Why are Hemorrhoids so Common?
Hemorrhoids are sometimes known as piles. They are swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum, which are very similar to varicose veins. By the age of 50, approximately half of all adults have experienced hemorrhoids. An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from hemorrhoids every year. That is a lot of pain and discomfort. It makes you wonder why so many people have this problem and why it keeps coming back.
Modern medicine says there are many things that can cause or irritate hemorrhoids. Increased blood pressure in the veins and repeated infections of the anal lining caused by inflammation due to disease or illness are definitely on the list. Sitting or standing for too long can aggravate or lead to piles as well.
Something even simpler to understand is a substantial contributing factor, constipation! Recent scientific research has suggested that a diet that is low in dietary fiber causes hard stools, and this can lead to hemorrhoids.
Basically, if you don't have enough fiber in your diet, food takes a long time to be digested, and your stools will be smaller and harder, and you will have to strain when going to the bathroom. That hard mass of fecal matter (yes, I mean poop) can put a lot of pressure on the veins and interfere with blood flow. Presto, you now have a hemorrhoid problem. You are even more likely to develop hemorrhoids as you age.
My advice? Make sure you are getting enough fiber in your diet. Not sure how to add more fiber? Click here to get some great ideas about how to boost your fiber intake and improve your overall health.
We have to talk about pregnancy if we are discussing things that cause hemorrhoids. Pregnant women are prone to getting hemorrhoids; as the baby grows, the uterus grows and puts lots of pressure on the veins causing them to swell, which leads to hemorrhoids. The pressure during labor and delivery will make them worse.
A Bit More Information...
By now, you have probably figured out that hemorrhoids are a pretty common condition. They affect nearly 3 out of 4 adults. They may cause itching, discomfort, bleeding, and sometimes they can be very painful. Hemorrhoids have a variety of symptoms depending on how serious they are.
There are 4 types of hemorrhoids: internal, external, prolapsed, and thrombosed. Internal hemorrhoids are in the rectum, and you might not even know they are there; they can even go away on their own. If they swell up and protrude out of the anus, they are prolapsed. Having a bowel movement can really bother these and may even cause a bit of bleeding. External hemorrhoids occur on the outside of the anus; these lumps are not usually serious either, but they can be very uncomfortable. Thrombosis is when there is a blood clot in the hemorrhoid, and this causes intense pain, swelling, and itchiness; this is definitely something your healthcare provider should be made aware of.
What can you do to get relief?
The doctor will tell you to use a topical ointment to reduce the swelling, which can be messy and unpleasant. You may also be told to take something for the pain. Go ahead; you should probably use an anti-inflammatory; I prefer to use something natural like Arnica Montana. A nice bath helps too; add some Epsom salts, and relax for a bit.
Some modern research has begun to focus on natural and alternative treatment options. The risk of hemorrhoids can be simply and effectively eliminated by natural plant properties that soften stools and promote healthy bowel habits. Let's take a closer look.
Calcarea Fluorica, Ferr Phos, and Kali Mur have been extremely useful in randomized control trials in reducing the hardness of the stool due to its fiber content. Patients with the most severe types of hemorrhoids with infections have increased recovery and healing, which substantially downgraded the severity of their hemorrhoids.
Hamamelis virginiana has been used since ancient times in treating piles. The loss of vein wall strength and function is associated with the development of both hemorrhoids and varicose veins. In research studies, Hamamelis virginiana extracts have been shown to improve microcirculation, capillary flow, and vascular tone; and to strengthen the connective tissue of the blood vessels making them less likely to develop hemorrhoids. Taking a supplement or remedy containing this extract has been proven to significantly reduce the side effects and costs associated with surgical interventions for hemorrhoids.
Nux vomica extracts, which are rich in fiber, have been shown to reduce the incidence of constipation and to soften the passage of stools. This helps reduce the bleeding and pain associated with hemorrhoids. It also helps reduce the complications of hemorrhoids and prevent the progression of hemorrhoids.
So basically, eat fiber, drink water, and get some exercise. If you still have problems with hemorrhoids, look to nature for a safe, effective, and easy to use the remedy. Hemorrhoids are often a recurring problem, so have products on hand to treat the problem immediately and avoid a more serious problem and invasive medical treatment.
Das, K., Ghosh, S., Das, A., Ghosh, A., Mondal, R., Banerjee, T., Ali, S., Ali, S., Koley, M., and Saha, S. (2016). Treatment of hemorrhoids with individualized homeopathy: an open observational pilot study. Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology, 5(4), p.335.
Herman Villalba, M. (2018). Hemorrhoids: Modern Remedies for an Ancient Disease. [online] PubMed Central (PMC). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057743/ [Accessed 8 Aug. 2018].
D, M. (2018). Hemorrhoids and varicose veins: a review of treatment options. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11302778 [Accessed 8 Aug. 2018].
Song, S., and Kim, S. (2011). Optimal Treatment of Symptomatic Hemorrhoids. Journal of the Korean Society of Coloproctology, 27(6), p.277.