Rectal prolapse is a condition in which the rectum turns itself inside out and comes out through the anus. This can be a very uncomfortable and embarrassing condition for those affected. Fortunately, there are treatments for rectal prolapse that do not involve surgery. These treatment options include lifestyle changes, physical therapy, and medications that can reduce symptoms and even cure rectal prolapse without the need for surgery. In this blog post, we will discuss how to treat rectal prolapse without surgery.
Causes of Rectal Prolapse
Rectal prolapse occurs when the walls of the rectum become weak and unable to support the rectum in its normal position. This results in the rectum slipping out of its natural place, which can cause severe discomfort and a host of other symptoms. Rectal prolapse is typically more common in women over the age of 50, but it can occur in both genders at any age.
The exact cause of rectal prolapse is not known, but there are a few factors that may play a role. These include chronic constipation, straining during bowel movements, and weak muscles in the pelvic floor. Other possible causes include childbirth, aging, neurologic diseases such as multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy, family history, and trauma or surgery to the pelvis. Some research suggests that rectal prolapse is linked to a weakening of the pelvic floor caused by hormonal changes.
In some cases, rectal prolapse can occur without an identifiable cause. This type of rectal prolapse is called primary rectal prolapse.
Conservative Treatment Options
Rectal prolapse can be treated without surgery, though it may take longer for the condition to heal. Depending on the severity of the prolapse, lifestyle changes and conservative treatments may be enough to resolve the issue.
Exercise: Regular exercise, including low-impact activities such as walking and swimming, can help to strengthen the muscles that support the rectum and improve circulation. Pelvic floor exercises, which involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, are often recommended to help reduce prolapse symptoms and to strengthen the muscles that support the rectum.
Diet: Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for general well-being and maintaining a healthy weight. Eating plenty of fiber can also help with constipation and straining during bowel movements. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help improve overall health and may also help reduce symptoms of rectal prolapse.
Lifestyle changes: Some lifestyle changes may help reduce symptoms of rectal prolapse. Avoiding constipation can reduce straining and pressure on the rectum, so drinking plenty of fluids and eating a high-fiber diet are essential. If you are overweight, losing weight can also help to reduce pressure on the rectal walls.
Medication: Your doctor may recommend medication to help reduce inflammation and treat underlying conditions that can contribute to rectal prolapse. Antibiotics may be prescribed if there is an infection present, while anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce inflammation. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to help soften stools and reduce straining during bowel movements.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
It is important to consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program. Your healthcare provider can help you determine the best exercises for your particular situation.
In general, pelvic floor exercises involve contracting and relaxing the muscles that control urine flow. These muscles, when strengthened, can support the rectum and reduce symptoms of rectal prolapse. Some examples of pelvic floor exercises include Kegels, bridge poses, and squatting.
Kegels are a simple and popular exercise used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. To do Kegels, sit or stand in a comfortable position and contract the pelvic floor muscles (the same muscles used to stop urination). Hold the contraction for five seconds and then relax for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. Do this exercise several times each day for optimal results.
Bridge poses are another exercise for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. To do a bridge pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly lift your pelvis off the ground until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold this position for three to five seconds and then slowly lower your body back to the ground. Repeat 10 times.
Squatting is also an important exercise for improving pelvic floor strength. Squatting involves standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and lowering your body down as if you were sitting in a chair. Make sure to keep your back straight and chest up during the exercise. Hold this position for 10 seconds before slowly returning to standing. Do three sets of 10 squats daily.
These exercises can help strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor and reduce rectal prolapse symptoms. As always, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program.
Diet and Nutrition
When it comes to rectal prolapse, making sure that you are eating a healthy and balanced diet can help improve your overall health, as well as your rectal prolapse symptoms. Eating a diet that is low in processed foods, high in fiber, and rich in fruits and vegetables can help to reduce constipation and reduce the strain that is put on the bowels during defecation. Some people may also find relief from their rectal prolapse symptoms by avoiding dairy, wheat, and other common food allergens.
In addition to making sure you are eating a healthy and balanced diet, drinking plenty of fluids is also important for rectal prolapse sufferers. Water is the best choice as it helps to keep the bowels hydrated and reduce the strain that is put on the rectal area during defecation. It is important to avoid drinking excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and soda as they can lead to dehydration and further exacerbate the symptoms of rectal prolapse.
Finally, it is important to make sure that you are getting enough essential vitamins and minerals in your diet. Foods such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish are all great sources of nutrients and can help to keep your body healthy. Taking a daily multivitamin can also be helpful in ensuring that you are getting the nutrients you need.
The most common type of surgery for rectal prolapse is a rectal resection, also known as a perineal rectosigmoidectomy. In this procedure, a surgeon removes the prolapsed rectal tissue and part of the sigmoid colon. The healthy parts of the rectum and colon are then reattached to the anus. This surgery can also be used to repair any tears or damage to the anal sphincter muscle.
Another type of surgery is a perineal repair. In this procedure, the surgeon attaches the top part of the rectum to the lower part, making it shorter. This prevents the rectum from protruding. Perineal repair may also involve removing excess tissue, repairing any tears in the anal sphincter muscle, and reconstructing the muscles around the anus.
Finally, a laparoscopic procedure may also be used to treat rectal prolapse. In this procedure, small incisions are made in the abdomen and a camera is inserted so that the surgeon can view the inside of the abdomen and rectum. The surgeon then uses tools to remove any excess tissue and reposition the rectum.
It is important to discuss all treatment options with your doctor before deciding on a course of action. Surgery is a major undertaking and should be considered carefully before making a decision.