Hemorrhoids are swollen veins of the lower rectum and anus. They are engorged with blood due to improper backflow of blood.
This can be a very uncomfortable condition to have due to discomfort, pain in the anal or rectal area, and bleeding per rectum.
In the United States, one in four people develops this condition. Between the ages 50 to 60 years, about 50% of people suffer from this condition.
Hemorrhoid symptoms usually go away on their own even without treatment. At times, mild to moderate symptoms may resolve with a few home remedies or with local application of hemorrhoid creams. Severe stubborn cases may require surgery.
You can develop this condition due to few reasons such as a familial predisposition, advancing age, chronic constipation, obesity, and more.
The first line of action in preventing or treating this condition is to address the cause. For example, if you suffer from constipation get it treated, if you’re obese, reduce your weight. We’ve discussed the various causes and risk factors in the previous post.
However, certain causes are beyond your control such as a familial tendency or advancing age. Older adults are more prone to develop hemorrhoids because the tissues that surround and support the veins in your rectum and anus tend to weaken as your age advances.
Pregnancy is another reason that can cause hemorrhoids. They develop during pregnancy most commonly during the third trimester and during and immediately after childbirth.
Most hemorrhoids that occur during pregnancy clear up on their own within 8 to 12 weeks. However, sometimes they may stick around for months.
At such times, if you follow the advice given below, you may be spared the additional discomfort of hemorrhoids during pregnancy and after delivery.
Preventing hemorrhoids involves following tips that are very simple to follow and involve making some dietary and lifestyle changes.
These changes will also help clear the hemorrhoids in mild cases and prevent them from coming back.
How to prevent hemorrhoids?
1.Always have a high fiber diet to avoid hemorrhoids. This will mean including certain types of foods in your meals. They include:
- Whole grains and whole cereals products.
- Green leafy vegetables
- Fruits like apple, oranges, papaya, mango, pear, berries
- Dried fruits like apricots and dates
- Nuts and seeds like almonds and flaxseeds
- Drink plenty of water daily (4 to 5 liters) because it helps to prevent hard stools and constipation, which can cause hemorrhoids. Drink water spaced out during the day. This will help avoid piles. The benefits are enormous.
Do not sit on the toilet seat for more than necessary. Sitting too long on the toilet seat can increase the pressure on the veins in the anus.
Do not hold if you have to go. Try to answer nature’s call right away. If you hold out, it can cause hardening of the stools and make it that much more difficult to pass the stools.
Do not strain when passing stools.
Develop a habit to exercise regularly. It has tremendous all-round benefits
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Keep the area around the anal opening clean.
Avoid drinking alcohol if your genetic trend shows you are prone to hemorrhoids. Alcohol can cause unnecessary complications.
Avoid fried and spicy food.
Avoid drinking too much tea, coffee, and carbonated drinks.
Doing Kegal exercises a few times a day will tone up the rectal muscles and tissues and help in preventing hemorrhoids.
If your job involves long hours of sitting or standing, you should take periodic breaks and change positions.
Avoid lifting heavy objects or weights if you are at risk of developing hemorrhoids. Risk factors include old age, obesity, pregnancy, family history, chronic constipation, etc. Lifting heavy objects increases the intra-abdominal pressure, which can compress the veins in your abdomen and cause back pressure to build up in the rectal veins. This can cause them to become engorged.
Avoid eating chicken and meat on a daily basis
Once you have incorporated these tips into your lifestyle, they should become a force of habit. These tips will not only help you to prevent hemorrhoids, but they will go a long way to keep quite a few health disorders away.