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Curing Hemorrhoids

Introduction .......................................................................................................................3 A hemorrhoid overview .................................................................................................4 What causes hemorrhoids? .........................................................................................7 Diagnosis of hemorrhoids ............................................................................................9 When is medical treatment needed? .....................................................................11 Thrombosed hemorrhoids ......................................................................................11 Prolapsed hemorrhoids............................................................................................12 Dealing with hemorrhoids at home ........................................................................15 Commercial hemorrhoid preparations...............................................................15 Different characteristics of over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments.19 A summary of commercial hemorrhoid preparations..................................20 Home remedies for hemorrhoids.............................................................................22 Warm baths .................................................................................................................22 Petroleum jelly or zinc oxide.................................................................................22 Avoid sitting for too long.....................................................................................22 Exercise .........................................................................................................................23 Other lifestyle changes ........................................................................................24 Healthy bathroom habits.....................................................................................24 Think about your weight.........................................................................................25 Its all about your diet..............................................................................................27 Herbal hemorrhoid remedies ....................................................................................33 Butchers broom.........................................................................................................33 Lesser celandine ........................................................................................................33 Horse chestnut ...........................................................................................................34 Other herbal treatments for hemorrhoids .......................................................35 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................36

Table of Contents

Its a common story nowadays. As more and more of us spend the vast majority of our working lives sitting down more often than not, staring at a computer screen we inadvertently cause ourselves medical problems that adversely affect the quality of our lives. Some of these problems are obvious while others are less so. It is clear that if you sit staring at a PC monitor all day, every day, it is not surprising when you begin to suffer eye strain, for example, but there are other ailments that can be exacerbated by the fact that you are sitting down all day. One such condition is hemorrhoids, or piles as they are sometimes known. This painful and deeply embarrassing condition is one that is suffered by a large number of people, with most estimates putting the number of people who suffer from hemorrhoids as high as one in two. Some 50% of the worlds population will suffer this thoroughly unpleasant problem, with some estimates suggesting that more than three-quarters of people in the USA will suffer hemorrhoids at some point in their life. In this detailed, in-depth guide, you will discover everything you ever need to know about hemorrhoids. More importantly, you will also learn how to minimize the risk of getting them and what to do if you do develop hemorrhoids, which, given the percentage of people who are likely to do so, represents a significant risk. As with most medical conditions that are not inherently dangerous, there are many different ways of treating hemorrhoids, some of which involve medical treatment while others are completely natural or homoeopathic. Once again, you will learn everything you could ever need to know in this guide about different forms of hemorrhoid treatments so that you can decide how you should get rid of your hemorrhoids when you have a problem.

A hemorrhoid overview
Hemorrhoids or piles are a condition caused by swollen or enlarged blood vessels in or around the rectum or anus. The rectum is the last 6 inches or so of the large intestine, the place where solid waste is stored before it is passed out of the body through the anus. Strangely, the word rectum comes from the Latin word rectus, meaning straight which the human rectum most certainly is not. There are two separate sets of veins that drain off blood from this particular area of the body, which in simplistic terms can be described as the internal and external veins. Either or both of these sets of veins can become abnormally engorged with blood, meaning that there are two different types of hemorrhoids that you might suffer from. If the internal veins become swollen, you will suffer from internal hemorrhoids, which unless they are large enough to protrude from the anus, cannot be seen or even felt. On the other hand, if the external veins are swollen, you will suffer from external hemorrhoids which can usually be seen and felt. Internal hemorrhoids generally develop 2 to 4 cm above the anus inside the rectum and the severity of these internal hemorrhoids is sometimes graded on a scale from one to four. Grade 1 hemorrhoids are tiny swellings that often develop inside the lining of your anus with the size meaning that they are often not felt or even noticed. These are the most common type of internal hemorrhoids which will usually go unnoticed unless they bleed (which they commonly do). On occasions, these will develop into grade two hemorrhoids which are larger but still contained within your body (i.e. they do not protrude outside the body). Grade three hemorrhoids are large enough to hang outside the anus, where they are often referred to as prolapsed hemorrhoids. In this scenario, you will generally be able to push the prolapsed hemorrhoid back inside the body with your finger. The final grade of internal hemorrhoids, grade four, can become quite large and distended, so much so that it is not possible to push them back inside the body, meaning that medical attention, often leading to surgery, is needed to deal with grade four hemorrhoids. Doctors sometimes divide internal hemorrhoids into only three categories, largely based upon what happens to your hemorrhoids when 4

you visit the bathroom. In this classification system, the first category of hemorrhoid is characterized by nothing other than bleeding when you visit the bathroom, usually evidenced by bright red blood (it is always bright red blood) on the paper or in the toilet after you have finished. The second category are hemorrhoids that come down when youre visiting the bathroom but retract into the rectum after you have finished, while the third category of hemorrhoids are those that come down and stay down. Internal hemorrhoids that protrude from the body are often itchy and can become painful as well. Other symptoms can include a feeling of persistent fullness, as if you need to go to the bathroom even when there is in fact no stool present and no real need to go to the toilet:

External hemorrhoids on the other hand are far less common, characterized by small lumps that develop on the outer rim of the anus, sometimes referred to as perianal haematoma. External hemorrhoids of this type are often extremely itchy and can become painful, and if a blood clot develops inside them, it can cause a great deal of pain that requires immediate medical attention. As suggested earlier, the presence of internal hemorrhoids can often be identified from the flow of bright red blood from the anus, and if this is something that only happens very occasionally and you are under age 45, it is almost certainly hemorrhoids. If however it is darker blood, something that happens more regularly or you are aged over 45, it would certainly be wise to seek medical attention because it might be indicative of a completely different type of medical condition higher in the large intestine which could be more serious. 5

As this could be something as serious as inflammatory bowel disease or colorectal cancer, you should certainly seek immediate medical treatment in this situation. There are many other symptoms or conditions that are often confused with hemorrhoids, such as anal fissures, fistulae and anal abscesses. However, all of these conditions are completely separate and different from hemorrhoids, so none of them is indicative of suffering hemorrhoids. For instance, an anal fissure is a slight tear that occurs around the anus which is generally caused by abnormal distension of the anus caused by passing a large, hard stool (as an example). It is therefore nothing whatsoever to do with having hemorrhoids. Anal fissures will also often cause a sharp, stinging pain every time you pass a stool. Hemorrhoids are generally more likely to cause anal bleeding, but often do so without any pain or even any major irritation. Nevertheless, any time you notice blood around your anus or in fecal matter, it is always a smart move to seek medical advice sooner rather than later.

What causes hemorrhoids?

There are many reasons why people develop hemorrhoids, almost all of which are directly related to increased strain or pressure being placed on the veins around the rectum and the anus. Probably the most common cause of hemorrhoids is a change in diet or lifestyle that for some reason makes it more difficult to go to the toilet without having to strain. An example of this would be the contributory cause that has already been highlighted, the fact that more and more people spend many hours every day sat on their bottom. A lack of exercise is also a contributory factor in many cases, as regular exercise also helps to keep your bowel movements regular. Constipation is a problem that causes hemorrhoids, particularly persistent constipation, because having a problem of this nature naturally means that going to the toilet places far more strain on the veins around your rear. On the other hand, regular or persistent diarrhea can also cause hemorrhoids due to the fact that diarrhea makes it inevitable that you have to visit the toilet more regularly than you would otherwise have to do, while also increasing the chances of contracting a rectal or anal infection. Pregnant women also commonly suffer hemorrhoids for a combination of reasons, primarily caused by a combination of hormonal changes and the additional downward pressure caused by the weight of the baby. The fact that many pregnant women have a problem with constipation is another contributory factor to the high percentage of pregnant women who suffer hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids of this nature are generally nothing more than a temporary problem, a condition that will naturally disappear after the baby is born. Although anyone can suffer hemorrhoids, it is a problem that tends to get worse as you get older, because the structure of your veins gradually begins to weaken with advancing age. Certain types of liver disease can cause hemorrhoids as well. In particular, cirrhosis or scarring of the liver and the surrounding blood vessels can place additional pressure on the hemorrhoid veins causing them to swell unnaturally, thereby causing hemorrhoids. As cirrhosis is a condition that can be exacerbated by excessive alcohol consumption, there can be a connection between drinking too much and

developing hemorrhoids. However, as cirrhosis can also be associated with infections, ingestion of excessive amounts of poisons and even genetic factors, it does not necessarily follow that cirrhosis (and therefore by extension hemorrhoids) is always associated with drinking too much. What is however a fact is that anything that places excessive strain on the hemorrhoid veins is likely to cause hemorrhoids at some time in your life, with the most common age to develop hemorrhoids being anywhere between 45 and 65 years of age.

Diagnosis of hemorrhoids
As should be evident, if you have hemorrhoid problem and the swollen blood vessels themselves are evident (if for example they hang out either when you are using the bathroom or permanently), you already have everything you need to diagnose your problem. However, if your hemorrhoids are not so clearly evident but either itching or pain or perhaps the presence of blood when you go to the bathroom leads you to suspect that you may have hemorrhoids, you should seek a professional medical diagnosis of your problem as soon as possible. When you do so, your doctor will conduct a thorough examination of your rectum and anus, looking for the small but nevertheless extended blood vessels that characterize hemorrhoids. Part of the examination will probably involve the doctor using a gloved, lubricated finger to carry out a thorough internal examination to feel for abnormalities as well. Closer examination of the rectum might require the use of a hollow, lighted tube known as an anoscope which will allow your doctor a clearer view of your problem, or perhaps a proctoscope which allows your doctor to conduct an even more thorough investigation of your whole rectum. Sometimes, the investigation that your doctor needs to carry out will be even more thorough than can be achieved using either of the devices mentioned above. If for example you are suffering gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhoids dont seem to be the cause of the problem, your doctor may investigate the lower part of your colon with sigmoidoscopy or they may decide to examine the whole of your colon with a colonoscopy. If you have suffered a serious amount of bleeding, your doctor may order a complete blood count to check that the blood loss you have suffered has not left you anemic. Most of the time however, this will be unnecessary, because in 95% of cases, bleeding caused by hemorrhoids is not likely to be heavy and if it is, you should be under medical supervision already in any case. As suggested previously, medical diagnosis is only likely to be necessary where the more obvious symptoms of suffering from hemorrhoids are absent. If you have the common bunch of grapes that protrude from your anus, self-diagnosis is a straightforward matter. It is only when these symptoms are absent that youre likely to need medical assistance to diagnose the cause of your problem.

Most of the time, hemorrhoids can be treated by your regular family doctor, but there are sometimes situations where more advanced medical treatment might be necessary. For example, if you experience heavy anal bleeding, perhaps accompanied by dizziness or extreme pain, it is probably better to go straight to the emergency department of your local hospital to get the problem dealt with immediately.


When is medical treatment needed?

There are many different treatments for hemorrhoids with the type of treatment that is most suitable or appropriate generally depending upon the severity of your condition and the type of hemorrhoids that you are suffering from. On the one hand, many people have hemorrhoids that never require any form or degree of medical treatment and in a great percentage of situations like this, the condition may well go away of its own volition. At the other extreme, there are certain types of hemorrhoids that do need medical attention without which it is extremely unlikely the condition can be reversed. As a general rule, medical treatment for hemorrhoids is generally focused on relieving the symptoms associated with the condition. For this reason, it is necessary to investigate the various different types of hemorrhoids that you might suffer from and how the severity will affect the kind of treatment that you need. Thrombosed hemorrhoids If you develop a hemorrhoid that contains a blood clot, this is sometimes referred to as a thrombosed hemorrhoid. A hemorrhoid of this type will generally cause a degree of pain so the necessity of seeking medical treatment will to a large extent depend upon the degree of pain you are feeling and the amount of swelling that is associated with your thrombosed hemorrhoid. For example, if the pain is bearable and the swelling is small, it is probably not necessary to seek medical attention. At this level, you can treat the hemorrhoid yourself with regular warm baths and by altering your diet (the exact details of what this means will be analyzed a little later). If however the pain is not bearable or if the swelling becomes too large, it may be necessary for your doctor to remove the blood clot, especially if it is still growing. This procedure can usually be carried out by your local doctor in their office, although in the most extreme cases, it may make more sense to go directly to the emergency department of your local hospital. In either scenario, the doctor will numb the area around the offending hemorrhoid in the same way that a dentist would numb a section of your gum if they were going to perform an extraction or fill a cavity. Once the area around the thrombosed hemorrhoid is suitably numb, your doctor will make a small incision in it to release the trapped blood.


A small piece bandage will then be inserted into the hemorrhoid to prevent further bleeding and to stop the blood clot coming back. An additional bandage is then placed over the outside of the hemorrhoid to prevent the smaller piece falling out and to minimize the possibility of infection or unsightly external bleeding. It is most likely that your doctor will then advise you to start taking regular warm baths starting six to eight hours after the blood clot has been removed. In this situation, you would remove the bandage and internal dressing when you take your first bath, with the necessity of applying another dressing yourself depending upon whether your hemorrhoid is still bleeding. Generally speaking, after your doctor has performed this procedure, the extreme pain that you were previously feeling will dissipate almost immediately, although you may find that taking regular painkillers for the next 24 to 48 hours may help to alleviate the small degree of residual pain that will probably still remain. Prolapsed hemorrhoids If you suffer from prolapsed hemorrhoids, internal hemorrhoids that protrude from your anus, the necessity to seek medical attention will to a large extent depend upon whether these prolapsed hemorrhoids can be manually pushed back into place or not. If they can, then whether you choose to seek medical attention or not is very much a matter of personal choice. If your hemorrhoids are not causing a permanent or persistent problem and if there is no pain or discomfort, you may choose to leave your hemorrhoids to disappear of their own accord. If however you have problematical prolapsed hemorrhoids, then the chances are that you need to seek medical attention to get rid of them. If this is the case, there are many things that your doctor can do to get rid of your problem hemorrhoids. Most commonly, doctors apply plastic or rubber bands to the base of problem hemorrhoids in order to restrict the flow of blood to the affected area. After a few days of rubber band ligation (as it is known) inside the rectum, the hemorrhoid will wither away and your problem is gone. This particular method of dealing with hemorrhoids is not painful (although it may be uncomfortable) but it is almost always effective hence it is a favored medical method of dealing with prolapsed hemorrhoids for many doctors.


An alternative solution is for your doctor to perform what is known as sclerotherapy, by injecting a solution around the affected blood vessel to reduce the size of the swelling. As with any medical procedure that involves an injection, there is a small degree of pain involved when the needle is inserted, but this pain is minor and is only temporary. Some doctors might use infrared coagulation, by employing a special device that burns the hemorrhoidal tissue without damaging any of the surrounding tissues. This is an effective way of treating troublesome prolapsed hemorrhoids but it is a procedure that can only be carried out by a doctor or hospital that has the appropriate device for undertaking the procedure. The same applies to other more modern ways of dealing with hemorrhoids, such as cryotherapy or laser treatment. In the first of these two treatment methods, the affected area is quickly frozen with liquid nitrogen which destroys the tissue of the hemorrhoid so that it quickly shrinks and falls off. Laser treatment works in almost the same way as infrared coagulation by burning the hemorrhoids away, once again by selectively destroying the affected tissue areas so that the hemorrhoid quickly withers and dies. As these more advanced procedures are not likely to be available from every doctor or hospital, whether this option is presented to you will to a large extent depend upon your geographical location and proximity to a doctor or hospital that has the necessary equipment. An option that is more common in Europe than it is in the USA is for a patient who suffers from prolapsed hemorrhoids to undergo a process known as Lords dilatation or Lords anal stretch. As the alternative name would suggest, this is a process that involves your doctor stretching your anus under anesthetic on the basis that in some cases, piles are caused by an over-tight sphincter (the anal muscle). By stretching the anus, your doctor is attempting to reverse the over-tightness that might be causing your hemorrhoids. Hence, this procedure can get rid of even the most troublesome hemorrhoids quickly and easily. The final option is for your doctor or hospital to perform a hemorrhoidectomy, a surgical procedure to remove your hemorrhoids under anesthetic. However, this is the least favored option because it is far more invasive and potentially carries a higher risk when compared to other ways of dealing with prolapsed hemorrhoids. Consequently, the rate at which hemorrhoidectomies are performed in hospitals has been steadily declining over the years, falling from a peak of 117 hemorrhoidectomies per 100,000 US citizens in 1974 to 37


hemorrhoidectomies per 100,000 people in 1987. This fall partially reflects the fact that fewer people were being operated on and also the fact that more and more people were treated by their local doctor or medical practitioner, rather than attending a hospital for treatment. However, as alternative forms of medical treatment have become more efficient and because of the introduction of new ways of treating troublesome prolapsed hemorrhoids, it is fair to assume that the rate of people who are operated on to get rid of their hemorrhoids is probably still falling.


Dealing with hemorrhoids at home

There is no doubt that for most people who suffer hemorrhoids, the problem is one that is embarrassing and probably not the kind of thing that they want to talk about. After all, while you can imagine talking to your neighbor about your bad back or your toothache, it is hard to imagine standing chatting away to them about your hemorrhoids. The degree of embarrassment attached to suffering from hemorrhoids is undoubtedly one of the reasons why most people who are not suffering a great deal of pain or excessive swelling will try everything they can to deal with their problem from the comfort of their own home before they are willing to tell anyone else about it, even their medical attendant. There is plenty of scope to do this, because there are many ways that you can deal with your hemorrhoid problem privately, which for the vast majority of people is exactly what they want to do. In this chapter, we will therefore begin to consider different ways of dealing with hemorrhoids, before considering how you can minimize the chances of suffering from piles in the first place. Commercial hemorrhoid preparations There are plenty of commercial products on the market which are designed for treating hemorrhoids. In order to help you decide whether any of these commercially produced treatments are for you and if they are, which you might start with, you will find a short review of some of the leading hemorrhoid products that you can buy without prescription detailed below. However, one thing that should be stressed is that hemorrhoids are not entirely curable or preventable. Hence, most of the medicinal products analyzed below are more designed to ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids than they are to get rid of them entirely. Zenmed Ziro: This is a product that is largely formulated from natural, organic ingredients:


There are also certain medicinal ingredients included in the product that, in combination with the natural, organic substances, are designed to provide quick pain relief and a reduction in the inflammation of the affected tissue. Ziro is claimed to: Calm the inflamed area immediately upon contact; To perform as a natural anesthetic which eases what could otherwise be extremely painful bowel movements; Lubricate the passageways to help still further; Repair damaged tissue; and Restore normal blood flow to the affected area. Ziro is undoubtedly a very popular hemorrhoid treatment and the fact that the vast majority of the ingredients are entirely natural will be an attraction for many people. As suggested, as it is claimed that the Zenmed program is designed not only to reduce the severity of your hemorrhoid symptoms but also to help get rid of them, this is possibly a good medication to start with if you are looking for a commercially produced hemorrhoid treatment for the first time. Preparation H: Preparation H is possibly the best known commercially produced hemorrhoid treatment, a treatment that can be bought over


the counter from leading pharmacies and drug stores in most industrialized western countries. Preparation H claims to relieve the discomfort and itching most commonly associated with hemorrhoids while also temporarily shrinking the hemorrhoid tissue itself. For those who suffer burning and excessive pain during bowel movements, Preparation H also provides some relief so that bowel movements become less painful and therefore less stressful. It does all of this by coating the anorectal tissues with a protective coating, which in turn helps Preparation H to: Protect and preserve irritated or damaged tissue; Relieve external discomfort; and Cause swollen hemorrhoidal tissue to shrink. As suggested, it is fairly easy to buy Preparation H almost irrespective of where you live. Hence using Preparation H is an extremely popular way of treating hemorrhoids that is used by millions of people all over the world. Tucks Hemorrhoidal Ointment: Tucks hemorrhoidal ointment is another extremely popular commercially produced hemorrhoid treatment that is very widely available. Tucks provides temporary relief from all of the worst problems caused by hemorrhoids, such as discomfort, pain and itching. This particular preparation works by covering inflamed and damaged skin areas with a protective coating, so that it: Relieves itching, soreness and discomfort; Protects and soothes irritated tissue; Includes a maximum strength pain relieving and semianesthetizing ingredient. For many people, Tucks ointment is probably still better known by its previous name of Anusol, under which title it probably vied with Preparation H for supremacy in the over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatment market. This is a medication that has been on the market many years and has been used by millions of people all over the world. It is therefore a medication that is well worth considering if you are looking into the possibility of using commercially produced hemorrhoid treatment for the very first time. Heal Hemorrhoids Treatment: This is an entirely natural hemorrhoid treatment made with the highest quality essential oils, which is applied topically to the affected anal area, and also to the arches of the feet to 17

allow the formula to be absorbed directly by your immune system. In this way, Heals attacks the hemorrhoid problem from within, thus enabling you to address the problem in two different ways by dealing with the symptoms topically and the underlying cause internally. By adopting this twin attack methodology, Heals is somewhat different from most of the other creams and ointments highlighted in this section of the report. It was also voted the best commercially produced hemorrhoid product in a shoot out against two other leading hemorrhoid products (Venapro and Avatrol) by an independent review panel for the Hemroidshelp website in 2008, which suggests that it is a product that is worth considering even if the fact that it is 100% natural is not particularly important to you.

While Heal is suggested to have the ability to attack your hemorrhoids on two levels, it is important to understand that all of the other preparations and medications highlighted in this section of the report 18

are effective for providing relief from the worst symptoms of hemorrhoids, but they do not offer any kind of hemorrhoid cure. In short, the relief that they provide is only temporary. None of these medications are going to get rid of your hemorrhoids, because getting rid requires far more than the application of a cream or lotion. This is something that I will come back to later, but suffice to say that while using any of the ointments highlighted in this section will help to bring temporary hemorrhoid relief, they will not get rid of your problem on their own. Different characteristics of over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments In addition to recognizing hemorrhoid treatments by name as highlighted in the previous section, it is also important that you understand how the various types of treatment that are available over the counter deal with your hemorrhoid problem. Astringents: Astringents are chemicals that are capable of shrinking or causing body tissue to contract. Consequently, if you use an astringent to deal with your hemorrhoid problem, it works by shrinking the swollen area while also reducing the secretion of mucus and other fluid substances. In this way, by using astringents you reduce the inflammation, which in turn reduces the burning and itching sensations most commonly associated with suffering from hemorrhoids. However, because astringent substances have no painkilling characteristics, it is unlikely that the pain you are suffering will decrease by a significant amount meaning that if pain is your major problem, astringents such as calamine lotion, zinc oxide and witch hazel are not going to be a great deal of use to you. Protectants: As the name would imply, protectors are substances which reduced hemorrhoidal inflammation by forming a protective barrier over the affected area. They also help to prevent the upper layers of the skin from losing moisture and becoming dry, which in itself can be a problem because dry skin is likely to be itchy skin. The most common protectants that are included in over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments include glycerin, mineral oil, kaolin and cocoa butter. Vasoconstrictors: Vasoconstrictors are substances that have the ability to reduce swelling by forcing the hemorrhoidal blood vessels to contract. They also tend to have a slightly anesthetic effect on the blood vessels, which in turn tends to reduce the irritation and itching.


However, while vasoconstrictors can be effective for helping to reduce the severity of the pain and discomfort caused by your hemorrhoids, some people have to be wary of using them, particularly those with high blood pressure or some form of heart problem. This is because vasoconstrictors have the ability to increase blood pressure and cause irregular heartbeat patterns, so beware of medication that contain antihistamines, oxymetazoline or pseudoephedrine. Keratolytics: Kerotalytics are substances that have the ability to dissolve skin flakes, thereby peeling off damaged skin which in turn enables the hemorrhoidal tissues to better absorb other medications and treatments. Also, because of the action of removing the damaged skin layers and cells, using keratolytics like resorcinol or alcloxa can be a highly effective way of allowing your skin to breath properly again, although do note that there is a slight degree of risk using substances such as these, so care is needed. Local anesthetics: Some over-the-counter treatments for hemorrhoids contain local anesthetics that block the pain or discomfort messages from passing from the affected area to the pain receptors in your brain. Hence, although they do nothing to treat your hemorrhoids, using substances that contain local anesthetics will reduce the pain or discomfort that they cause. Some examples of commercially produced medicines that have anesthetic qualities are Benzocaine, Lidocaine and Dibucaine. However, substances such as these are generally only recommended for treating external hemorrhoids, because the tissues of internal hemorrhoids are too delicate for the effective use of local anesthetics internally. A summary of commercial hemorrhoid preparations As you have read in this section, there are many commercial hemorrhoid treatments available, and there are a great deal many more on the market that have not been mentioned in this report. You have also read of many types of treatment that handle your hemorrhoids in different ways. Thus, with all of this information combined, you should by now have a very clear idea of how commercially produced options for dealing with your hemorrhoids work. However, as previously stressed, using potions and creams or even oral treatments such as Venapro (a herbal blend of herbs that are believed to reduce the itching and the inflammation associated with hemorrhoids) will not cure your hemorrhoids. All that they can do is reduce the severity of the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids, meaning that if you really want to get rid of them


once and for all, you must adopt a different, more progressive approach. Before considering how you do this, lets consider some of the more effective home remedies for dealing with hemorrhoids that you can begin using immediately if you are a sufferer.


Home remedies for hemorrhoids

Warm baths Warm water helps to relax the sphincter muscle, which in many cases can help to bring quick relief to anyone who is suffering pain or discomfort from hemorrhoids. In addition, warm water also tends to take down the swelling, another benefit which helps to reduce your hemorrhoid misery. On several occasions throughout the day (especially after you have just moved your bowels), run three or four inches of warm water into a bathtub and sit in the water for 10 to 15 minutes with your knees up. Dont add anything to the water, because even something as apparently benign and mild as bath salts could irritate your hemorrhoids, whereas sitting in warm water several times a day helps to keep the worst pain and irritation caused by your hemorrhoids at bay. Petroleum jelly or zinc oxide There are many commercially produced creams and ointments available for dealing with hemorrhoids, but tests have shown that both petroleum jelly and zinc oxide can be every bit as effective at dealing with hemorrhoid problems as many more expensive commercially produced treatments. You can therefore use either petroleum jelly or zinc oxide, or even more effectively, use them in combination with one another, to treat your problem. After getting out of your warm bath and making sure that the affected area is completely dry, put a small amount of petroleum jelly and then an equal amount of zinc oxide onto a cotton ball and apply it to the affected area. While the petroleum jelly will help to form a protective coat, the zinc oxide will help to reduce the swelling, so by using these two substances in combination, you attack two of the most prevalent symptoms of hemorrhoids. Avoid sitting for too long Many medical professionals recommend that anyone who suffers from hemorrhoids should avoid sitting for long, extended periods of time. More importantly, if you are sitting for any long period of time, try to avoid sitting with your full weight on the area around your anus to avoid exacerbating your problem. For this reason, if you are in a situation where you have to sit for an extended period of time, it is probably best to invest in an air doughnut to reduce the discomfort that you may feel.


Sitting on an air doughnut is undoubtedly the most effective way of reducing your discomfort if you are forced to sit for any extended period of time, so if for example you need to drive your car some distance necessitating a period of staying in the same place, consider using an air doughnut when doing so. Exercise It is a fact that taking regular exercise helps to keep your bowel movements more regular because the activity involved in exercise naturally shakes up your system, thereby leading to increased bowel regularity. As suggested previously, one of the major causes of hemorrhoids is constipation, an inability to move your bowels easily and on a regular basis. Consequently, if you take up aerobic exercise to help to keep your bodily systems flowing more smoothly, you reduce the tendency to suffer constipation, which in turn helps to minimize the chances of suffering hemorrhoids. It is not necessary to become a long-distance runner or a decathlete to get the exercise that you need in order to help your system keep your bowels moving regularly. Aerobic exercise can take in anything from swimming, cycling and running to walking; so if you havent done any strenuous exercise for some considerable period time, start off by walking. Try walking at least a couple of kilometers a day - because if you can do so, this will provide your body with a significant boost as far as regular bowel movements is concerned. Reduce your propensity to constipation and you will at the same time reduce your tendency to suffer from hemorrhoids. Exercise is even more important if you have a sedentary job, sitting in front of a computer all day. If walking is not possible and you work in an office building, you could try using the stairs as a place to take your exercise. Either forgo using the elevator or escalator in the morning to get from the car park to your office, or spend 10 or 15 minutes of your lunch break climbing and re-climbing the stairs. Swimming is an especially good exercise if your problem stems from a lack of regular bowel movements, because not only does it exercise almost every muscle in your body at the same time, it also does so without putting any stress on your joints. By comparison, if you start jogging or running, then you put pressure on your knees and ankles, which if you have not been exercising for some time could give you the kind of problems that will stop your exercise program almost as soon as it started.


Other lifestyle changes As suggested in the previous section, you should take as much aerobic exercise as possible, even if the best you can do is a few short walks every day. On the other hand, anaerobic exercise and lifting heavy weights on a consistent basis is not a good thing to do because lifting weights places a considerable strain on the area around the base of your back and buttocks. This could in turn make an existing hemorrhoid problem worse, or bring on the problem in the first place if you are not already a sufferer. On the odd occasion when you are forced to lift a heavy weight, make sure that you do so after exhaling and that you are not holding your breath while you lift. Holding your breath places greater strain on your anatomy as a whole while helping to focus all of that strain in the region of your lower back and buttocks, which is the last thing you need. If you are pregnant, try sleeping on your side rather than on your back, because this helps to reduce the pressure on the blood vessels in your pelvic area. While this may not completely prevent hemorrhoids developing, it can certainly assist you in keeping them as small and therefore as painless as possible. Avoid vigorously wiping your bottom after you have moved your bowels, instead dabbing dirty areas with slightly moist toilet tissue or other damp materials like baby wipes. You should also avoid using perfumed or colored toilet paper. The perfumes or colors in fancy toilet tissues may irritate or exacerbate your problem - so wherever possible, stick to using unbleached, nonperfumed toilet paper. Healthy bathroom habits Although it may seem a little strange to suggest this, one of the reasons that many people make their hemorrhoid problem worse is because they adopt poor or unhealthy bathroom habits. For example, as soon as you have the urge to move your bowels, you should get to the bathroom as quickly as possible to do so. If you hang on, you naturally stem the urge to move your bowels, which might cause further compression of the fecal materials in the lower end of your large intestine and in your rectum. Compacting fecal materials in this way is a very bad thing to do whether you suffer from hemorrhoids or not. If you do have hemorrhoids, this is going to make moving your bowels considerably more painful, and if


you dont suffer from hemorrhoids at the moment, this is one way of increasing the chances that you will do in the future. If at all possible, avoid straining to pass stools, because the straining will make your hemorrhoids pop out. Instead of straining, take your time and let things happen as naturally as possible. If you just show a little patience, the chances of inducing hemorrhoids if you dont already suffer them, or making them worse if you do, are significantly reduced. Another thing to remember when you are in a lavatory trying to move your bowels is to avoid the habit of holding your breath while doing so. It is a natural side effect of straining when youre on the toilet that you hold your breath and as straining is definitely something that you do not want to do, you should not hold your breath either. Having said that you should exercise a little patience while you are in the bathroom and let mother nature take her course, here is a warning (mainly aimed at the males of the species who are almost always the guilty parties in this scenario). Do not be tempted to take a book or a newspaper into the bathroom with you, because reading while sat on the lavatory is thought by many people to be a contributory factor to hemorrhoids. This is because the posture that you naturally adopt while on the lavatory puts maximum pressure on the area around your rectum and anus. This is understandable, because the basic principle of the standard flush toilet is that it is specifically designed to focus your undivided attention on that particular area of your body. Nevertheless, it is believed that sitting in this particular position while in the bathroom might be a contributory factor to hemorrhoids, and if you are reading while squatting in this position, you are likely to stay there considerably longer than you might otherwise do. Crazy as it might sound, you should therefore avoid reading in the bathroom, because it just might make your hemorrhoids worse or help to bring them on for the first time! Think about your weight Another factor that could be a contributor to your hemorrhoid problem might be your weight. It is a fact that if you are considerably overweight, the stress that you are putting on your body every day is significantly increased, meaning that the chances of suffering piles are increased as well. All doctors are aware that carrying extra unnecessary weight is likely to increase the severity of a wide range of medical problems. One of the


problems that is inevitably exacerbated by excess weight that naturally increases pressure on the lower half of your body is hemorrhoids. It is well known and widely accepted that people who are seriously overweight often suffer both varicose veins in their legs and piles, as both result from the excess weight pressing down on limbs that were never meant to drag that amount of poundage around. The fact is, if you are seriously overweight or obese, the chances of getting hemorrhoids are massively increased, while the chances of you being able to get rid of them are reduced almost to zero. Hence, the unavoidable bottom line is, if you want to get rid of your hemorrhoids and you are seriously overweight, you need to address the weight problem before you have any realistic chance of getting rid of the problem that is plaguing you.


Its all about your diet

The single most critical factor in being able to avoid hemorrhoids is giving due consideration to your daily diet as well as your lifestyle and daily routines. For example, while taking exercise is an effective way of minimizing your chances of suffering painful or uncomfortable hemorrhoids, it will work far more effectively in combination with a diet that is focused on reducing constipation. Without constipation, there is very little chance that you will suffer from hemorrhoids; so in simplistic terms, if you can prevent constipation, you can also get rid of your hemorrhoids at the same time. This does not however mean that you should start to consume laxatives, because many laxatives will induce exactly the opposite to constipation by giving you diarrhea. Diarrhea can sometimes cause hemorrhoids as well, so you dont want to jump straight out of the frying pan and into the fire by going from never going to the toilet to going far too regularly. The only laxatives that you should ever consider are high fiber laxatives such as Metamucil or Fiberall which are both laxatives that rely on high fiber content for their effectiveness. Do not on the other hand use laxatives that use chemicals for their effect, because there is no way of knowing whether these particular chemicals may irritate your hemorrhoids or otherwise cause more problems than they solve. The critical factor to understand is that constipation only comes about because your diet is lacking in the foodstuffs that make your bowels move regularly. In other words, if you suffer constipation, meaning that your stools are small and hard, you need to change that diet as well as certain aspects of your lifestyle if you are to have a realistic chance of becoming hemorrhoid free. The first thing to consider is whether you take in enough water every day, because if you dont, the fact that you are dehydrated to at least some degree will contribute to your constipation problem. Proper hydration is absolutely essential if you are to have any chance of getting rid of constipation and thereby minimizing the possibility of suffering hemorrhoids, so you must make sure that you drink plenty of water every day. At least six to eight glasses of water is a daily minimum, although drinking more than this will certainly not do you any harm. Even if you drink two or three times that amount in any given day, your body will absorb the water it needs to maintain 100% fitness, while the rest will


be passed through your system, so there is no danger of being somehow over-hydrated. If possible, alkaline water is the best for you from a general good health point of view, although pure mineral water is a good substitute if alkaline water is not available. Note that I am specifically referring to drinking water here. Other popular beverages might add liquids to your system, but they do not necessarily do so in a way that is beneficial as far as a hemorrhoid sufferer is concerned. For example, you should avoid caffeine rich drinks such as coffee or tea because caffeine along with many of the chemicals contained in commercially brewed beer are natural irritants that are likely to make the symptoms of your hemorrhoid problem considerably worse. Similarly, you should minimize your intake of overly spicy foods and chili sauces. Once again, the natural chemicals contained in food spices and chili are likely to irritate your hemorrhoids, making the itching, pain or burning sensation considerably worse. Keep an eye on your salt intake as well. Too much salt is likely to make your hemorrhoid problem considerably worse, because salt naturally helps your body to retain more fluids - which could in turn cause the veins around your rectum and anus to swell even more. This is especially appropriate if you increase your water intake because while you want to retain enough water to be properly hydrated, you do not want to retain so much of it that it makes your hemorrhoid problem even worse. Once you have got these basics in place, there is one final thing that you need to do as far as your diet is concerned. If you suffer constipation that in turn leads to hemorrhoids, this is telling you that your diet is not rich enough in fiber - because if your diet contained enough fiber already, you would not be suffering constipation or a hemorrhoid problem. You need to add more fiber to your diet, and you need to start doing it sooner rather than later if you want to deal with your piles quickly and effectively. The amount of fiber that the average person needs every day is approximately 25 to 35 grams, whereas the average individual probably consumes somewhere around 10 g of fiber on a daily basis. From this you can clearly see that there is nowhere near enough fiber in the average Western diet, hence the problem of constipation and hemorrhoids.


There are many ways that you can add additional fiber to your diet. One favored option is to include psyllium seeds in your diet as a supplement that naturally adds plenty of fiber to that which you are currently consuming in your normal daily diet. Because they are very high in fiber, consuming psyllium seeds will make your stools softer and therefore easier to pass without the considerable pain that you have to suffer if youre constipated and a hemorrhoid sufferer. Psyllium seeds can usually be found in herbal nutrition stores or in health food shops, so they should be easily accessible. Start including psyllium seeds in your diet by drinking an 8 ounce glass of water with your breakfast into which you have stirred 1 teaspoon of seeds. Do this for one full week before adding an additional glass of water with seeds in it to be taken at lunchtime in addition to the one at breakfast. Finally, expand your intake of psyllium seeds by adding a third glass of seed rich water to your diet in the third week, sticking with these three glasses of water each with one teaspoonful of psyllium seeds in it from this point on. Taking in 3 teaspoons of psyllium seeds every day means that you need no additional fiber supplements for your diet - because with three teaspoons of these seeds every day, there is no need for further fiber. However, while you are taking in this amount of fiber, you need to focus on making sure that you drink plenty of water every day as all of this additional fiber will create large, soft stools by absorbing water from your body. Start with the aforementioned six to eight generous glasses of water every day, but also bear in mind that many experts recommend drinking half an ounce of water every day for every pound you weigh. An alternative supplementary source of dietary fiber is ground flax seeds or flax seed oil. This is a good additional fiber option because flax seeds are high in omega-3 essential oil which helps to reduce inflammation and pain - so there is a possible direct positive effect on your hemorrhoids to be had by using flax seed. Another option is to include significant amounts of bran in your diet by mixing extra bran with your breakfast cereal, adding it to natural yoghurt as a refreshing dessert and so on. However, one thing to note with all of these fiber supplements is that while it will not necessarily do you any great harm to include large amounts of these supplements in your diet immediately, it is better to introduce them gradually as indicated in the psyllium seed example.


This is because a sudden and dramatic hike in the amount of dietary fiber that youre taking in could cause a degree of upset stomach, which could potentially lead to problems like increased gas and diarrhea. A sudden increase in stomach gas is not going to be pleasant (for you or for those closest to you), and I have already suggested on several occasions that diarrhea can make your hemorrhoids worse or cause infections; so a sudden fiber surge is not a good idea. If on the other hand you increase the fiber that you take in by increasing the amount of fiber rich foods you eat, the problem is likely to be far less noticeable. In fact, if this is the way you choose to take in additional fiber, the problem is hardly likely to be noticeable at all. Changing your diet to include more high fiber foods is by far the best way of preventing constipation, although it is also a fact that with the modern busy lifestyle, it is not always so easy to adapt your diet so that you are predominantly eating foodstuffs that are good for you all of the time. Nevertheless, if you can change your regular daily diet to include some of these high fiber foods, you will reduce the degree to which you need to include additional dietary fiber supplements. Try to switch your current eating habits so that some or all of these are included: Wholegrain bread; Wholegrain pasta; Brown Rice; Cereals made from wholegrain (e.g. whole wheat, bran etc); Spinach; Broccoli; Green beans; Lima beans; Green peas; Artichokes; Brussels sprouts; Oranges, apples (with the skin), peaches and pears; Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries etc); Dried fruits (prunes, raisins etc); Fresh, frozen or dried beans;


Almonds; Soya beans; Peanuts; Pecans; Sesame seeds; Sunflower seeds. This is in no way meant to be a complete list of every fiber rich foodstuff that there is, but what this list should do is give you a clear idea that fiber is generally found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains. While other foodstuffs such as meat and dairy products do not contribute a great deal of fiber to your diet, they do nevertheless provide many essential nutrients that must be included in a healthy balanced diet of the type that you need to keep constipation at bay. For example, chicken and turkey, fish and shellfish as well as lean beef and soya products, are all extremely good sources of proteins, and every healthy balanced diet needs protein. When you are shopping for high-fiber foodstuffs, there are a few things that you need to look out for. Firstly, when youre shopping for a grain-based product such as bread, make sure that the label states clearly that it has been made with whole wheat or wholegrain flour. If for example you read of bleached flour, put it back on the shelf and move on because while it might look like healthy brown bread, it is simply white bread that has been colored! If at all possible, try to buy fresh fruit and vegetables in preference to frozen or canned goods. If there is no fresh produce available, frozen is the next best thing - but only ever consider using canned goods as a last choice emergency measure, because many canned foodstuffs have additional preservative chemicals added as well as extra sugar and/or salt. These chemicals could potentially irritate your hemorrhoid problem, while sugar can help pile on the pounds and salt artificially boosts your ability to retain water. The bottom line is, constipation is probably the number one cause of hemorrhoids, and the only way you can prevent constipation is by eating a diet that is designed to do exactly that. This in turn means including plenty of fiber so if you cannot do so by altering your regular daily diet to include far more high fiber foods of the types highlighted in this chapter, you should include a high fiber 31

supplement to make sure the constipation is never a problem for you again. Do this and you have gone a significant way towards preventing hemorrhoids or to making sure that your present hemorrhoid problems are going to start disappearing rapidly.


Herbal hemorrhoid remedies

Butchers broom Butchers broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is a small leafed bush that is cultivated around the Mediterranean and in other areas of Europe. So called because it was traditionally used by European butchers to clean their chopping surfaces, butchers broom has a long history of being used to combat varicose veins and hemorrhoids throughout Europe, while it is also indicated to be effective against atherosclerosis and venous insufficiency. In addition, because butchers broom is believed to contain antiinflammatory and vein-constricting characteristics, it is believed to have the ability to improve the integrity and tone of blood vessels as well as reducing inflammation. This is an herb that has been used by herbal doctors for many centuries to help patients suffering from hemorrhoids and water retention, and a derivative of the herb is used in many European hospitals to prevent blood clots forming after surgery even to this day. Butchers broom is generally taken in capsule form or as a slightly bitter tea. For some people, the taste of the tea is a little too bitter, in which case you can use a little honey or stevia to take the bitter edge off the drink. To make the tea, steep 1 teaspoon of the herb in a cup of freshly boiled hot water for around 10 minutes, or a little longer if you prefer the taste to be slightly stronger. In addition, butchers broom has been shown to be effective when used as a topical application applied directly to affected areas of the body either as an ointment or as a compress. Although there do not appear to be any major side-effects of using butchers broom, the fact that the major active ingredients appear to be steroidal saponins, means that it is a substance that should not be used if you have high blood pressure, are pregnant or nursing or if you are taking MAO inhibitor drugs or alpha blockers. Lesser celandine The plant that is now most commonly known as lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) spent many years known as pilewort because of its efficacy for treating hemorrhoids (or piles). It is a plant that is found throughout Europe and certain parts of Asia that has now been introduced into North America (as reported on the Illinois wildflowers website).


The effectiveness of pilewort as a treatment for hemorrhoids is apparently derived from its ability to add strength and tone to blood vessels, and it has the ability to stop bleeding as well. As suggested earlier in this report, bleeding is probably the most common symptom of internal piles, hence the effectiveness of lesser celandine to combat the symptoms of hemorrhoids. This particular herb can be taken orally either in tea form or as an alcohol based syrup or tincture. Alternatively, it can be used topically when applied as a lotion or ointment directly to hemorrhoids. In both scenarios, using pilewort for a week or two will generally yield noticeably beneficial results, although it is not recommended that anyone who suffers from high blood pressure, is pregnant or has heart problems should start to take pilewort (especially internally) without first consulting their medical practitioner. Horse chestnut Products made from the seeds or bark of the young branches of horse chestnut trees (Aesculus hippocastanus) are often recommended for anyone who suffers chronic venous insufficiency or poor circulation in their veins. In addition, according to traditional folk medicine, they can be used to counteract inflammation or swelling while also having the ability to strengthen blood vessels and their walls. A tincture of horse chestnut can be taken either as a tea or in capsule form to combat hemorrhoids internally, while a lotion or ointment made with the same tincture can be applied topically to attack hemorrhoids from the outside as well. However, unlike the herbs that we have considered previously, the range of people who should avoid taking horse chestnut is considerably extended, so that people who have any kind of allergy to horse chestnut as well as individuals who suffer bleeding problems or are taking blood thinners should avoid this particular herbal hemorrhoid solution. This is in addition to the usual suspects, those who have heart problems, high blood pressure or are pregnant or nursing. As stated earlier, the only parts of the plant that can be used for medicinal purposes are the seeds and bark of the young branches, because all other parts of a horse chestnut tree are poisonous. For this reason, if you are considering making your own horse chestnutbased hemorrhoid remedy, you should make certain that you know exactly what youre doing before you proceed. If you are in any doubt, it is probably wiser to use a recognized source of herbal remedies than to make your own.


Also, you should be aware that while other adverse side-effects outside the group of people already mentioned are extremely rare, other acknowledged side-effects have included kidney damage, liver damage, severe bruising and bleeding. Other herbal treatments for hemorrhoids There are many other herbal-based remedies that can be used to treat your hemorrhoids, most of which are applied topically to the affected area with the objective of achieving specific results. For example, aloe vera gel can be applied topically to relieve burning and pain, while a calendula ointment would be applied in exactly the same way with the objective of reducing both pain and inflammation. A tincture of dandelion or capsules are sometimes taken internally to keep hemorrhoid sufferers stools soft, while St Johns wort oil might be applied topically to reduce inflammation and swelling. In addition, we have already mentioned that witch hazel is often used by hemorrhoids sufferers, mainly in the form of suppositories which can help to prevent or reduce bleeding caused by internal hemorrhoids.


There is no doubt that for many millions of people all over the world, hemorrhoids are a major problem that they are currently putting up with every day of their life. However, as should be clear after reading this report, there really is an awful lot that can be done, firstly to reduce the severity of the suffering caused by hemorrhoids, and secondly, to get rid of them completely. On the other hand, as you have also read, the over-the-counter lotions and ointments that you might buy in order to combat your hemorrhoid problem are not the answer that you are looking for if you want to get rid of this problem once and for all. As suggested, because most commercially produced hemorrhoid treatments are designed to tackle the symptoms of the problem rather than attacking it at the roots, none of these treatments is ever likely to get rid of your hemorrhoids once and for all. The only way of getting rid of hemorrhoids for the long-term is to make the necessary changes to your life that will rid you of hemorrhoids. The main way of doing this is by changing your diet and the way you live your life to prevent constipation, because there is no doubt whatsoever that unless there is some specific condition causing hemorrhoids (such as pregnancy), it is constipation that is the primary cause of the problem for the vast majority of people. There really is no need to continue suffering the misery brought on by hemorrhoids, because apart from a very small minority of people, the answer to getting rid of hemorrhoids once and for all is as straightforward as dealing with your constipation problem. There really is nothing complex about starting to tackle the diet that plays such a prominent role in causing hemorrhoids, nor is it something that takes a great deal of time to do. Indeed, you can start changing your diet almost the moment you stop reading this book, and the beneficial effects will be felt in a matter of days rather than weeks. If you have suffered from hemorrhoids over the years, you now know that there is absolutely no reason why you should do so. Armed with the appropriate ideas and knowledge, it is now time to start taking action.