Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anus and in the rectum (the very lowest portion of the colon) that may protrude from the anus. They are very much like varicose veins they enlarge and lose their elasticity, resulting in saclike protrusions into the anal canal. They can be caused, and aggravated, by sitting or standing for prolonged periods, lifting heavy objects (or lifting even relatively light objects improperly), and straining at bowel movements (especially when constipated, although bouts of diarrhea accompanied by involuntary spasms can exacerbate the problem), as well as by pregnancy, obesity, lack of exercise, liver damage, food allergies, and insufficient consumption of dietary fiber.
The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids include itching, burning, pain, inflammation, swelling, irritation, seepage, and bleeding. The bleeding can be startling, even frightening, but although it does signal that something is amiss in the digestive system, rectal bleeding is not necessarily an indication of serious disease.
There are different types of hemorrhoids, depending on their location, severity, and the amount of pain, discomfort, or aggravation they cause. These are
- Internal: internal Hemorrhoids are located inside the rectum and are usually painless, especially if located above the anorectal line. They do, however, tend to bleed. When they do, the blood appears bright red.
- External: “piles” was the old-fashioned term to describe external hemorrhoids. These develop under the skin at the opening of the anal cavity. When an external hemorrhoids swells, the tissue in the area becomes firm but sensitive and turns blue or purple in color. This type of hemorrhoid can be extremely painful.’
- Prolapsed: A prolapsed hemorrhoid is an internal hemorrhoid that collapses and protrudes outside the anus, often accompanied by a mucous discharge and heavy bleeding. Prolapsed hemorrhoids can become thrombosed that is, they can form clots within that prevent their receding. Thrombosed hemorrhoids can also be excruciatingly painful.
Hemorrhoids are unique to human beings. No other creature develops this problem. This can be taken as an indication that our dietary and nutritional habits probably play a greater role in this disorder than anything else. Between 50jl and 75 percent of this country’s population develop hemorrhoids at one time or another, although many may be unaware of them. Hemorrhoids can occur at any age, but they tend to become more common as people age. Among younger people, pregnant women and women who have children seem to be the most susceptible. The tendency to develop hemorrhoids also appears to be hereditary. Although hemorrhoids can be quite painful, they do not usually pose a serious threat to health.
If you decide to use a fiber supplement, start with a moderate amount and increase your intake gradually. If you take too much at first, this will cause painful bloating, gas, and possibly diarrhea.
Drink plenty of liquids, especially water (preferably steam-distilled). Water is the best, most natural stool softener in existence. It also helps prevent constipation.
Avoid fats and animal products. Red meat and high-protein diets are especially hard on the lower digestive tract.
Take 1 or 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil daily. Keep the bowels clean and avoid constipation.
Cleanse the problem area frequently with warm water. A hot bath for fifteen minutes a day is quit helpful. Do not add bath beads, oils, or bubbles to the water, as this can irritate sensitive tissues. Many people add Epsom salts, but this has no proven clinical value. It is the warm water that reduces swelling and eases the pain.
Warm sitz baths are especially beneficially beneficial. Take a mineral sitz bath daily. We recommend batherapy from para Laboratories/Queen Helene, a powder that contains many valuable minerals and is added to bath water. This can be found in many helath food stores.
Use cayenne (capsicum) and garlic enemas to keep the bowels clean. A plain warm water enema is fast acting and relieves discomfort in most cases.
Get regular moderate exercise.
Use a peeled clove of garlic as a suppository three times a week. You can also use raw potato suppositories to help heal hemorrhoids and relieve pain. Peel a potato and cut it into small cone-shaped pieces.
To help bleeding hemorrhoids, eat foods such as alfalfa, blackstrap molasses, and dark green leafy vegetables, which are high in vitamin k.
If you are bothered by persistent bleeding, take vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent anemia. An iron supplement together with a powerful vitamin B complex and vitamin C will keep the blood healthy. A sublingual B complex, such as perfect B from pharmaceutical purveyors of Oklahma or coenzymate B complex from source Naturals, is among the most efficiently absorbed forms of the B vitamins.
Avoid use of strong or harsh laxatives. Most of these products induce unnecessary straining at bowel movements and often “overdo” their jobs by creating a condition similar to diarrhea. Also, using chemical laxatives does not provide the healthful benefits that natural substances provide. Laxative products can also cause the bowels to become dependent upon them for normal functioning, much like an addiction. Instead of chemical preparations, use a stool softener if constipation or straining at defecation are a problem.
Learn proper lifting techniques. Bend your knees, not your back. Do not hold your brath as your lift this puts enormous strain and pressure upon the hemorrhoidal vessels. Instead, take a deep breath and exhale at the moment of lifting. Make your thighs do the work, not your back. Avoid heavy lifting as much as possible.
Avoid sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time. If sitting for extended periods of time cannot be avoided, take frequent breaks to stretch and move around (this is also good for circulation, the back, and the legs). Above all, do not use the old-fashioned inflated doughnut cushion. This actually increases pressure upon the hemorrhoidal blood vessels, aggravating the swelling and bleeding.
If home treatments bring no relief, consult your health care provider, especially if the problem is recurrent and bleeding persists. Although the amount of blood loss might seem insignificant, even a slow loss of blood will eventually result in anemia and its associated problems. In addition, persistent rectal bleeding can lead to infections and even a compromised immune system.