As per the conventional treatment modality, surgical invasion is the only solution for management of anal fistula. However, it has been seen that there are several cases of reoccurrence of fistula post-surgery. In some cases there has been incomplete healing and persistence of infection. In view of the same, other treatment options for fistula, other than surgery, have started gaining popularity in the recent times as they provide permanent relief. These include alternative medicines, ayurveda, homeopathy and other home remedies. The advantages of these treatment options are that they are usually economical as compared with surgery, free of side effects and effective.
Fistula Treatment Without Surgery
The most common non-surgical treatment modalities are mentioned below:
- Dietary Modification to Treat Fistula Without Surgery: Patients with fistula are advised to follow a fiber rich and protein rich diet with adequate intake of fluids. This helps in soothing bowel movements and reduce the need to strain while defecation. Lack of fiber in diet may cause hardening of stool leading to worsening of the issue. One should avoid dehydrating food products such as caffeine, alcohol etc. food products that do not get digested easily; and spicy food. Intake of fruits and vegetable along with juices are encouraged.
- Manuka Honey: Manuka honey has anti-bacterial properties and daily intake of Manuka honey has shown to reduce infections and problems of fistula.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is an ingredient commonly used in Indian cuisine. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and regular intake of turmeric helps in protecting the body against development of conditions such as fistula. Drinking turmeric milk with honey before sleeping helps in fighting fistula.
- Minced Garlic for Fistula Treatment without Surgery: Garlic has anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. It is easily available in local markets and is considered as an effective remedy against fistula. It is advised to eat 2 cloves of garlic in the morning on an empty stomach to fight fistula.
- Ginger Tea: Regular intake of ginger tea helps in soothing the stomach and it also helps in improving digestion, which in turn is beneficial for fighting against fistula.
- Oregano Leaves Oil for Treating Fistula without Surgery: Oregano leaves oil have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties, all of which helps in reducing anal swelling and controls bleeding.
- Saturated Fatty Acids: Saturated fatty acids such as coconut oil and clarified butter (also known as ghee) are known to aid in cell repair in addition to having anti- viral properties. Daily intake aids in smooth bowel movement and softening of stool. They also have the property of helping in closure and repair of fistula track.
- Protein Rich Yogurt/Milk for Fistula: Milk products and yogurt are rich in protein and they also contain healthy bacteria (probiotic) which help in easy digestion. This promotes healing of fistula without surgery.
- Sitz Bath to Treat Fistula without Surgery: It is a very effective method where the buttocks are immersed in warm water for about half an hour. Some patients receive relief upon adding analgesic oils and Epsom salts to the water. This helps in combating discomfort and in also helps in reducing inflammation and swelling.
- Ring Shaped Cushion: Regular usage of ring shaped cushion eliminates pressure build up over the area and thereby provides relief to fistula.
- Grape Fruit Seed Extracts for Fistula Treatment without Surgery: Grape fruit seed extracts are known for its anti-bacterial properties and it can be used as a local ointment for comfort and relief from fistula pain.
- Herbal Oils: Herbal oil such as clove oil, Nirgundi oil and tea tree oil are available as ointment for local application.
Fistula is a painful condition and creates a lot of discomfort in the person experiencing it. If the stage of fistula is severe, then surgery is the only resort; however, if it is in its milder form, fistula can be effectively treated without surgery. One must take initiative to treat fistula right from the time the symptoms arise so that the condition doesn’t worsen and one can avoid surgical treatment of it.
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