Hemorrhoids can be embarrassing and are definitely uncomfortable, but did you know that about three-quarters of people will experience them at some point?
These swollen veins in the lower rectum and anus act in a similar way to varicose veins in the legs and can develop internally or externally. External ones are more painful because they cause a small lump around the anus that can be irritated or itchy. Yet these are symptoms that you can often treat at home with natural methods to ease the pressure and get feeling like your normal self again.
Common Hemorrhoid Causes
These are the most common reasons why you might experience hemorrhoids for the first time or on an ongoing basis.
Being Chronically Constipated
Everyone get constipated once in a while because of sickness, foods consumed, or phases the body is going through. But hemorrhoids are most likely when occasional constipation becomes chronic, that is regularly having fewer than three bowel movements per week and straining to have them each time.
Various things can make a person chronically constipated, such as a diet that is too heavy in meat, dairy, and processed food products while also being too low in fiber. An underactive thyroid, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, diabetes, and certain medications taking could also be underlying reasons why chronic constipation is occurring.
Women who are pregnant are likely to have hemorrhoids, even if they have never had them in the past before conceiving. During pregnancy, a woman’s body produces extra hormones that can make the contraction of intestinal muscles more difficult. A pregnant woman’s growing uterus is also pushing on her other organs, including the anus and rectum, which can lead to hemorrhoids as well. Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are most common during the third trimester.
Similarly, being generally overweight puts excess pressure on the anal region, which can lead to hemorrhoids. Not only can daily exercise help you reduce your body weight to a healthy level, but it can also make you less prone to hemorrhoids by preventing constipation and reducing pressure on the veins from inactivity.
Frequent Heavy Lifting
People whose jobs or fitness programs require them to do lots of heavy lifting may develop hemorrhoids because of the extreme exertion and straining. Weightlifters and laborers must practice proper lifting techniques to prevent hemorrhoids, such as not holding the breath while lifting, but rather inhaling before each lift and fully exhaling afterwards.
Hemorrhoids are one of the many conditions that become more common with age, especially after the age of 50. Over time, the tissues in the anus and rectum can become weakened and stretched out. This puts older adults at an increased risk of hemorrhoids.
Natural Treatments for Hemorrhoids
Fortunately, there are many things you can do at home to treat hemorrhoids without resulting to prescription medications or invasive procedures. Eating more high-fiber foods, including fruits and vegetables, can help soften the stool and decrease hemorrhoids. Whole grain foods, oat bran, broccoli, and prunes or prune juice are great for natural hemorrhoid relief.
You can wipe the affected area with witch hazel for a cooling effect and use topical treatments to ease the pain and inflammation. We recommend Seagate’s Olive Leaf Rectal Spray for anal and rectal irritations, including hemorrhoids, to reduce redness, swelling, itching, burning, and soreness.
It may also help to soak in a sitz bath or simple warm bath for a couple times per day, 10 to 15 minutes per session. Wear loose, cotton underwear when you have hemorrhoids, try using a cold compress for swelling, and apply natural aloe vera gel on hemorrhoid areas. Going forward, always go to the bathroom when you feel a bowel movement coming on, rather than holding it in, because holding it can make stool harder and more difficult to pass.