Once you have hemorrhoids you’re in for a rough experience. You have to eat and, by default, you have poop. By having a hemorrhoid right at the end of your anus, you are guaranteed to suffer and be in pain at least once a day. Hemorrhoid symptoms make life uncomfortable, but they can be soothed and tamed with a few tips.
Seventy five percent of people in the United States will develop hemorrhoid symptoms at one point or another in their lives. In fact, hemorrhoids are the most common disorder of the anus and rectum in the Western world. In the United States, nearly one million new cases are diagnosed per year, and 10.4 million people have hemorrhoids at any given time.
There are common health conditions that can increase your risk of developing hemorrhoid symptoms such as pregnancy and obesity, which for different reasons put pressure on the veins of the rectum and anus, causing them to swell.
Other hemorrhoid symptoms include:
- Painful bowel movements
- Rectal bleeding
- Lump near the anus
How To Beat Hemorrhoid Symptoms
Here are 5 ways to take back your bum and make sure you never experience hemorrhoid symptoms again. Ouch!
1. Follow A Bum-Hole-Optimal Diet
If you are experiencing hemorrhoid symptoms like painful swelling of the veins in your anal canal, the first thing to assess is your diet.
Drink More Water: Your bowel is your body’s recycling center, and every poop only contains about 150 milliliters of water. The rest is reclaimed by your body. So drinking more water helps soften stools. Meanwhile, cut out dehydrating beverages such as coffee and alcohol until you’re pain isn’t consuming your every thought.
Get More Fiber: Equally imperative is your need to boost your fiber intake, meaning lots of fruits and veggies to also help soften and ease bowel movements. A Vitamix or food processor are fiber’s best friend. Purée some cooked vegetables such as green peas, okra, broccoli, and/or beets. Please stay away from doctor-suggested stool softeners like Medamucil, which are made with GMOs like aspartame and coloring made out of . Bleh!
Eating papaya is not only delicious but a rich source of active compounds, including pepsin that helps with digestion. If you want to cover all your bases, splurge an enzymes like E3 Enzyme Supreme that actually assists you in digesting your food when you cannot.
Meanwhile, a Western doctor may prescribe cereals such as All Bran as a source of fiber, but do you really want to consume (likely genetically modified), sugar, and high fructose corn syrup? There are much better options out there.
Chia seeds, for instance, are affordable and have a whopping 5.5 grams of fiber per tablespoon. Add them to your water and they’ll form a goopy gel that is great for assisting bowels!
Meat has no fiber and makes poop hard, so it may be wise to go a little easy on the carne so you don’t feel like you’re pooping broken glass. Also consider cutting out processed foods: why let corporations slowly poison you?
As far as supplements, consider a “time-released” magnesium so you don’t go from constipation to diarrhea. And take some Vitamin C, a natural anti-oxidant that can remove harmful substances that causes cellular damage. It can also soothe hemorrhoid symptoms such as inflammation and pain. According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Vitamin C is important for both the expansion and the contraction of blood vessels.
Finally, for reasons that go without saying, avoid strong spices such chili and horseradish. You don’t need that additional burn.
2. Sitz! Don’t Stand
An effective natural treatment for symptomatic hemorrhoids is the sitz bath: sit in a bathtub with enough warm water to cover the anal area for fifteen minutes several times a day. Add Epsom salts or magnesium flakes; this will help shrink and/or soothe the hemorrhoids. Essential oils may be a fun addition but avoid fragrances that may irritate you.
3. Try An Ointment
Scan the literature online and many sites will recommend a steroid-based cream. But we at HoneyColony prefer more natural treatments since steroid based creams can make the skin around your anus thinner and the irritation worse. If the hemorrhoids are from bacterial infections with will make it go away.
4. Squatting And Straining
The most common cause of hemorrhoids is repeated straining while having a bowel movement. The straining increases the pressure in your abdomen and causes the veins that line your anus to swell.
And if you do have hemorrhoid symptoms, the last thing you want to do is sit on “the commode” for more than two minutes; it only makes the pain worse.
Since the invention of the flush toilet in 1591, humans all over the industrialized world have been defecating in supposed style. But as it turns out, the is not the best for people’s health when it comes to pooping.
Have you ever been to the bathroom and felt like there was still more but you couldn’t get it all out?
Well, the sitting position can cause a , resulting in incomplete or strained bowel movements. This unnatural position and strain is a known contributor to not only hemorrhoids, but , constipation, colon disease, and pelvic floor issues.
Studies have shown that squatting is actually the healthier pooping position because it results in a less strained and more “complete” elimination. So, just as nature intended, the more angled the knee and hip positions are, the straighter the flow of doo-doo is.
Take one writer from Slate whose bathroom routine dropped from 10 minutes to one or two minutes at most as soon as he squatted. He achieved this by placing two feet on his toilet seat and then squatting down. A better and less messy and precarious option would be to invest in a ; specifically designed to recreate a squatting posture which de-kinks you and permits a straightening of the anorectal angle, encouraging smooth evacuation with a minimum pressure.
If you don’t believe us, pile up a few books or paint cans before you invest.
Potassium is needed for the peristaltic motion of the intestines that moves the food. Without it, the food stays in the large intestines too long, allowing too much water to be reabsorbed into the body making for guaranteed constipation.
And magnesium helps neutralize stomach acid and move stools through the intestine along with a myriad other benefits. We live in a society where we are mineral deprived and the benefits of taking minerals are many. If you do take magnesium, a time-released one like Jigsaw is recommended so you don’t go from constipation to diarrhea.
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Clean the anal area thoroughly after every bowel movement, or consider getting a bidet. Wipe gently so as not to further irritate the skin using either dampened, unscented toilet tissue or a pre-moistened baby wipe (without additives) for sensitive skin.
6. Do Not Abuse or Misuse Antibiotics
I personally was in my late thirties when I developed hemorrhoid symptoms, following two rounds of antibiotics, which were administered to me intravenously for walking pneumonia. My doctor prescribed this only after I proved to be resistant to the first round of antibiotics. Shortly after all these meds, I developed bad diarrhea and then started experiencing swelling around my anus, itching, and severe pain. I even developed fissures that caused bleeding.
The antibiotics were so strong that they obliterated not only the bad bacteria, but the good ones too — throwing out the baby with the bath water. Without good bacteria, I wasn’t able to digest my food.
Modern life itself is an assault on our normal bacterial flora. So probiotics that also have prebiotics are a positive addition to your diet even if you don’t have hemorrhoids.
Check out this infographic from Hemorrhoid Miracles:
Maryam Henein is an investigative journalist, professional researcher, and producer of the award-winning documentary Vanishing of the Bees.
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