AF for about a year

May be on the upswing but am still impacted daily

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AF for about a year

Postby rlb273 » 22 Dec 2018, 11:25

Hey all, longtime reader but just decided today to sign up and share my story.

Male, 27, always had really bad hemorrhoids.

I moved back to the USA from Asia Dec 2017. In January I started lifting regularly, something I hadn’t done in about 8 years. I noticed that I started to have twinges of pain in my butt after I would go to the bathroom in Early February but just thought it was hemorrhoid pain.

The pain got worse and worse and I don’t think my lifting was helping it. I would have awful pain after BMs in March/April But never saw any blood. Pain would last a few hours then subside. I started taking a class and noticed I would have pain when driving in my car, where the seats are pretty low.

I started using coconut oil in my butt as it felt soothing. I told my mom about it who is a nurse and she suggested it was a fissure. In June/July I had enough and figured it wasn’t going away so I stopped the lifting, sadly, and started caring for my butt. Drank tons of water, eating only vegan diet, and taking ibuprofen when the pain was really bad.

I got a rx of Diltiazem in September and have been using it twice a day since then. Before I started using Diltiazem the pain was more of a searing burning pain. Now, Dec 2018, the pain is more manageable and does not monoplaize my life as much. I’ve been using the Diltiazem longer than the recommended 8 weeks, but it’s healing slowly.

I find that the volume of poop is what sets me off. When I poop a lot it hurts way more. I usually have about 1 bm a day. The pain is now that deep throbbing ache, not burning or searing.

My journey has been super touch and go and some days I felt like this was never going to get better. I’m baffled as to why it happened, I can only blame the lifting, as it was the only thing that really changed in my routine. The positives of this whole thing is that I have seen how amazing a vegan diet is, and how great I feel especially since I stopped consuming dairy. Long story short, I’m defiantly not healed, but I’m not as bad as I was 4 months ago, for which I am extremely grateful.

So my questions for you guys: if you have had a similar story, how long until you felt you were fully healed? Also, how long will these spams last? I get them bad maybe 2x or 3x a week where they last for a few hours. That’s the real bothersome part for me.

Thanks to everyone who has shared on this forum. You’ve made me feel less alone in this painful and somewhat embarrassing time.
Last edited by rlb273 on 23 Dec 2018, 08:07, edited 2 times in total.
rlb273
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Re: AF for about a year

Postby Abu » 23 Dec 2018, 00:27

Hi Rlb, my opinion is that lifting has nothing to do with this. Fissures are common on people with tight sphincter and occur when the BM is larger than the anatomic limits of the anal canal. A vegan diet si very high in fiber and fiber bulks up stools - so here you go.
I would say that if you strain very much during lifting, especially if you perform valsalva manouvers, than it might aggravate the fissure and hemorrhoids, but if you don't over do it it's quite safe to continue with this. I think the health benefits are much higher than the risks, if you don;t use too big weights and can keep your breathing in check.
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Re: AF for about a year

Postby rlb273 » 23 Dec 2018, 08:10

Thanks Abu, it was a real drag giving it up. It could be that I was over exerting myself without the proper breathing techniques. The only reason I pin pointed lifting was because it was the only big thing that changed in my life prior to the fissure. Previously I had not been eating vegan, I was still eating a regular diet at that point. It could have been from constipation. I have always strained to go to the bathroom even since I was little and always had internal hemorrhoids that prolapse when I strain too hard... maybe you are right. Would love to get back in the gym sooner than later.
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Re: AF for about a year

Postby Abu » 23 Dec 2018, 08:58

I lift for more than 6 years and had the fissure 4 years ago. I also lifted when I was young in highschool and during college - never had any issues. From my point of view, this thing named AF happens due to constipation, and constipation is caused by a combination of two factors: improper diet and stress.
I know women sometimes get it when delivering a child but the straining that men go through during lifting is nowhere near that.
If you manage to find a diet that keeps your stools soft you can keep the AF in check for the rest of your life without worrying about lifting weights.
You say you have a history of constipation, now it's time to find which foods contribute to that and eliminate them completely. For me, the main culprits are all type of grains, vegetable oils, sugar and cheese. If I stay away from those I can eat pretty much anything - healthy foods that is, I do not even smell processed food.
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Re: AF for about a year

Postby rlb273 » 23 Dec 2018, 09:20

Abu, do you find there are some lifts that make it worse? For example I found my hemorrhoids hurt when I do squats.

I think you’re right about the diet, that is really what I need to pay attention to because since switching everything has been much easier down there.

Thanks for your help and replies.
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Re: AF for about a year

Postby Abu » 23 Dec 2018, 11:15

There might be lifts that make it worse but not because of the movement or the muscle involved but because of the breathing. Since squats are usually performed with big weights you might have a tendency to keep your breath on the rise phase. Pay attention to this and try to use a weight that allows you to breath through your nose without holding it even for a fraction of a second.
When you hold your breath, you do it instinctively because it helps stabilize the trunk. It is also incorrect to blow air by pursing the lips. It's best to lift with lighter weights but correctly than not lifting at all and waiting to "heal" so you can get back to the former way of doing it by over-exerting yourself and your joints. Remember, abdominal pressure can lead to another nasty stuff, besides AF: you can develop a hernia (inguinal hernia, hiatal hernia) or you can weaken the pelvic floor. It's really not worthy unless you are a preofessional bodybuilder which earns his living out of this sport.
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