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Tips for Preventing Anal Fissures

An anal fissure is a tear in the delicate tissue that lines your anal canal. They usually cause bleeding and severe pain.

Once you have an anal fissure, you'll definitely want to avoid getting another one, so follow these simple steps.

Recommended Related to Digestive Disorders

Diarrhea and Lactose Intolerance: When Dairy Is the Problem

Milk may do a body good, but not if you’re one of 30 million to 50 million people who suffers from lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance results from an inability to digest the natural sugar (lactose) found in milk and milk products. Lactose intolerance symptoms can include bloating, diarrhea, gas, and cramping. But there are ways to manage lactose intolerance while reaping the nutritional benefits of dairy products.

Read the Diarrhea and Lactose Intolerance: When Dairy Is the Problem article > >

Get Plenty of Fiber

If you're constipated, passing large, hard, or dry stools can cause an anal fissure. Getting plenty of fiber in your diet -- especially from fruits and vegetables -- can help prevent constipation, though.

Get 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day. Foods that are good sources include:

  • Wheat bran
  • Oat bran
  • Whole grains, including brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, and whole-grain pastas, cereals, and breads
  • Peas and beans
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Citrus fruits
  • Prunes and prune juice

If you can’t get enough fiber through your diet, try fiber supplements.

Whether you eat more fiber-rich foods or take supplements, boost your intake gradually until you notice softer, more-frequent bowel movements. Also, drink plenty of liquids as you take in more fiber. This will help you avoid bloating and gas.

Stay Hydrated

That can help you prevent constipation. Drinking plenty of liquids adds fluid to your system, which can make stools softer and easier to pass. Be sure to drink more when the weather gets warmer or as you become more physically active.

Not all drinks are good choices for staying hydrated. Too much alcohol can dehydrate you. Also, although a caffeinated drink may help you go to the bathroom, too much caffeine can dehydrate you as well.


One of the most common causes of constipation is a lack of physical activity. Exercise for at least 30 minutes most days to help keep your digestive system moving and in good shape. Work toward 150 minutes or more per week.

Don't Ignore Your Urge to Go

If your body tells you it's time to have a bowel movement, don't put it off till later. Waiting too long or too often can weaken the signals that let you know it's time to go. The longer you hold it in, the dryer and harder it can get, which makes it tougher to pass.

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