Several lifestyle changes may help relieve discomfort and promote healing of an anal fissure, as well as prevent recurrences:
- Add fiber to your diet. Eating about 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day can help keep stools soft and improve fissure healing. Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. You also can take a fiber supplement. Adding fiber may cause gas and bloating, so increase your intake gradually.
- Drink adequate fluids. Fluids help prevent constipation.
- Exercise regularly. Engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity, such as walking, most days of the week. Exercise promotes regular bowel movements and increases blood flow to all parts of your body, which may promote healing of an anal fissure.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements. Straining creates pressure, which can open a healing tear or cause a new tear.
If your infant has an anal fissure, be sure to change diapers frequently, wash the area gently and discuss the problem with your child's doctor.
You may be able to prevent an anal fissure by taking measures to prevent constipation. Eat high-fiber foods, drink fluids and exercise regularly to keep from having to strain during bowel movements.
Aug. 18, 2017
- Feldman M, et al. Diseases of the anorectum. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 17, 2015.
- Anal fissure. American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. https://www.fascrs.org/patients/disease-condition/anal-fissure-expanded-information. Accessed Sept. 17, 2015.
- Wald A, et al. ACG Clinical Guideline: Management of benign anorectal disorders. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2014; 109:1141.
- Perry WB, et al. Practice parameters for the management of anal fissures (3rd revision). Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. 2010; 53:1110.
- Nelson RL, et al. Non surgical therapy for anal fissure. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003431.pub3/abstract. Accessed Sept. 17, 2015.
- Breen E, et al. Anal fissure: Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, prevention. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 17, 2015.
- Breen E, et al. Anal fissure: Medical and surgical management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 17, 2015.
- Cook AJ. AllScripts EPSi. Rochester, Minn. July 15, 2015.