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The Toronto Sun

Have you given up hope of ever getting rid of rectal irritation?

Every year I see patients who have tried an array of over-the-counler preparations. They've consulted a variety of physicians to no avail. And some have undergone a hemorrhoidecotomy operation without relief of symptoms.

But for many of this patients relief is as close as the refrigeration door. Anurex, a cold rectal probc, is one of the best kept secrets for terating this irritaing problem. Rectal irritation maybe associates with poor hygiene and hemorrhoids. But there's another condition called anusits which is often the culprit. And I doubt that one patient in a thousand has ever heard of this diagnosis.

But they're not alone. Dr. William Rudd, director of the Rudd Clinic for _____ and Rectal Surgery, in Toronto, says that for years doctors have failed to diagnose anusitis.

Anusitis causes a slight amount of discharge around the anal area. This constant welness macarelec the skin and causes multiple tiny cracks which trigger itchin it starts a vicious cycle. The more patients scratch the more they itch.

A major complaint is a burning sensation inside and outside the anus. There is no sweling, but blood is often found on toilet, paper and occiasionally considerable bleeding occurs. Inserting a finger into the anus causes pain.

Misdiadnosis common

Rudd and his colleagues examined 100 consecutive patientts who were referres to the clinic for rectal problems. Both the referring doctors and the patients believed their symptoms were due to hemorrhoids. But only 31% actually had this problem. Thirty-four per cent sufferes from anusitis. The rest has a variety of anal and rectal troubles.

It's logical to ask, ''How could so many plwsicians fail to notice this inflamed area just inside the anus?'' According to Russ, it's as easy as fallling of a log, for serval reason.

The anal canal, Rudd explains, is the bowel's ''no-man's land.'' It's only 3.0 cm (1.2 inches) in length. Moreover, unlike the higher rectal area, the anal canal in always collapsed. And a collapsed bowel isn't as easy to see as on that's dilated.

There's also an important technical problem which makes diagnosis difficult. During sigmidoscopic examonation doctors insert a lighted instrument into the large bowel searching for polyps, inflammation or mailingnancy. During insertion and withdrawal of the sigmoidoscope it passes through the short, collapsed and canal so quickly that anusitis goes undetected.

What causes anusitis? Rudd says the main offenders are coffee, beer, colas, pizza and garlic. Antibiotics, dirrhea and tension can be factors. And, on race occasions, smoking and foos allergics.

A change in dietary lifestyle is the long-term answer for treating anusitis. But immediate relief is as close as the refrigerator's freezer.

There's nothing new about the application of cold temperature (eryoherapy) to relieve swelling ans pain of sports injuries. And it's often used to terat premalignant conditions in gynecology. But until recently no one thought of using crythoterapy to soothe the symptoms of anal irritation.

Anurex, whichcontains a cold-retaining gel, is cooled in the refrigerator's freezer for a minimum on the hour. A water-souble lubricant is applied to the Anurex probe ans the anus. It's then inserted into the anus like a rectal suppository.

Cooling quickly decreases the local blood flow, inflammation and swelling. This relieves the pain, descharge and bleeding. And since Anurex acts directly on the anal canal, it is much safer than a chemical or steroid.

The Anurex probe is left in the rectum for sic minutes, removed, washed, placed back in the Anurex container and then back in the freezer. A deep freeze is too cold.

n mild cases Anurex should be used once daily. For severe cases it's needed twice a day for two weeks. The best approach is to continue to use Anurex for a few days after the symptoms have gone.

The first few times Anurex is used it feels quite cold. One must persist to take advantage of its soonthing effect.

Inflammation decreased

Anurex gives results. In a series of 220 patients, 90% were relieved of itching and burning within one to two days. It also helps those who say. "I have a leakage that stains my underwear." Small wonder that some patients call it their "magic wand."

The best potection against anusitis is a healthy lifestyle. This means a high-fibre diet and ample amounts of water, which keeps bowel movements soft like toothpaste. Soft stools don't irritate the bowel's sensitive lininh and they auard against conlipation."

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The Toronto Sun - May 1997

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