Haemorrhoid (commonly called piles) is not actually a disease, hemorrhoids are pillow-like clusters of veins which are present in the lowest part of anus and rectum naturally. Their function is to provide cushioning to anus while passing stools. The problem occurs when these Haemorrhoids become swollen or inflamed due to constipation, overweight, sedentary lifestyle, excessive straining while passing stools and pregnancy.
Hemorrhoids can be Internal (in the lower rectum) or External(around the anus).It is estimated that more than half of the American population suffers from hemorrhoids before the age of 50yrs. Approximately 4 million people affected by hemorrhoids visit the doctor each year in the US, with numbers increasing each year.Mostly hemorrhoids occur in patients aged over 30 yrs with the majority between 45-60yrs.Caucasian population being most affected.
So, why do Haemorrhoids occur?Hemorrhoids typically are presented with constipation, pain while passing stools, long time taken to pass stools along with bleeding… Whenever there is pressure on the hemorrhoids, the veins become engorged, inflamed and eventually bleed.One should always see the doctor if there are any symptoms of hemorrhoids, the doctor generally does a physical examination and may sometime go colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy.
Immediate relief:When a person has haemorrhoidal pain, he needs immediate relief followed by long term lifestyle changes. Some of the tips for immediate relief are :Medicines – Ibuprofen and acetomorphine could be taken to give temporary relief from hemorrhoids.
Warm or sitz baths – Sitting in a small tub of warm water a few minutes before passing stools help to reduce the pain to some extent (20 mins of sitz bath for 2-3 times a day is advisable).Cold or Ice packs – Applying Icepacks to the area helps reduce the inflammation of anal veins.
Sitting on a soft cushion during a flare-up of pain helps to some extent.
Using Water to wash bottoms or wet wipes instead of toilet rolls is advisable for hemorrhoid patients. Suppositories or applying vaseline can be done before passing stools in order to reduce the pain.
Lifestyle changes that will help prevent and cure Haemorrhoids :
Diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in -Fiber (psyllium husk, lentils, nuts, oats, wholemeal flour)-Citrus foods like oranges, green kiwi, bell peppers, berries, lemon squeeze on your meals or salads.
Probiotics– Either get a good probiotic from a health store near you or have a small bowl of yogurt every day. This will help restore those healthy gut bacterias we really need.-Avoid processed foods, white bread, iron supplements(after consulting your doctor), milk and cheese (only for adults but do gulp on yogurt instead).
Exercise: Go for a walk for 30 mins or involve in some sort of physical activity for 30 mins 5 days a week.Yoga- Yoga not only helps in improving the flexibility of your body but also gets your gut moving.Yoga postures which are best to relieve constipation are :
Sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep is very important for overall health including gut health.
Homeopathic medicines: Homeopathic medicines like Hamamelis Virginiana, Aesculus Hippocastanum, Nux Vomica, Belladona have proven to be really effective to reduce pain and inflammation associated with hemorrhoids, these must always be taken under a qualified homeopaths guidance.
When to think about Surgery: If your symptoms don’t improve in 7-10 days in spite of all these above-mentioned advice, its time to see the doctor. The surgeries which are generally considered are: Rubber band ligation, hemorrhoidectomy, stapled hemorrhoidopexy.
Surgery should be the last resort because sometimes even after surgery the pain and bleeding may continue, though the intensity of symptoms decreases. So, in order to have lifelong relief from hemorrhoids, one must have a lifelong lifestyle upgrade!