Home Digestive Dealing with Hemorrhoids – A Patient’s Guide

Dealing with Hemorrhoids – A Patient’s Guide

by Dr. Joe Morales

Many people are plagued by hemorrhoids and are too embarrassed to talk about them with their doctor; however, they are quite common.

Hemorrhoids can interfere with your day to day life when they become swollen, painful or itchy. Luckily, there are many different strategies that you can use to decrease the size of your hemorrhoids and the symptoms of your hemorrhoids. Continue reading to learn the best tips on how to find relief.

1. Increase Your Fiber Intake

Hemorrhoids are often experienced in individuals who are constipated and have infrequent bowel movements.

One easy and natural way to relieve your constipation is to increase your fiber through diet and supplementation. Dr. Kussin says that gastroenterologists and family practitioners agree that everyone should increase their fiber consumption.

Although it may increase a patient’s gas, the benefits that increased fiber outweigh this minor inconvenience. You should try to get between 25 and 30 grams of fiber each day. Take a look at these great fiber sources:

* Legumes like black beans, lentils, baked beans, lima beans and split peas

* Vegetables, including artichokes, Brussels sprouts, green peas and broccoli

* Whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, barley and bran flakes

* Fruits like apples, bananas, raspberries, and pears

2. Increase Your Water Consumption

Simply put, most people do not drink enough water and are dehydrated. In order for you to have healthy bowel movements, you must keep the gastrointestinal tract hydrated.

Drinking six to eight glasses of water each day helps to improve gut motility, which helps relieve constipation and straining. Many people think that drinking that much water is impossible. However, if you follow this routine, you will get enough fluids to improve the digestive tract.

Drink one glass of water when you first wake up, drink a second glass a few hours before lunch and another glass with lunch.

To help avoid the mid-afternoon slump, drink another glass of water and enjoy a snack. Drink another glass of water while you are preparing dinner.

After dinner, drink another glass. This is six glasses of water. If you want to further hydrate your body, enjoy a glass of water with each meal for a total of nine glasses of water each day!

3. Increase Your Physical Activity Levels

Exercise is a great way to improve digestion; however, straining exercises like weightlifting can cause hemorrhoids to form. Increasing physical activity also decreases the amount of time you spend sitting.

When you sit for extended periods of time, you put pressure the veins in the rectum. If you have a history of hemorrhoids, decrease strenuous activities and weight lifting activities and increase moderate activities like walking, swimming and yoga to help avoid hemorrhoid flare-ups. Lifestyle changes can make all the difference to flare ups as this post from Aquarius Hygiene suggests.

4. Watch Out for Laxatives

When you are constipated, a fiber supplement like psyllium capsules can help regulate your bowel movements and prevent hemorrhoids. Laxatives should be used sparingly. If you need a laxative, choose one that works with your body rather than stimulating your intestinal contractions as these can increase the pressure on hemorrhoids and result in painful symptoms. Instead, opt for osmotic laxatives that increase the amount of fluids in the digestive system to relieve constipation.

5. Go When You Get the Urge

When you feel the urge to go, go. Ignoring those urges can increase your risk of hemorrhoid flare-ups.

If you go when you need to, you can reduce the risk of developing painful, swollen hemorrhoids. If you wait, the water in your bowels will be reabsorbed into the body, resulting in hard, dry feces that are difficult to pass, which can increase the amount of straining needed to pass a bowel movement.

6. Do Not Strain

Straining places pressure on the veins in the rectum, which can lead to painful, bleeding hemorrhoids. Oftentimes, hemorrhoids are due to straining too hard when trying to have a bowel movement.

In addition to this, lifting heavy objects, being pregnant or experiencing a chronic cough can increase the likelihood of hemorrhoids. If you have had hemorrhoid problems in the past, you should avoid straining during bowel movements by eating enough fiber, getting enough exercise and drinking plenty of water.


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