Rectal prolapse is a health condition where the rectum gets slips or protrudes through the anus. This occurs mainly when the muscles which support the pelvis and the anus are weak. Rectal prolapse also occurs when you strain too much during your bowel movements. Other reasons for rectal prolapse include aging, childbirth, or history of rectal prolapse in the family.
Before diving deeper into the context, let’s understand what the rectum is. The rectum is the concluding the part of large intestine. Feces, before passing out, are stored in the rectum. Rectal prolapse, as the name suggests, occurs when the rectum slips outside the body through the anal opening.
Rectal prolapse cannot be identified immediately. It takes time to become clearly visible. Rectal prolapse needs medical attention, ignoring which can cause serious health complications. The treatment – both medications and surgery, depend upon the health conditions of the patient, the severity of the issue, and also the age of the patient.
The food that the person eats has a great role in leading, curing and preventing conditions of rectal prolapse. Most of the time, it is beyond our imagination how our everyday food could lead to a condition like this.
A well-balanced diet and change in a person’s lifestyle habits can prevent the rectal prolapse from getting adverse. Here’s a quick guide on what to eat and what food to avoid in case of a rectal prolapse.
A high fiber diet is the first and the most important food choice that any person suffering from rectal prolapse should make.
The below-mentioned food groups are known for their high amount of fiber.
Legumes – Legumes or the bean family is relied on for the fiber quantity. Most often, they are rich in cholesterol-lowering fiber. This includes kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, navy beans, split peas, black beans, and chickpeas.
Whole grains – Whole grains are one of the most advised diets for patients suffering from rectal prolapse. Barley, brown rice, oatmeal, bulgur or cracked wheat can make a good diet.
Whole fresh fruits – Instead of artificial juice loaded with added sugar, one should consume whole fresh fruits in abundance. Apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, and raspberries are must on the diet list since these fruits are highly rich in fiber.
Stewed fruits – Applesauce and prunes can make good choices for this.
Leafy greens – Broccoli, spinach, celery, kale, watercress, mustard greens are the best examples.
These foods can often prevent a rectal prolapse from occurring in a person. But, if the condition of the prolapse has become worse, none of these food groups can provide a permanent cure. It is then that you need to seek a doctor’s consultation.
What are the Different Types of rectal prolapse?
There are three types of rectal prolapse – internal prolapse, mucosal prolapse, and complete prolapse.
Internal prolapse – This occurs when the rectum does not protrude outside the anus totally, but only a part of the rectum slides over another rectal part.
Mucosal prolapse – Mucosal prolapse or partial prolapse occurs when the lining of the rectum slips and slides down the anus.
Complete prolapse – This is the most severe condition of a rectal prolapse and occurs when the rectum slides down and comes out of the anus. This happens mainly due to straining during bowel movements but if the condition gets worse, the rectum can come out even when the person walks or stands.
Rectal prolapse needs to be medically treated. However, along with medical care, the diet that the person follows also goes on to define the extent and severity of the rectal prolapse.
If your diet doesn’t help you recover, it’s time to seek medical help
The doctor will first ask about the patient’s lifestyle habits and if there is any history of rectal prolapse in the family. A physical test will be conducted after that, where the doctor will insert a lubricated gloved finger inside the rectum of the patient to understand the condition of the rectum.
The patient might also be recommended to conduct a few tests including a colonoscopy, proctography, and endoanal ultrasound.
A rectal prolapse can rarely be permanently cured with medicines. Its repair often demands surgery.
There are two types of surgery for rectal prolapse – abdominal and perineal.
Abdominal surgery – In abdominal surgery, the doctor will make incisions through the abdomen to fix the rectum. This further can be divided into three types:
- Open rectopexy – The incision is made in the lower abdomen and the surgeon pulls the rectum back in place to fix it. The rectum is fixed in the correct place of the pelvis using a mesh or sutures.
- Laparoscopic repair of rectal prolapse – The surgeon makes very small incisions using special instruments. A tiny camera is passed through one of the incisions through which the surgeon will locate the prolapsed rectum and repair it.
Perineal surgery – This form of surgery includes cutting out and removal of the prolapsed rectum. This process can also be divided into two categories.
- Altemeier procedure – In this process, the doctor pulls out the rectum through the anus, removes a portion of the rectum and then reattaches it back in place with the intestine.
- DeLorme procedure – This is done to repair the comparatively smaller size of rectal prolapses. In this, the lining of the rectum is cut off, the surgeon folds or shortens the rectum, repairs it to the correct position and uses the removed lining to stitch back the rectum.
Lifestyle and diet habits can make a big difference
A proper lifestyle is the best solution for every health problem. Eat right, drink plenty, exercise often. The easiest solutions to your pelvic diseases are right here.
Along with these, one should religiously follow the habit of drinking plenty of water (preferably 8-10 glasses per day). Consuming a high amount of fiber without sufficient water could make the stool hard which in turn can make the condition of rectal prolapse worse.
These following diet habits can also be of great help:
- Never skip meals. Eat, but in small proportions, so that the food doesn’t exert much pressure in your stomach.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners.
- Refrain from any kind of caffeinated drinks.
- Maintain a list of what you eat or drink throughout the day. This will help you follow your diet chart.
Diet plays a major role in every medical condition that a person goes through and rectal prolapse is no exception. It’s true that medical help is important, but you also cannot overlook the benefits of a healthy diet. Eating right might not be the ultimate solution to any disease, but it surely restricts the health issue from getting adverse.
Author Bio: Pristyn Care is the one-step solution for health issues such as piles, fissure, fistula, hernia, gallstones, varicose veins and pilonidal sinus. Our patient- centric services help patients to recover faster.