Hemorrhoids are a painful condition often caused by excessive straining during bowel movement, and there are two types – internal and external.

The only difference between an external and an internal hemorrhoid is the location of the hemorrhoid. If it appears in the upper anal canal, it is an internal hemorrhoid, but if it appears in the lower anal canal near the anus and just below the pectinate line, it is termed an external hemorrhoid.

Hemorrhoids are equally prevalent in males as in females. They are somewhat more prevalent in mature people, as the elasticity of the muscular lining in the anal walls deteriorates. The anal wall is prone to injury due to straining and exertion, especially during bowel movements. Childbirth adds additional strain and is a fairly common problem for women, especially after multiple births.

Due to the personal nature of this delicate but painful problem, many people search for natural remedies to treat their hemorrhoids. Here are a few which have provided relief to others.

Aloe Vera Gel

An application of aloe vera gel in the anal area once a day will promote healing. It is also soothing and helps with any persistent irritation experienced.

Oak Bark

Cut 50g of Oak Bark into small chunks and place in a liter of water. Boil for approximately 3 minutes and allow to cool. Pour it into a large basin and sit your backside in the solution for thirty minutes. The warm water will help increase the flow of blood to the rectal area.

The effects become noticeable in as little as a few hours, or can take up to 2 days until relief is found. This method, similar to a sitz bath, will promote circulation of blood in the anal area and will hasten the healing process.

The sitz bath is often recommended and a conventional method of treating hemorrhoids. In a sitz bath, the patient is seated in a bathtub with warm water, enough to cover the anal area. This should be done a couple of times a day for 15 minutes each session.

A warm compress can also be used as an alternative for a sitz bath.

Ice Pack – Not for The Faint-Hearted

Put ice cubes in a cold compress bag and apply this to the affected area. The cold ice provides relief by allowing the veins to shrink. The cold temperature reduces hemorrhoid pain caused by swelling and inflammation.

A word of warning! Don’t overdo it by inserting ice cubes into the rectum. You may only worsen your condition and end up with frostbite!

Butcher’s Broom

Butcher’s Broom extract contains properties that provide relief from inflammation. It also contains ruscogen, a compound that enables the veins to constrict and provide relief for swollen tissues. It can be bought in tea or capsule form.

Flax Seeds

Take one tablespoon of ground flax seed up to three times a day. You may also add some flax seeds to your cooking. Eating flax seeds increases your fiber intake, promoting more regular and easier bowel movements.

Avoid Prolonged Sitting

Sitting for long periods of time is claimed to aggravate the condition. If your work requires you to be sitting most of the time, go for a walk whenever you can.

Avoid Lifting Objects That Are Too Heavy For You

Avoid doing tasks that require excessive straining such as lifting heavy objects. Ask someone for assistance, or split the load into manageable portions to avoid excessive straining.

Avoid Salty, Fatty or Sugary Foods

Salty foods such as potato chips, canned foods, and salted nuts may increase your blood pressure and trigger the swelling of your rectal veins.

Foods full of processed sugars may put you at risk of having pressured bowel movements, constipation and rectal or anal irritation.

Foods high in saturated fats may solidify your stools and make bowel movements difficult, therefore further irritating or causing hemorrhoid discomfort.

Alcohol and other indulgences have been linked to hemorrhoids. It is no coincidence that outbreaks are worse following periods of celebration or excess.

A Healthy Diet and Lifestyle for a Healthy Digestive System

Diet changes are recommended for patients with hemorrhoids to avoid dehydration and constipation, that may cause excess straining during bowel movements. Eating plenty of fiber will help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation, and excessive straining.

Drink plenty of water for proper hydration and softer motions when eliminating, and exercise regularly, as exercise helps the body function properly and contributes to the proper regulation of the bowel.

Hemorrhoids can be prevented through proper diet and exercise. Living healthy and eating healthy is the cure for most ‘dis-eases’ today. So make your health a top priority!