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Understanding and Eliminating Hemorrhoids Naturally

Wellness Suggestions for Treating Painful Hemorrhoids

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Newspaper advertisement from 1899 for suppositories to treat hemorrhoids.

Newspaper advertisement from 1899 for suppositories to treat hemorrhoids.

Jay Paull / Getty Images

Annoying, uncomfortable and many time embarrassing, hemorrhoids are a common and fortunately not serious health concern. A hemorrhoid is identified as any abnormally swollen veins in the anus or rectum. There are two different types of hemorrhoids: internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids don't hurt or itch. They can't be felt because they form deep inside the rectum. External hemorrhoids are the cause of the pain, itching and burning that you often hear about on TV.

Symptoms Associated with Hemorrhoids

If you are wondering if you are suffering from hemorrhoids, their symptoms include:
  • itching
  • rectal tenderness and bleeding
  • painful bowel movements - especially with straining.
  • lump or slight protrusion of tissue in the anus
  • discharge of mucus after a bowel movement
When a hemorrhoid is irritated, the surrounding tissue can swell, burn, itch, become painful or bleed. This can take place for a number of reasons. Most often, they form because of repeated excessive pressure in rectal or anal veins, usually as a result of straining to pass bowel movement. Straining puts pressure on the rectum and causes blood to enlarge, swell and bulge the walls of the veins. Once a rectal vein has been stretched and a hemorrhoid forms, they are difficult to get rid of and it takes less straining for them to recur. In addition, heavy lifting, pregnancy & delivery, obesity, overeating, inadequate exercise and prolonged sitting - especially on toilet can cause hemorrhoids to form.

If you suffer from hemorrhoids, medical treatment may be required. Sometimes a painful blood clot may form in the hemorrhoid. It should also be sought out if there is excessive blood loss or if an infection develops. It may also be wise to seek medical advice in order to rule out cancer of the rectum or colon.

Treating and Preventing Hemorrhoids

  • Ice packs and frozen probes can be inserted into the anus to reduce swelling. It can also provide relief from the itching and burning experienced even if it is only temporary.
     
  • Stiz baths. Fill your tub with 4-5 inches of warm water and sit in it for 15 minutes after a bowel movement. A Stiz bath can help reduce swelling and help relieve the itchy burning feeling that is often experienced after a bowel movement.
     
  • Avoid reading or spending excess time on the toilet. If it takes you more than 3-5 minutes to have a bowel movement, then something is wrong.
     
  • Don't scratch. While scratching can make a hemorrhoid feel temporarily better, scratching can damage the walls of the veins and create more problems.
     
  • Using pads soaked with witch hazel can provide temporary relief from the burning and itching often experienced with hemorrhoids.
     
  • Eat lots of fruit, especially ones with outer skins such as apples, peaches and pears. In addition to the added fiber the skin has, it will also help to add moisture to your stool.
     
  • Incorporate bulk forming fibers such as psyllium into your diet to help soften the stool and make the passage of a bowel movement easier and reduce straining. Dietary fiber holds water and help to keep the stool soft, while added bulk help to move the stool through the colon.
     
  • Drink 8 cups of water a day. Water is critical for providing the colon with enough moisture so that your stools do not dry out. This is especially true if you are taking dietary fiber supplements.
  • If you suffer from constipation, try eating a few dried prunes or drinking some prune juice. In addition to adding fiber, prunes have a mild laxative effect.
     
  • Herbs such as casgara segrada, turkey rhubarb or herbal combinations such as Natures Sunshine's LBS II and B-X can be used to evacuate the colon. While these should be used with caution, they are less aggressive than many commercial laxatives that are available at the supermarket.
     
  • Walking. Always stand and walk during your breaks at work and try to stand and walk at least 5 minutes every hour. This can help avoid direct pressure on your rectum.
     
  • If your job requires heavy lifting, make sure you exhale when as you strain or lift and whatever you do, don't hold your breath.
     
  • Butchers Broom is good for a wide range of circulatory ailments, especially ones involving veins.
     
  • White Oak Bark can be used to shrink swollen tissues & helps normalize bleeding.
Read more wellness articles from Dr. Rita Louise
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