English for PTA


It is hard to believe that nowadays, in spite of easy access to information of every sort, that talking about haemorrhoids is still taboo. Although haemorrhoids are unpleasant, they may be treated quite easily.

Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

In general, haemorrhoids, which are also known as piles, are not noticeable until they bleed, or cause itchiness or excessive moisture in the anorectal area of the body. When first noticed in the form of slight bleeding or mini-incontinence, they may cause a lot of unnecessary worry to patient as they are generally benign and easy to treat. The symptoms, unfortunately, may also indicate a more serious underlying problem such as colorectal cancer. Some of the risk factors are: unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and obesity.

Pharmacy customer: Hello.
PTA: Hello.

Mm, I am having some problems at the moment. Eh, do you have anything for haemorrhoids?
Yes, certainly. We have quite a few different creams and suppositories that help to soothe the discomfort and reduce the worst effects of haemorrhoids.

Do you have anything with bufexamac in it? I used to live in the USA and found that it helped when I had any problems.
I am sorry but products containing bufexamac have been removed from the market in most European countries since May 2010.

Oh, so what do you recommend?
Firstly, I would recommend this balsam here that helps to soothe the affected area. It contains hamamelis, which is astringent.

Hamamelis? Botany was not one of my favourite subjects at school!
It is also called witch-hazel. It helps to contract swollen blood vessels back to normal size, especially varicosities, which are basically what haemorrhoids are.

That sounds good. Is there anything else that I can do?
Aside from taking sitz baths, it is a good idea to consult your doctor.

Isn’t it enough to just use this balsam?
If the symptoms show no signs of improvement in the next three to five days or so, you should definitely go to your GP. This is just to make sure that there is nothing serious.

I see. I suppose you’re right there.
There are a few things that you can do yourself to help alleviate the problem and the accompanying symptoms.

Such as?
Well, avoid straining when using the toilet. And go as soon as you feel the need to. I know that in some jobs this is not always possible. It’s also essential to take a look at your nutrition.

Nutrition? In what way?
A high-fibre diet is one of the ways of increasing the volume and softness of the stool, which helps to avoid straining.

Can’t I just take laxatives?
Laxatives are rather drastic. It’s better to slowly increase your intake of high-fibre foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables and to drink plenty of fluids, such as water, herbal tea and diluted fruit juices.

Okay. Is there anything else that I can do?
Exercise really helps and avoiding sitting or standing for longer periods is recommended by most nutritional experts.

Thank you so much for your helpful advice.
No problem, we’re here to help. Goodbye.

(ugs.) Hämorriden
itchiness Juckreiz
moisture (hier) Nässe
slight leicht
mini-incontinence Feininkontinenz
worry Sorge
benign gutartig
underlying problem zu Grunde liegendes Problem
obesity Adipositas, Fettleibigkeit
blushing erröten
suppositories Zäpfchen
soothe lindern
discomfort (hier) Beschwerden
witch-hazel Zaubernuss
contract sich zusammenziehen
blood vessels Blutgefäße
improvement Besserung, Verbesserung
alleviate erleichtern
accompanying symptoms Begleitsymptome
straining (sich) anstrengen
high-fibre reich an Ballaststoffen
laxatives Abführmittel
diluted verdünnt

Den vollständigen Artikel finden Sie auch in Die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 06/11 auf Seite 58.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker