Why don't hemmorhoids cause sepsis?

Why doesn’t e. coli get into the bloodstreams of those suffering from hemmorhoids? I don’t know my way around hemmorhoids very well, but I’m of the impression that at some point, the bloodstream meets the shitstream. Why doesn’t sepsis (normally) go hand in hand with hemmorhoids?

[disclaimer]I’m not seeking medical advice. Heck, I don’t even have hemmorhoids[/disclaimer]

ArmenE–Welcome to the SDMB.

Interesting question…I’ll bump this for you.

Why does the above line sound…nasty?

I had them chopped out. I asked how the wounds would not afterwards get infected, even if they were stitched up. My surgeon said he didn’t even stitch the wounds up, he just left them open. I repeated my question, more urgently. He shrugged and said he didn’t understand it either: all he knew was that in decades of doing the op, he’d had almost no instances of infection. That, of course, does not answer the OP.

This has been asked before. Good luck searchin’.

Try this thread:

Feces and infection question —(may be a little disgusting)

As usual, QtM to the rescue. :smiley:

Brushing your teeth and passing a bowel movement both commonly produce bacteremia–bacteria in the bloodstream. You don’t need open perianal wounds to produce that. E Coli and other bowel bacteria get into the blood stream all the time.

We usually reserve the term “sepsis” for when those bacteria end up making you sick. As pointed out upthread this is pretty uncommon, even when we’re talking hemorrhoids and pooping.

And herein, kids, lies a lesson most doctors and nearly all of the public never learn: the germ theory of disease is way overrated. Generally speaking, it is host defenses, and not absence of germs, that keeps us healthy. Oprah’s diligent testing of public places for coliforms demonstrates this nicely, even though the conclusion is wrong. The conclusion is not that we are surrounded by filth (and isn’t that terrible?!); the conclusion is that we are surrounded by filth (and that’s OK–we have host defenses).

Now some germs are pretty doggone pathogenic and nearly always get the best of their host. Polio; smallpox; HIV; anthrax–most of them you’ve heard about. Some are sorta in between: tuberculosis for example. Some are surprisingly benign most of the time: Strep and Meningococcus are good examples. These latter group can kill you when they get the best of your host defenses, but for the average person exposed, nothing happens and it’s very common to be an asymptomatic carrier. Good old host defenses.

Now, if you have crummy host defenses, nothing will keep you from getting into trouble. Not even antibiotics. If you are short on working white cells; if your spleen is gone; if you don’t make antibodies properly; if you have a rough area on a heart valve or blood vessel that lets a bacterium cling there and multiply instead of getting back to the liver and get chewed up by macrophages…well–not good.

I don’t propose living in filth, but there is a reasonable amount of truth to the concept that some level of exposure to assorted germs sort of exercises the immune system and strengthens your overall immune system. What we in medicine call a “naive” immune system (an underexposed one) is what killed more natives in North America than weapons ever did when the Europeans brought new germs.

Poop in peace.