Anal fissure

What is anal fissure?

Fig. 1. Anal fissure is a split in the anal wall as shown here.
Fig. 1. Anal fissure is a split in the anal wall as shown here.

What causes anal fissure?

There are various explanations why fissures develop, including constipation, hard bowel motions, diarrhea, inflammation, reduced blood flow to the anal region, poor bowel habits and even ‘spicy’ foods such as peanuts. In fact, many fissure patients do not suffer constipation, (some in fact have diarrhea), and, some babies are born with a fissure. It is unlikely the cause is related to trauma unless there is some direct injury to the anal opening e.g. from colonoscopy or childbirth.

More likely, the fissure occurs first and the constipation follows. In other words, constipation is caused by anal fissurenot, as is often claimed, the other way round. It may be that one of the most important factors leading to fissure, is stress – physical, emotional etc. Many patients have had fissure for so long, they are unable  to recall when it first occurred. Many were under stress when their symptoms began.

So, the aim should be to fix the fissure, not the constipation. Wheatgrass can do this.

What are the symptoms of anal fissure?

  • Pain, which can be severe, during and after bowel movements
  • Bright red blood in the stool (blood on the toilet paper)
  • Constipation – due to pain caused by passing stool
  • Anal itchiness, burning
  • Difficulty in passing urine

Why is there so much pain?

The area where anal fissure occurs is supplied by numerous highly senstive nerve endings. Even a tiny split in the wall of the anal canal can be very painful, particularly during a bowel motion when anal muscles are stretched.

Who gets anal fissure?

Anal fissure is very common. For example, an estimated 250,000 new cases occur each year in the US alone. It can occur in newborns and right across the age spectrum to old age, affecting both sexes equally. It is most common from young adulthood to middle age. Pregnancy and childbirth can aggravate or initiate the condition.

How long does it last?

Approximately 50-60% of anal fissures will heal spontaneously. However it can recur or become chronic (sometimes lasting for years) in the other 40-50%.

How is anal fissure diagnosed?

Symptoms of pain and rectal bleeding will prompt the doctor to examine the anal opening to see if a fissure is present. Usually, it is a small tear in the posterior (the back end, near the spine) of the anus as shown in Figure 1. Chronic, or long-standing fissures have thickened edges and often a “sentinel pile” can be seen.

The split can sometimes extend quite deeply into the anal wall, and, in chronic fissure, a skin tag, known as a ‘sentinel pile’ often develops at the edge of the anal opening. This can be mistaken for a painful hemorrhoid.

If bleeding is present, further investigations such as colonoscopy to exclude other causes of blood loss may be necessary.

How is anal fissure treated?

There are a number of applications available but they might also cause unwanted side effects such as headaches. My approach, is to apply a little wheatgrass extract (it does not need to be inserted) with a cotton bud/Q-tip once every two days – and persevere. It appears that bioactives in wheatgrass penetrate the skin rapidly so that pain is often relieved within hours. It often works when prescribed medicines fail, and healing rates are relatively high.

Changing diet, drinking large amounts of water, using stool softeners or loading your bowel with fibre - often advised by doctors - may not be necessary. Wheatgras can also stop anal fissure bleeding.

Before resorting to surgery and other procedures and treatments, I suggest you give wheatgrass extract a try.

Why wheatgrass should be tried for fissure

Because of its remarkable healing and anti-inflammatory properties wheatgrass can significantly assist fissure recovery by stopping bleeding, easing pain and accelerating the healing process.

An example of how effectively wheatgrass can heal wounds is shown in the following pictures.

This skin graft has been treated by orthodox medical measures for six weeks. The wound is healing very slowly and looks unhealthy due to poor blood supply. (Fig. 1)

Fig. 1. Skin graft before wheatgrass
Fig. 1. Skin graft before wheatgrass

Wheatgrass extract was then applied to the wound. Just 2 days later, the graft is already beginning to recover.Tthis is because the blood supply to the wound has improved.

Fig. 2. Two days later. Note healthy appearance
Fig. 2. Two days later. Note healthy appearance
Fig. 3. Graft completely healed in 3 weeks.
Fig. 3. Graft completely healed in 3 weeks.

It would be reasonable therefore to expect wheatgrass to assist healing of other “wounds” such as anal fissure. Having worked with wheatgrass since 1995, treating fissures and numerous other wounds successfully, I can vouch for the fact it almost always works. However, applications should always be minimal, and infrequent - perhaps two or three times a week maximum.

How does wheatgrass work?

Open wounds are usually "re-covered" by a thin film of new cells within 24-48 hours of application and pain often relieved. Scientific laboratory tests indicate that wheatgrass contains numerous ligands that bind to cell receptors throughout the body. In turn, this binding influences neuro-transmission from the skin (or from internal organs) to the central nervous system which then responds appropriately to "normalise" or repair damaged anal tissue.

Because the fissure itself is not a life-threatening condition, the aim should be to eliminate the pain rather than heal the fissure.