Hemorrhoids or piles are swollen blood vessels in the lower rectum or the anus. According to the Mayo Clinic, over half of adults experience the symptoms of hemorrhoids by the age of 50. Hemorrhoids can either be external or internal. Internal hemorrhoids develop within the rectum or anus while external ones only develop outside the anus. Of these two types of hemorrhoids, external ones are the most common and often cause the most damage
Symptoms of hemorrhoids
The symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
- Extreme itchiness around the anus
- Pain and irritation around the anus
- A painful or itchy swelling or lump near the anus
- Painful bowel movement
- Fecal leakage
- Blood on your tissue after having bowel movements.
Experts are yet to determine what triggers the development of hemorrhoids, but a number of factors could be to blame. These include complications arising from chronic constipation, straining during bowel movements, and a family history of hemorrhoids. In many cases, hemorrhoid flare ups resolve themselves on their own, but some medication and dietary changes can help prevent or counteract the effects of hemorrhoids.
To prevent hemorrhoids, make fruits and vegetables an essential part of your diet. They contain valuable vitamins and minerals that can strengthen your immune system and provide fluids that may help ease constipation. The fruits and vegetables are also rich in fiber, and this adds bulk to your stool and helps reduce pain and strain during bowel movements. Some of the fruits and vegetables you should target for their high fiber content include apples, pears, berries, avocados, peas, artichokes, broccoli, winter squash and dark leafy greens.
Drinking yogurt and kefir (a yogurt like beverage) can also ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids since they provide your digestive system with probiotics - friendly or beneficial bacteria. Probiotics promote digestive health and immune functions. To achieve the best results, ensure that the yogurt or kefir you consume contains live active cultures such as bifidus and lactobacillus. Drinking the yogurt or kefir is also a good way to keep your body hydrated, which results in easier bowel movements.
Fiber rich whole grains are also a useful addition to the diet of any hemorrhoid sufferer. Since they contain all the nutritious part of the grain, they provide more protein, fiber and other micronutrients some of the fiber-rich whole grains you should try include brown rice, whole grain rice, whole grain bread, cold cereals and oatmeal.
When you are feeling constipated, some fiber-rich supplements such as psyllium capsules can help your bowel movements get more regular, and this prevents painful hemorrhoids. This will help prevent you from pushing too hard or straining during bowel movements as this puts a lot of pressure on the veins in the rectum leading to painful piles. Other activities that can pressure these veins include chronic coughing, pregnancy and lifting heavy objects.
It is also important to give your body plenty of exercise, this, doctors say “helps keep he colon more regular” staying active means that you spend less time sitting and sitting pressure other blood vessels in your lower rectum. Some of the best exercise you should perform to alleviate the effects of piles include swimming, walking and yoga.