Author: Yana Nencheva, Biochemist, PhD candidate in Biophysics
Even if you think that they are not a big deal, that everyone has them, that they are something normal and harmless, which you should not be afraid of, in fact hemorrhoids lower your quality of life. Even if you don't have much trouble with them now, the condition could worsen if you don't pay attention to it in time.
Is there a cure for them, can you stop them from worsening, and prevent their occurance in the first place? In the article, you will leran what are the classic (conventional) ways of treating and preventing hemorrhoids, what type of drugs are applied and whether there is herbal treatment to help you.
Risk factors for getting hemorrhoids and consequences
As we have discussed in the previous article, What are hemorrhoids and when to call a doctor, in most cases they are not dangerous. Evolutionarily, the organism could not afford to have a weak spot of this type if it were really so dangerous. Of course, there is always a possibility of complication, for example a complication of anemia.
In the classic case, rectal bleeding from hemorrhoids has a clear red color and leaves some spotting on the underwear. Blood can be seen on the feces in red color, on toilet paper when wiping and on the underwear or sanitary pad. It is normal for the blood to leak for up to 5 minutes and then it is expected to stop [ref.1].
Besides weakness of the blood vessels wall, other risk factors, which can lead to hemorrhoids, are:
- sedentary lifestyle,
- heavy physical activity,
- diet poor in fiber,
- chronic constipation,
- heavy diarrhea and others.
Treatment and prevention of hemorrhoids
Treatment is complex and affects several parameters to obtain the desired effect. In this case, the following organs and structures are interrelated:
The digestive system - fibers are a friend
One of the factors for the formation and irritation of hemorrhoids is the pressure that occurs with bowel movements, so nutrition should be balanced. Peristalsis should be accelerated or delayed so that the release of waste products is not too common or rare for the individual organism. On the other hand, the consistency f fecal matter should not be too rigid, since this mechanically irritates hemorrhoids, but the same applies for the opposite case, as well.
The ways of dealing with this problem are individual, according to the needs of the body. There is no panacea, but a varied diet with enough carbohydrates, fats, proteins and the required amount of fiber [ref. 2] is a prerequisite for balance in this regard as well.
Many herbs support the activity of the intestinal tract, thereby having a beneficial effect on the treatment of hemorrhoids:
- Thyme tea (Thymus vulgaris) soothes the mucous membrane of the stomach, thus promoting the initial processing of food without causing diarrhea;
- Chamomile tea (Matricaria chamomilla) is a known remedy for calming and regulating irritated intestines, which is why many doctors recommend it for this type of problems, and the same applies to mint tea (Mentha spicata);
- Often doctors recommend the crystalline form of the aloe vera plant, since it is a known regulator of normal bowel movements, it is perscibed against constipation;
- Spearmint tea (Mentha crispata) soothes the stomach and turbulent peristalsis, it is used in the diet treatment of worsened gastritis and colitis, respectively irritated hemorrhoids;
- Summer savory (Satureja hortensis) is also recommended, but only as a spice to dishes, because it irritates the stomach, it increases the acidity of gastric juice, therefore it is not recommended for people with gastritis, ulcer and colitis, but accelerates peristalsis.
The circulatory system - when is surgery needed?
Surgical intervention usually means the removal of this "modified" blood vessel - the hemorrhoid. In the animated video below are presented the steps of such a procedure.
The medical strenghtening of the vascular wall is among the classic methods of treatment:
- There are preparations with hyaluronic acid, which besides strength, improve the elasticity of the vessels;
- Your physician might prescribe you a medication that only strenghtens the blood vessels;
- Local products usually contain an analgesic (lidocaine), a proper antibiotic (to fight inflammation) and an antifungal ingredient. The doctor assesses whether it is more appropriate for the particular patient to use cream or suppositories;
- Immunostimulants are also used very often to support the body as a whole.
The veins have a very thin layer of smooth muscle cells, which is why they rely on the surrounding muscles to maintain their shape and tone. In the case of the venous plexus in the anal canal (respectively the hemorrhoids), the muscles of the small pelvis are responsible for this. The set of exercises that keep the veins in good condition should cover the lower limbs and torso. Here herbs will not help, of course, movement is needed.
I have selected a set of easy exercises from the YouTube channel of the physiotherapist Dr. Joe. She stresses that they may not be suitable for your individual situation, so if there is pain and discomfort, it should be discontinued.
The video clearly shows several exercises for the pelvis, which would help the normal blood circulation of the venous plexus. It would be very useful to combine this complex with the complex of exercises that she recommends for varicose veins. On the one hand, these are exercises for the lower extremities, and on the other - people with weakness in the walls of blood vessels have problems with both hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
Another type of appropriate exercise is callanetics, and naturally the level of activity that the body allows at this stage should be monitored. Workouts that include the lower limbs and abdomen are also suitable - aerobics, for example. If you suffer from external hemorrhoids, swimming pools are not suitable, especially during a crisis, because of the preparations used for disinfection.
In conclusion, we will again emphasize the fact that this is a complex disease that requires a complex solution. It is best to assess whether there are prerequisites in your daily life that will lead to this problem and do something about them.