Breaking the Taboo Associated with Hemorrhoidal Disease

BayerExperts assume that more than 50 percent of Americans over the age of 50 have had symptoms related to hemorrhoidal disease at some point in their lives(1). For Europe similar data have been reported(2) and a German study reveals that 20 percent of the patients suffered more than five years from hemorrhoidal disease before they finally got the right treatment(3). Since the disease can occur at any age between 18 and 90 years affecting women and men with equal frequency, it is crucial to provide targeted information through efficient channels.

The new Intendis website http://www.hemorrhoid-help.com encourages people to consult a general practitioner or a specialist if they feel symptoms like itch and pain in the anal region. Among the general public it is quite common to attribute pain and discomfort in the anal region to piles. However, there are many other conditions which may simultaneously be present or cause similar symptoms. Moreover, self-medication is frequent but might not be the best choice.

"Problems with hemorrhoids are still a taboo topic," says Dr. Gerhard Weyandt, senior physician at the Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, University Hospital Würzburg, Germany. "It is important to address the topic in a sensitive way to encourage patients to talk openly about their symptoms. Sometimes it might not even be hemorrhoidal disease. Thus, diagnosis and treatment should always be left to a physician."

Breaking the taboo
As of today, physicians can offer their patients another source of helpful information. On the homepage of the new website visitors can enjoy three episodes of a humorous cartoon. The "behinds" of the characters talk to each other, sharing fears and finally finding the courage to consult their general practitioner or a specialist.

Most importantly, the new website provides detailed information on hemorrhoidal disease, such as symptoms, topical treatment and representative case studies(4). Interested people can conduct an online self test consisting of 10 questions. The printable results of the Hemorrhoid-Check provide first and general hints and should be discussed with a physician. In addition, http://www.hemorrhoid-help.com offers a list of 'basic questions to the doctor'. With both documents, people are well prepared and can feel comfortable when talking with their physician.

"Stop sitting on your symptoms" and talk to a doctor!
With this claim, Intendis calls for action because effective treatment of symptoms is available and patients could get rid of their annoying problems quickly. Creams, ointments and suppositories containing corticosteroids offer patients fast symptom relief and alleviation of the most uncomfortable manifestations of hemorrhoidal disease as well as safety and convenience.

Additional information: Classification of piles
Piles can be graded in four different stages depending on how far they have progressed (3). First-degree piles do not prolapse and merely protrude into the lumen of the anal canal which may go unrecognized until the disease progresses. Stage-4-piles, on the other hand, are associated with anal prolapse, which can lead to severe pain and skin erosions. When piles flare up, they can cause itching, burning, pain, swelling, bleeding and inflammation. They may seriously impair quality of life, as they often become worse.

About Intendis
Intendis is an integrated pharmaceutical business headquartered in Berlin, Germany, with annual sales of EUR 300 million (2010). As part of Bayer HealthCare, Intendis is completely dedicated to dermatology and focuses on the development, manufacturing and marketing of high quality, innovative topical therapies, targeted to treat skin disorders. The current product portfolio comprises treatments of eczema disorders including atopic dermatitis, as well as psoriasis, acne, rosacea, hemorrhoids and fungal skin infections (mycoses).

About Bayer HealthCare
The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of more than EUR 16.913 billion (2010), is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Bayer HealthCare has a global workforce of 55.700 employees and is represented in more than 100 countries.

1. The society of surgery of the alimentary tract: accessible at: http://www.ssat.com/cgi-bin/hemorr.cgi, last accessed on November 3, 2010
2. Johanson JF and Sonnenberg A. (1990): The prevalence of hemorrhoids and chronic constipation. An epidemiologic study. Gastroenterology. 98(2), 380-386
3. Stein E. (1988): Zeitgemäße Behandlung von Hämorrhoidalleiden, Dt. Dermatologe 36, Heft 3
4. Abramowitz L. et al (2010): The Diagnosis and Management of Haemorrhoidal Disease from a Global Perspective, Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 31 (Suppl. 1), 1-58

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