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So what are Hemorrhoids? They are basically swollen and enlarged veins (varicose veins) that are found in the rectal area.

Some are internal (inside the rectum) and others are external where they appear outside of the rectum.

Some hemorrhoids may bleed, especially when they are irritated during a bowel movement while others may not cause any pain or discomfort at all.

Smart individuals are looking for alternative and natural cures first before turning to conventional non-prescription and prescription solutions. Many of these remedies are very effective.

Continue reading to discover tips and remedies that can help you get rid of hemorrhoids permanently.

Facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Frequently Asked Questions & Facts

What is a hemorrhoid?

Hemorrhoids are swollen and enlarged veins (varicose veins) that are found in the rectal area. Some are internal (inside the rectum) and others are external where they hang outside of the rectum.

Population studies seem to show that this condition is common in developed countries but is not very common in developing countries.

Experts believe that it is the position that a person takes when they defecate that puts unnecessary pressure on the rectal region. The squatting position is commonly used in developing countries. By squatting, you get your abdominal muscle to push the feces and that reduces the pressure at the rectum. Another possible reason might be the fact that in developed countries, people eat more refined foods and "junk" food.

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What causes hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids can be caused by excessive pressure on the veins at the rectum. These factors include:
  • Heredity (resulting in weak or poor veins)
  • Pregnancy
  • Constipation (mild or chronic)
  • Obesity
  • Straining and lifting heavy objects
  • Lack of fiber in diet
  • Lack of fluid intake (dehydration causes constipation)
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Prolonged sitting or standing positions
Chronic constipation is commonly associated with hemorrhoids so it must be avoided as much as possible using lifestyle and dietary changes.

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What are some signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids?

The most common symptoms of suffering from hemorrhoids are itching, swelling, discomfort, pain and bleeding during the passing of the stool.

The blood can either be found in the stool or on the tissue paper during wiping. Any bleeding from the rectum needs to be diagnosed by your family doctor to ensure it is not a symptom of other serious health conditions.

External hemorrhoids may be felt as a lump of tissue sticking out of the rectum. These may be inflamed and painful, especially when you have to strain to pass stool.

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What lifestyle changes can I do to avoid or cure this problem?

There are many simple changes you can do to resolve this problem. Here are some practical tips you can try.

  • Don't sit on the toilet too long. That position puts pressure on the rectal tissue and can aggravate the problem. Spend no more than 10 minutes on the toilet.

  • Don't read while sitting on the toilet. That activity will keep you sitting longer on the toilet than necessary.

  • Don't strain too long trying to pass the stool. If you need to strain to pass stool, the stool is too hard and you are suffering from constipation.

  • Don't use laxative excessively as they may cause you to strain.

  • Some prescription medications and practically all narcotic pain relievers can slow down stool movement in the intestine and cause constipation. Talk to your healthcare professional to find out if any of the medications you are on can cause constipation.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Water is best. This will provide enough fluid to the intestine to ensure that the stool stays soft. Drinking fluids can help prevent constipation. Stay away from caffeine (or keep to a moderate amount) as they can be dehydrating.
  • Exercise. Moderate exercise is enough. No, you don't have to exercise vigorously and get to your target heart rate. That's for keeping you body and heart healthy and preventing heart disease, not for treating constipation. (Although it would work just fine for preventing constipation too.)

  • Do develop a good bowel habit. Avoid holding back when you feel the urge. This will ensure the stool doesn't become hard.
  • Keep the area clean. Use a sitz bath with warm water to rinse the rectal area. Avoid using soap as it can cause irritation.

  • Use witch hazel solutions after rinsing to soothe the rectal area. Also consider using aloe vera or calendula after a bowel movement to soothe the area and help with healing.

  • Use soft pre-moistened towels rather than dry toilet paper. Heck, those baby wipes are just fine. You can simply buy some round cotton cosmetic pads, soak it with witch hazel solution and wipe clean. Or buy and use Tucks Pads if it is more convenient. 

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What diet should I consider if I suffer from hemorrhoids?

Fiber, fiber fiber. Today, modern society doesn't get enough fiber in their diet due to the amount of processing on foods. Experts suggest 25 to 40 grams of fiber daily.

Drink more water. Water is needed for fiber to work.

Eat more whole grains foods, fruits and vegetables.

Drink aloe vera juice as it can help reduce irritation and inflammation.

Eat yogurt. The bacteria (acidophillus) found in yogurt promotes digestive function. It also helps your body absorb the needed vitamin K which can reduce bleeding.

Berry fruits, like acai, are high in bioflavonoids which help to reduce inflammation and to promote blood vessel health.

Avoid "fast food" as they are generally high in fat, low in fiber and is not the best for the health of your bowels.

Cut back or eliminate caffeine as it can increase your risk of dehydration. Click here to get a listing of the amount of caffeine found in many drinks.

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What can I do about external bleeding hemorrhoids?

Some experts suggest eating foods that are high in vitamin K. These include alfalfa and dark-green leafy vegetables. Yogurt also helps your body absorb vitamin K.

Consider using a cold or ice-pack for 10 to 20 minutes at a time on the external hemorrhoids to reduce pain and swelling.

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How long does the hemorrhoids last?

As hemorrhoids are enlarged, veins, they do not necessary go away. They can shrink in size as the pressure is relieved. For example, if you suffer from this during pregnancy, after dellivery, they may disappear completely.

However, they may reappear again if you put excessive pressure in the rectum again.

By reducing pressure to the veins, you can be certain that they will not enlarge and become a nuisance again.

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Related Articles and Resources

What are the Natural Cures for Hemorrhoids?

Return to Health Conditions
Revised: September 17, 2010

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