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Epsom Salt for Hemorrhoids

by Dr. Joe Morales

Hemorrhoids in both men and women can cause discomforts around the anal area. You can use Epsom salt for hemorrhoids to get relief from pain, itching and swelling around the anus. Here’s how to use an Epsom salt sitz bath to get rid of piles.

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lowest part of the rectum and anus. At times, the walls of these blood vessels stretch so thin that the vein bulge and get irritated especially when you poop [WebMD]. Swollen hemorrhoids are also knowns as piles. The condition has a number of causes although often the causes are unknown.

Epsom salt for hemorrhoids or piles

Epsom salt, usually used for sitz baths to help heal piles.

A common cause is straining during bowel movements or from increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy. Hemorrhoids are of two types. One type are those located inside the rectum known as internal hemorrhoids and the other type are those that develop under the skin around the anus, this is known as external hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids are so common. Three out of four adults are at risk of developing the condition from time to time. The condition may at times not cause symptoms, but when they do, those with the hemorrhoids will complain of itching, discomfort, and bleeding. Rarely, a clot may be formed, it is not dangerous but it can be extremely painful. The clot will at times need to be lanced and drained.

See also: Epsom salt used for weight loss with success

What causes hemorrhoid?

Hemorrhoids are rarely a serious problem. Most people will experience the symptoms of this condition at some point or another. As mentioned above, the condition has a number of causes but often the cause is unknown. The common known causes of hemorrhoids will include the following:

  • Complications from Chronic Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Straining to pass stool
  • Obesity
  • Prolonged standing
  • Pregnancy
  • Any activity that increases pressure in the rectal area
  • Sitting on toilet for long periods
  • Family history of hemorrhoid especially if your parents had the condition
  • Anal intercourse
  • Low-fiber diet

Most the causes mentioned above will lead to external hemorrhoids which are the most common and the most troublesome. The condition will cause pain, severe itching and in most cases difficulties in sitting. The best part is that hemorrhoids are treatable. You should NOT clean around your anus with soap when treating hemorrhoids.

Though painful, hemorrhoids will often go away on their own even without having to treat them. Those who have them often will with time develop symptoms of anemia. This will include symptoms such as weakness and pale skin due to blood loss. This is however not common. Common symptoms associated with hemorrhoids will include the following:

  1. Painful bowel movement ii
  2. Fecal leakage
  3. Itching around the anus
  4. Pain and irritation around anus
  5. Blood stain on tissue and stool
  6. Painful lump or swelling around the anus
  7. Blood clot (thrombosed hemorrhoid)
  8. Rectal bleeding that mimic rectal cancer

Is Epsom salt good for hemorrhoids?

Though harmless, hemorrhoids are very annoying and uncomfortable to have. Unless they bring complications, hemorrhoids can be managed and treated at home. For causes of chronic constipation, dietary change can work well to try and remedy the symptoms. Increasing your fiber intake and drinking a substantial amount of water is one of the ways to do it.

Dietary change along is not enough to relieve the other symptoms associated with hemorrhoids such as itching, the burning sensation, swelling around anus, pain and soreness. That is why we need a different remedy to help relieve the said symptoms. An Epsom salt is the remedy for that.

Yes Epsom salt is good for hemorrhoids. Though regular baths might give relief for different symptoms caused by hemorrhoids, Epsom salt bath is the best as it contains compounds that act as laxatives. This way, you are able to relieve the symptoms faster. Epsom salt are magnesium sulfate minerals. Magnesium is a widely known laxative when ingested.

When used in baths, you skin get to soak mineral from the water. Unlike ingesting the salt, bathing with it or sitting in a solution containing the salt is one of the best way of using it as a remedy. Whereas ingesting it will not have optimal result due to interference with food and medicine we take, bathing or sitting on a solution of the salt is the most efficient way to use the salt.

The best way to administer the remedy is by using warm water. The combination makes the remedy even more effective. Since the salt is rich in vital minerals, the salt will act as a laxative whereas the warm water makes the dilate blood vessels increase blood flow. This way the anal muscles are able to relax, relieving the burning, itching, swelling and irritation around the anus.

Is Epsom salt really good for hemorrhoids? The answer to this question should be yes! Hemorrhoids is not that serious. They are simply expanded blood vessels in your rectum. It is the expansion of these vessels that causes the itching and swelling. In more severe cases, the vessel may over expand thus burst. That should explain the presences of blood in stool. This kind of condition are common in people who do not drink plenty of water or eat sufficient fruits and vegetables.

Epsom salt is also good for constipation. Constipation is one of the most known causes of hemorrhoids. Constipation is a digestive system disorder, those with constipation will have hard faces that are difficult to expel. In most case, this will happen because the colon has absorbed too much water from the food that is in the colon. When this happens, defecation becomes very painful, this kind of strain is what causes hemorrhoids. Constipation can be caused by the following;

  • Dehydration
  • Colon or rectum complications
  • Overuse of laxatives
  • Pregnancy
  • Physical inactivity
  • Lack of fiber in diet

In most cases, constipation will resolve on its own without any medication needed. With recurrent constipation, lifestyle changes may help, this will include such things as doing more exercises, eating more fiber and drinking more water. If constipation causes hemorrhoids, then Epsom salt sitz bath may be used. You may also need to drink sore of this solution to offer relief for constipation.

Recurrent constipation could be symptom of an underlying digestive complication. If you notice recurrent constipations, you will need to recorded bowel movements, characteristic of the stool and other factors to aid in diagnosing the underlying condition. Some doctors recommend setting aside some time for defecation, do not be too busy for your own health!

Remember, if you have to use Epsom salt to treat constipation, it should only be done under the prescription of a professional health care provider. Using the salt should only be for a brief period.

How to use Epsom salt for hemorrhoids

Make an epsom salt sitz bath for piles

Make an epsom salt sitz bath for piles.

When ingested, Epsom salt will help detoxify the body. The salt is commonly used to treat skin disorder such as eczema and many others. From our discussion, we have seen that that hemorrhoid is not that serious, the expansion of the blood vessels around anus are what causes pain, irritation and swelling. When the blood vessels burst, they could leave painful cuts. Epsom salt works by healing these cuts found around the anus.

The salt will also help ease the strain on your rectum during constipation (a condition in which there is difficulties in emptying the bowel, it is usually associated with hardened faces). Epsom salt will also help draw any toxin in your rectum that could be causing the itching and swelling. All this can be achieved by either ingesting the salt or bathing in it.

Epsom salt can be used to treat hemorrhoids in pregnant women, elderly people, people with chronic constipation and those with diarrhea. If you fall in any of the categories above, you can get relief from either an Epsom salt bath or drinking the solution twice or thrice a day.

How then do you use Epsom salt too treat hemorrhoids? From our discussions above, we have seen that hemorrhoids typically occurs after straining during a bowel movement. We have seen that they may also develop during pregnancy due to increased pressure on the vein in the rectal area. While small hemorrhoids may cause no symptoms, larger hemorrhoids may easily be notice by symptoms such as itching, pain, irritation, swelling, painless bleeding and others [Mayo Clinic]

To use Epsom salt or magnesium sulfate to relieve the pain, swelling and inflammation caused by the hemorrhoids, you need to do the following.

  1. Fill a clean bathtub with warm water. If you do not have a bathtub, you do not have to worry, you can uses a basin instead. If you ae using a bathtub, 6-5 inches of water is enough, though you can add more if you so wish.
  2. According to the Epsom salt council, there are proportions to follow for water to salt concentration. For large tubs filled to capacity, you will require close to four cups of Epsom slat. If you are using a filed standard tub, then 2 cups of Epsom salt are enough but if it is 6 inches water in a standard tub then a single cup should be used. If you are using a basin instead, two tablespoons of Epsom salt will be added.
  3. Gently mix the salt in the warm water until all of it dissolves completely. the best way to do so is to use your clean hands, this way, you will be able to fill when all the salt dissolves
  4. Remove your cloths and sit in the water for close to 20 minutes. If you are using a bathtub, you can recline in it if you wish, but remember your rectal area should remain complete submerged in the salt solution. If you are using a basin, only you rectal are will need to be dipped in the warm Epsom salt solution.
  5. After 20 minutes, you can rinse your body with warm water the dry with a clean towel. For the anal area, do not use the towel, you can either let the area to air-dry or use a hair dryer on a lower setting to prevent irritation caused by moisture. Rubbing or putting your anal area may cause irritation and increase inflammation thus causing more pain.
  6. Gently rinse and the rectal area, dry with a hair dryer is the best way to dry the anal area when you have hemorrhoids. This way, you are sure of avoiding irritating and hurting yourself, after doing this, apply topical hemorrhoid cream or suppositories. If you have any other medicine prescribed to you by your doctor, then follow the instructions given to apply it gently on your anal area.
  7. Repeat the above steps twice or thrice in a day until the symptoms clear. If however, the Epsom salt becomes reactive to your skin causing the symptoms to persist or you develop increased itching, inflammation, and pain, you need to discontinue using the Epsom salt and if you had not seen a doctor please do so. The same should also be done for those who develop symptoms of an allergic reaction such as hives, body rash or facial swellings.

Epsom salt bath for hemorrhoids

Epsom salt should not be confused for normal salt. Epsom salt is a mineral compound in its purest form. Magnesium and sulfate are its main ingredients. These two compounds are easily absorbed through the human skin. They are more useful in the body when absorbed in their natural form. Epsom salt as said can be used in home treating a variety of skin conditions. The salt can also be used to get rid of gardening related problems.

A sitz bath (a bathing style where only the buttocks and hips are immersed in water) is one of the best way to use Epsom salt in treating hemorrhoids and other related genital or anal problems. This is done by mixing a given proportion of this salt with a certain amount of water, after mixing the water with your own hands, you will need to sit in the basin or bathtub containing the solution for around 20 minutes.

The other way of using the Epsom, salt is by ingesting it. This way, the magnesium present in the salt will help in regulating the functions of several body enzymes. This will help in;

  • Prevent hardening of blood vessel around the anus
  • Assist in proper functioning of the muscles and nerve fibers
  • Help reduce any inflammatory occurring outside or inside the body

The sulfate on the other hand will help in better absorption of nutrients and in proper elimination of toxic substances found in the body. So you can see Epsom salt is quite a useful remedy when it comes to treating or getting of hemorrhoids. Regardless of how you are using the salt, the result will be quite as good.

The best way to use the Epsom salt is through sitz bath. Sitz bath is the most recommended way of using Epsom salt. Soaking your rectal area in an Epsom salt twice or thrice a day will help relieve inflammation and pain. The salt is also good as it helps heal abrasions and sores that occur on your anal area when the hemorrhoids get overly irritated.

Instead of bathing in an Epsom solution, some people have reported quick relief of the symptoms by directly applying a paste of the Epsom salt. The paste is achieved by mixing a considerable amount of Epsom salt say two tablespoons in a cup of clean warm water.

Please avoid using any type of salt when treating hemorrhoids. Apart from interfering with the action of the salt, washing your anal area with salt can worsen the condition and reverse the effects of the Epsom salt bath.

Apart from treating the hemorrhoid with an Epsom salt bath, there are other ways you could use to get rid of the hemorrhoids, they include the following:

  1. Cleaning your bowel area thoroughly after every bowel movement, this should be done gently to avoid further irritations around the anal area. You could use either a dampened tissue or a pre-moisten baby wipe for sensitive skin.
  2. Apply a topical cream or ointment after cleaning and drying your anal area. This creams will aid in healing process. The creams are available over-the- counter or you can have prescribed for you by your health care provider.
  3. Applying a warm, wet tea bag can also offer relief for different symptoms accompanying the hemorrhoids. The warm teabag is soothing gin itself whereas the tannin found in the tea is a natural astringent which will help relieve swelling and pain.
  4. Blueberry tea sitz bath, many people are unaware of how soothing and therapeutic these leaves can be. Apart from internal benefits, the leaves can be helpful in treating disorders such as urinary tract infections, diarrhea and many other disorders of the gastrointestinal track. The leaves are also good for external problems such as hemorrhoids.

How to prevent hemorrhoids

Anybody who has had hemorrhoid before will tell you that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This literally means that it is easier to stop something from happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it has happened. What then do you need to do to prevent hemorrhoids from happening?

Preventing hemorrhoids involves keeping you stool soft, this way, you are able to pass the stool easy with no difficulties. To prevent the chances of developing hemorrhoids or to relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids, you can do the following:

  • Eat substantive amount of fiber. Make sure you diet contains fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This way you are able to soften the stool and increase its bulk, avoiding straining that cause hemorrhoids.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid straining or using a lot of force when passing stool
  • Regular exercises are encouraged
  • Avoid long periods of sitting
  • Avoid staying in the toilets for long, this is common for those who go in the toilets with their phones or newspapers
  • Wear cotton underwear they are softer and less irritating

 References and sources

  1. How to use Epsom salt: http://www.livestrong.com/article/250621-how-to-use-epsom-salt-to-relieve-hemorrhoids/
  2. Sitz bath with Epsom: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/sitz-bath-with-epsom-salt-can-soothe-hemorrhoids
  3. Home treatment for hemorrhoids: http://hemorrhoids-cured.com/how-to-use-epsom-salts-to-cure-hemorrhoids/
  4. How to heal hemorrhoids: http://www.wikihow.com/Heal-Hemorrhoids
  5. Hemorrhoids: http://idahogastro.com/hemorrhoids/
  6. Things to know about hemorrhoid: http://hemorrhoidtreatmenttruth.com/articles/epsom-salt-bleeding-hemorrhoids.html
  7. Epsom salt for hemorrhoids: http://www.etopical.com/epsom-salt-bath-for-hemorrhoids-sitz-treatment/

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