Approximately half of everyone older than 50 is afflicted to some degree by hemorrhoids, and almost 25% of those patients seek surgical treatments. A mild case usually only causes itching and irritation in the anal area, generally on the outside of the body. In many cases, blood may be visible on stools, coming from lesions in the anal tissues. Constipation or difficult bowel movements can worsen the condition and make it difficult to heal. Advanced cases can have painful and swollen tissues that can interfere with normal life functions.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Improper diet (low water intake), lack of exercise, chronic constipation, and straining when passing stool (low fiber and other dietary influences) are strong contributing factors to the development of hemorrhoids. Childbirth causes hemorrhoids in many women, since they are essentially swollen or inflamed veins often caused by strain. The sudden appearance of hemorrhoids in the over 50 age group may be a sign of rectal cancer.
Eat raw vegetables, drink more pure water, and take vitamin C. Large doses of digestive enzymes will shrink the swelling. Drink plenty of liquids to ensure softer stool. Other natural stool softeners include coffee, vitamin C, and pure olive oil.
Natural hemorrhoid treatments include quinine bark and chlorophyll. Putting some chlorophyll in your diet may help your hemorrhoids heal. Spirulina, alfalfa, Chlorella, wheatgrass, and barley are all high in chlorophyll (and a number of other nutrients, too).
Immediate pain relief requires putting a balm directly on the hemorrhoids. Witch hazel extract soothes and cools hemorrhoid pain; in fact, it is the active ingredient in many commercial, over the counter (OTC) hemorrhoid treatments. For a less expensive, natural alternative to these OTC remedies, simply use a cotton ball to apply witch hazel extract directly on your hemorrhoids. You can find witch hazel extract in drugstores anywhere. You can also apply aloe vera gel, which is also widely available, to your hemorrhoids for soothing pain relief.
For prevention, avoid dairy products (especially fibrous cheeses), hot spices, and alcohol. And get plenty of exercise.