How to Harness Help when you have Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are a very common anorectal condition, affecting millions.
While hemorrhoids are frequently seen in clinics, emergency wards, gastroenterology units and surgical clinics, many wonder how you know when hemorrhoids have developed, when you should seek medical help and how to cope with the pain?
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are cushions of tissue filled with blood vessels and found at the end of the rectum (that is just inside the anus). Along with the muscle known as the anal sphincter, hemorrhoids help control bowel movement. So we all have hemorrhoids but the problems start when they become enlarged.
Enlarged hemorrhoids can often mean itching, mucus discharge or bleeding – the latter when hard stools damage the thin and vulnerable walls of the blood vessels in those hemorrhoids.
There are two basic types of hemorrhoids, internal and external. While internal hemorrhoids are more common, external hemorrhoids usually feel like a large lump around the outside of the anus making sitting painful. Bleeding can occur.
Sometimes those internal hemorrhoids swell up and protrude from the anus when they are known as protruding or prolapsed.
What are the causes of hemorrhoids?
- Being overweight or obese
- Regularly lifting heavy objects
- Pregnancy and giving birth
- Constipation or chronic diarrhea
- Faulty bowel function from overuse of laxatives or enemas
- Sitting on the toilet too long
Diagnosis of hemorrhoids
There are a number of examinations doctors can choose from. Typically, your doctor will carry out a digital rectal examination first, gently inserting a finger into the anus with gloves and lubricant. Feeling inside the anal canal, using circular movements, will allow him or her to examine the sphincter muscles and the texture of the membranes lining the anus.
If enlarged hemorrhoids are suspected, a proctoscopy is carried out. This involves inserting a short tube with a light and lens on it (the proctoscope) to examine the membranes lining the rectum.
Doctors will usually suggest diet therapy, fiber supplements, hemorrhoid cream and medical treatments – such as sclerotherapy, rubber band ligation or infrared coagulation.
But natural remedies might be best for you
Change to high fiber foods. The recommendation is an ounce or more of fiber daily and ideally, eating foods such as avocados, berries, figs, Brussels sprouts, acorn squash, beans, lentils, nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and quinoa.
Drink plenty of water. The recommendation is to drink at least one glass of water with each meal and snack of the day or 8 glasses in total. Unfortunately, dehydration can lead to constipation because water or fluids are required for that all -important fiber to travel smoothly through the digestive tract.
Eat fermented foods. These include foods such as kefir, kimchi and raw pastured yogurt, helping to provide the digestive system with the healthy bacteria that is so necessary for proper bowel movements.
Limit alcohol and spicy foods. The harm alcohol can cause is two-fold, causing dehydration and being hard on the digestive symptoms. Both these can make the symptoms of hemorrhoids even worse. Too much spicy food can have similar results.
Avoid straining. This can mean even more pain and making any problems worse. Act on the urge to use the toilet – at once. This will help to avoid the stool becoming harder.
Prevent constipation. Constipation will always force you to strain, increasing the pain and inflammation of the hemorrhoid.
Avoid prolonged sitting on the toilet. If you spend too long on the toilet such as reading or using your phone, this can make hemorrhoids even worse.
Toilet hygiene. Use plain water to clean your bottom after a bowel movement, taking care not to leave any stool behind as this can aggravate and irritate any hemorrhoids. Avoid being rough or using soaps that contain harsh chemicals, alcohol or perfumes. A sitz bath can be very soothing, sitting in a basin of warm water for ten minutes or so twice a day.
And of course our own H-Hemorrhoids Formula. This is an all-natural alternative to painful hemorrhoid surgery, providing fast relief and quickly reducing swelling. Suitable for all types of hemorrhoids.