5 Natural Hemorrhoid TreatmentsHemorrhoids are swollen, inflamed veins, membranes and connective tissue in the lower portion of the rectum, or anus. If you have hemorrhoids, you may feel burning, itching, or pain around the anus as well as a sensation of being full, or needing to pass a bowel movement even when there is none present. After a bowel movement, you may also notice a small amount of blood in your stool.
Hemorrhoids are very common, with over 50% of the population expected to have them at some point before the age of fifty. They're a common occupational hazard for those whose lifestyles find them sitting for prolonged periods of time. Obese people, pregnant women, the elderly and those who experience chronic constipation are at an increased risk of developing hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are caused by excessive straining to pass bowel movements, heavy lifting, or pressure on the rectal area. Symptoms of become acute when swelling reaches a point in which they begin to protrude from the anus, or prolapse.
The addition of fiber to the diet is one of the easiest long term means of treating hemorrhoids. Fiber serves to bulk up and soften the stool, making the passage of bowel movements gentler. This reduces the strain on the rectum, allowing the affected tissue to heal. It is easily added to the diet by consuming more fruits and vegetables, or by taking a natural supplement such as psyllium. When adding fiber to the diet, it's important to increase your intake of water as well.
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Those whose hemorrhoids are exacerbated by chronic constipation will find magnesium supplementation to be an inexpensive solution with far reaching benefits. Magnesium softens bowel movements by gently drawing water into the colon. It is also relaxes the smooth muscle of the lower gastrointestinal tract, opening the colon for easier passage, and eliminating the need to strain when moving the bowels.
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Witch Hazel is a very helpful agent in the external treatment of hemorrhoids as it cools itching, and reduces bleeding via its natural astringent qualities. You can find it in any drug store in either bottled form or in pre-soaked pads. Using witch hazel wipes rather than dry toilet paper can also prevent aggravating the already inflamed tissue of a prolapsed hemorrhoid.
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Possibly the most sophisticated item in the arsenal of natural treatments is the herb, butcher's broom. Its active compound, ruscogen, imbues it with potent anti-inflammatory and vasoconstrictive (vein-constricting) attributes. Butchers broom has been used since medieval times as a laxative and diuretic, as well as to tone the veins and improve circulation. For the hemorrhoid sufferer, it strengthens swollen veins, and reduces swelling.
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Sitz baths are the most commonly recommended form of relief from hemorrhoids. While they do not treat the underlying causes, they offer a cheap, immediate form of relief from itching and burning. A sitz bath is any means of immersing and soaking the anal area. While it is possible to do so in the tub, it may be more comfortable to use one the specially designed units that fits directly over your commode. Adding salts to your sitz bath will serve to cleanse the area more deeply, and accelerate the healing process.
While these natural remedies will provide gentle forms of relief for hemorrhoid sufferers, make sure to keep a watchful eye on your health and see a doctor if your symptoms worsen