Only 4% of patients seek treatment for hemorrhoids, say experts



Although about 50 per cent of patients suffering from hemorrhoids would require treatment, experts have revealed, “only four per cent of such patients actually seek medical treatment.”

Making the revelation in Lagos recently, a medical doctor with the Medical Art Centre, Maryland, Lagos, Dr. Joseph Akintujoye, told The Guardian that although “exact data on the prevalence of hemorrhoids are rare, hemorrhoids occur frequently in the adult general population.”

According to a US-based surgeon with the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Cleveland clinic, Dr. Brooke Gurland, “hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins around the anus or in the lower rectum.”

Gurland added that “the rectum is the last part of the large intestine leading to the anus,” explaining that “hemorrhoids often result from straining to have a bowel movement”.

For most people in Nigeria, hemorrhoids are called jedi-jedi or pile.

Akintujoye explained that most patients in Nigeria prefer patronizing quacks in their bid to end the agony of hemorrhoids.

Akintujoye said: “Approximately 50 per cent of those people aged 50 years and over will require treatment. Although they can be extremely unpleasant and painful for many people, they can be easily treated and are very preventable. However, it is striking that only around four per cent actually seek medical treatment. A considerable number of people with hemorrhoids do not complain about symptoms and would rather seek help from roadside quack doctors.”

Akintujoye added that hemorrhoids could occurs as a result of pregnancy, aging, chronic diarrhea, constipation, straining to move stool, sitting for long periods, anal intercourse, lack of fiber in diet, obesity and genetics.

Narrating her experience of hemorrhoids, Miss Titilope Philips (not real names) told The Guardian, “I could not sit or stand”, adding “even walking was a challenge for me”.

Philips explained: “Bowel movement was very difficult for me. In fact, it was worse than when I had the case of diarrhoea. It was itchy around my anus and as I scratched, my anus got swollen, I was uncomfortable.”

According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, About 75 per cent of people will have hemorrhoids at some point in their lives.
Hemorrhoids are most common among adults age 45 to 65.

According to a Consultant Surgeon in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr Abdulrazaq Lawal, “although hemorrhoids does not affect sperm count in male, patients can die from it, if a thorough evaluation and proper diagnosis by a medical doctor is not carried out to identify if is actually hemorrhoid or anal cancer”.

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