Hemorrhoids are inflamed, bulging veins found in the rectum or on the anal sphincter.
Make Sure You Treat Your Hemorrhoids
If not given proper and prompt medical attention, hemorrhoids can worsen over time, and become a source of long-term pain and discomfort. Prolapsed hemorrhoids, strangulated hemorrhoids and burst blood vessels may evolve from an untreated hemorrhoid.
Many physicians believe that hemorrhoids are caused and perpetuated by Western sit-down toilets. In 1987, Dr. Berko Sikirov conducted a study with 20 hemorrhoid-prone patients.
After switching from sitting toilets to squatting toilets, 18 of the patients found their hemorrhoids gone. A follow-up 30 months later revealed that the patients have not experienced hemorrhoids since the study.
How could this be?
Dr. Sikirov and many others believe that squatting is the natural position for defecation, because of the angle of the rectum. During his study, he found that squatting patients only needed to strain one or two times during defecation. On the other hand, sitting patients needed to strain four to seven times.
Straining places a lot of pressure on the rectal blood vessels, and is believed to be a major cause of hemorrhoids.
This theory that squatting during defecation may prevent and alleviate hemorrhoids is well-substantiated by geographical evidence. The incidence of hemorrhoids in countries with a prevalence of squatting toilets, such as Japan and China, is much lower. Thus, if you persistently get hemorrhoids, consider switching to a squatting toilet.
Your Hemorrhoids Problem Could Be Dietary
Diet may also be another factor to consider. Insufficient ingestion of dietary fiber leads to stools and constipation. Hard stools press roughly against the rectal lining, possibly damaging tissue. Constipation forces one to strain excessively when defecating. Both cause and worsen hemorrhoids.
To prevent hard stools or diarrhea, consume foods that contain lots of fiber, including fruits, vegetables, Psyllium seed husks, bran and whole grain cereals. At least 20 grams of fiber should be consumed every day. In addition to ingesting lots of fiber, drink lots of water.
Foods Can Make Your Hemorrhoids Problem Worse
Certain foods can aggravate hemorrhoids: spicy foods and diary products. Spicy foods irritate the lining of the rectum. Diary products, when digested, generate lactic acid, which can cause the hemorrhoids to grow bigger. Reducing your consumption of these foods could mitigate the discomfort.
The sensation of defecating can be very painful for hemorrhoid sufferers. Even if the stool is soft, it will still pass over the hemorrhoids, generating friction. To lessen the pain, and to avoid further irritation, lubricants such as mineral oil or Vaseline can be applied around and inside the anus.
Applications of topical medicines to the hemorrhoid can also help. Salicylic acid, found in most facial toners and astringents, can be applied to the region twice daily. Soothing agents, such as Honey, Aloe Vera, and Witch Hazel, can provide relief as well.
When choosing topical medicines for hemorrhoids, make sure to read the ingredients list. Some creams for hemorrhoids contain steroids, which can weaken the skin and tissue. Weakened blood vessels are more likely to burst. Avoid creams that contain steroids.
Home remedies for your hemorrhoids can effectively reduce the severity of hemorrhoids and their symptoms. However, if your condition worsens, consult your doctor, for more drastic medical procedures.