Many people have hemorrhoids at some time, and they are a common problem. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal, which can be painful but not usually serious. They are caused from too much pressure on the veins in the pelvic and rectal area from constipation, pregnancy, and being overweight. The most common symptoms of internal and external hemorrhoids include bleeding, itching, and pain. Treatment can be as simple as adding more fiber to your diet, drinking more water, and using over-the-counter ointments for itching. Stool softeners also can be used. If other treatments don’t work, surgery may be required.
To prevent future irritation, eat plenty of fiber-rich foods, drink plenty of water, and get plenty of exercise.
- The easiest way to become more regular is by getting plenty of fiber, by diet or supplements. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
- Drinking water is simple and cheap, yet so few actually do it. Drinking enough water prevents constipation and decreases straining. Aim for six to eight glasses of water each day.
- Exercise keeps the colon more regular. However, activities that increase pressure, such as weightlifting, can cause the formation of hemorrhoids. Reduce your time sitting and putting pressure on the veins with moderate exercise such as yoga, swimming, or walking.
- If you choose to use a laxative, make sure to select one that works with your body, rather than forces your body into action. Osmotic laxatives simply increase water in the gut and reduce constipation.
- Don’t fight the urge to go. If you wait until an “opportune time”, straining will be more likely.
- Avoid straining in any form. Lifting heavy objects, a chronic cough, and pregnancy can cause hemorrhoids.
“Hemorrhoids – Topic Overview.” Digestive Disorders. WebMD, 2015. Web. 20 May 2015.
Myers, Wyatt. “6 Easy Ways to Prevent Hemorrhoids.” Digestive Health. Everyday Health, 7 May 2015. Web. 20 May 2015.