy.org/ostomy_info/whatis.shtml