Hemorrhoids are like bread and butter - simple and common but can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. These swollen blood vessels located on the outer rectum and anus can often bleed and turn everyday simple bowel movements into pure torture.
There are two types of hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids develop within the rectum. External hemorrhoids emerge on the anus.
There are a few simple self-help measures that you can do (or not do) to ease the pain of most hemorrhoids and allow for proper healing.
Sitting On The Throne
Many people think that sitting on the throne is the perfect time to read the newspaper, check emails, play on their phones, catch up with their friends on the phone, or a time to basically escape work, children, or life in general. Don’t use this time to sit there forever. Go and do your business quickly. Prolonged sitting or straining are often associated with constipation or diarrhea and may lead to hemorrhoids or might aggravate the ones you have. The toilet works like a gravity sink, making your hemorrhoids engorge with blood and swell. Limiting your time can improve or help lessen hemorrhoid symptoms.
There are many over-the-counter products that are available to help with hemorrhoids, such as witch hazel, psyllium husks, infused pads and soothing creams. Dietary supplements containing plant-based chemicals called flavonoids are also a good option.
Fiber, Fiber and More Fiber
We cannot stress this enough. Eat your fiber by incorporating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, and nuts and seeds into your diet. If you can get enough fiber from your food, then get it by adding a fiber powder to your coffee or smoothies or buy a fiber supplement. Get it anyway you can. Fiber plays a huge role in colon and rectal health, it helps to bulk up your stool by binding water, making them softer and easier to pass, preventing issues such as hemorrhoids or diverticulitis (inflammation in one or more small pouches in the digestive tract). Women should aim for 25 grams a day. The added benefit is the more fiber you consume the less you will eat and you will lose weight.
Clean this delicate area with warm water. No need to rub and scrub with harsh soaps or even gentle antibacterial soap. Don’t use the baby wipes either, they can irritate the affected area or cause allergic reactions.
You can also do sitz baths in the tub or with a shallow basin. Soak the affected area in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes, two to three times per day. You will feel a lot better.
A colonoscopy looks for abnormalities in the colon and rectum. In general, most people should get a colonoscopy done at age 50. If you have any personal or family history of colon cancer or hemorrhoids, insist on having one done sooner rather than later.
Bikini season is just behind us (pun intended) so we’re a little late to the party on this one but just the same. Rectal and colon surgeons do not recommend waxing your rear, even if it is to show off your nice rump. It is completely natural to have hair there, even if it is not so flattering. Just remember that the skin around your anus is very sensitive. You want to avoid ingrown hairs or other issues resulting from waxing.
Expert Advice On Hemorrhoids
Seek medical care when there is abundant bleeding and to discuss options. Rectal ailments are some of the most preventable conditions, so if you notice any changes in bowel movements or aggravation in your existing hemorrhoids. Don’t put off visiting your doctor.