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I Feel Pain When I Laugh….by Peju Adeniran

When Sylvia* came to the hospital for the first time, it was on Sunday morning, when most people were in church. Infact, she came in straight from church, dressed in her Sunday best, bent over in pain and holding a note from her pastor.

The note read: “Please doctors, attend to Miss Sylvia* X, she is a worker who had to be excused from the church service because of ill-health.”

Well, she didn’t need a note to see a doctor in a public hospital, Anyway, alone with the female doctors, Sylvia undressed shyly, and proceeded to show us one of the most painful-looking inflamed hemorrhoids I had ever seen.

I wondered to myself how she had managed to walk, sit and stand properly, with that kind of swelling coming from her intestines.

While on her side and undressed, Sylvia told me that the pain from the piles was so bad especially when she was making a bowel movement, that she had trained her body to stop using the toilet all together.
“I got tired of seeing blood whenever I went in there, and sometimes I avoid going to where people crack jokes, because my bum bum pains me when I laugh hard.”

A hemorrhoid or “pile” occurs when a vein in the anus becomes swollen with blood, which has become trapped in it. Blood normally passes unhindered through the veins in the anus, back into the body and then returns back unhindered. But some conditions occur, when this blood flow is obstructed because of unusual pressure on them.

When the veins are blocked, it can also cause some degree of irritation to the skin above the veins, thereby causing the pain the people who suffer from hemorrhoids experience.

Hemorrhoids are one of the most popular illnesses in our society today. Not because they are most common in incidence, but because amongst those that practice and advertise “traditional medicine cures” they are frequently advertised as one of the conditions that people should come to them for.
 Sylvia had been consulting at a “traditional medicine” place for about two years with no relief before she eventually sought treatment from the hospital that Sunday morning.

She had been asked to drink various herbs; some of which were even inserted up into her, where the piles were, all to no relief.

As she wept on the table that day, I thought of how much easier her life could have been if only she knew a few things.

One, there are many possible treatments for piles, but by far the best, would be to not have gotten the piles in the first place. It is definitely a case of prevention being the best medicine.

How is this possible, you ask? By taking better care of our insides and intestines we can prevent this condition.

Sylvia, like most people who suffer from this condition, consumes a lot of processed carbohydrate foods, without including fiber; which she could have gotten from raw fruits and vegetables

She also confessed to me that since she went to a boarding school she had trained herself to not use the toilet regularly, which means she was often constipated.

Her daily water intake, from the consumption chart we drew up was also not impressive, meaning she didn’t also hydrate her intestines properly.

Eventually these bad habits caught up with Sylvia, and she ended up in pain, on the Doctor’s examination bed and being prescribed corrective surgery.

So, to prevent the condition above, it is wise to take care of your intestines by avoiding Sylvia’s unhealthy habits. It is also important to exercise often; weight gain, especially in the abdomen has been known to contribute to piles.

Pregnant women, because of their growing abdomen are, unfortunately, susceptible to piles, but thankfully, it is only temporary.

Here’s a fun fact to consider: people who sit for long on the toilet bowl, because of the pressure on the anal veins, with no support from under, could be increasing their risk for piles as well.

So, if you think that the toilet is the best place to read that newspaper or your new novel, you could be inviting PILES.

*she is well now, and allowed me share this story with you all.

We aspire to be the leading healthcare company in Africa through the provision of world-class products and services.


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