About half of the population will suffer from Piles (Hemorrhoids) at some point in their lives, usually between 20 and 50 years of age. It’s not necessarily a problem of the elderly as popular belief would suggest. It can happen to everyone, including people in good health. More commonly, people who spend a lot of time in a sitting position.
Piles (Hemorrhoids), whether internal or external, are caused by dilation and inflammation of veins in the rectum and anus.
The main difference is pain: the internal hemorrhoids do not hurt because the swollen veins are in the upper part of the rectum, which is not innervated. There may even be no symptoms. But often you will find that you have some red blood in the stool. The traces appear on your toilet paper or in the bowl. The fact that the blood is bright red proves that the bleeding takes place in the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract. If it takes place higher, in the stomach or intestine, it has time to clot during digestion and has a black or dark red color.
Another sign of internal hemorrhoids is the presence of loose stools, and the feeling of not having “finished”.
External hemorrhoids can be horribly painful. Some people have reported experiencing pain so bad they were unable to walk. Untreated, they can degenerate into thrombosis, in other words, they become purplish blue and bleed.
A lifestyle problem
The frequency of Piles in industrialized countries is not a surprise, given the diet and lifestyle of the majority of the population. They are much rarer in other undeveloped countries.
Piles begins when there is too much pressure on the weakened veins of the anus. This pressure is caused by problems of digestion, caused by low fiber food, sedentary lifestyle (especially office life), and obesity. It is also common in pregnant women but Piles disappear after childbirth.
Toilet habits can make the situation worse, causing irritation, bleeding, and itching:
- It is important not to wait when you feel like going to the bathroom. Respect the natural rhythm of your digestion.
- Do not sit on the toilet more than five minutes. This position increases the pressure on the rectum, which is not exactly a good idea at this point. If necessary, get up and go for a walk until the desire comes back.
Do not rub excessively with toilet paper; however, the utmost cleanliness is required to avoid inflammation and infections. The use of a water tap for washing, as found in Arab countries, explains the lower prevalence of hemorrhoids.
Sitting high on the toilet bowl does not favor expulsion as much as squatting, so the need to “push” can be stronger. A study published in the 1980’s showed that, in 18 out of 20 people, going to the bathroom in a squatting position had made hemorrhoids disappear. I am not saying that you have to replace your toilet with a simple hole in the floor; but many people have had much success with a device called “The Squatty Potty” (links to Amazon) which places you in the squatting position while still using your conventional toilet.
Be aware of bleeding
If you have bleeding related to Piles, consult a doctor, especially if this is the first time it happens to you.
In fact, bleeding may have other, more serious causes, including colorectal cancer, which is a common form of cancer.
Note that vitamin D is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of colon cancer. Make sure to take your recommended dose and consume as many oily fish as possible (three servings a week).
Piles are most often caused by constipation. Constipation is usually caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, and dehydration.
It can also be caused by the abuse of chemical laxatives, irritable bowel syndrome, and hypothyroidism.
To prevent constipation:
- Eat a high fiber food. Attention: dietary fiber has nothing to do with what is called “fiber” in everyday language. It’s not just the “All Bran”. For example, pear juice is exceptionally rich in fiber. Flax seeds are also a very good source of fiber. Finally, there are psyllium seeds from India, which are the natural laxative. They were used 10 centuries before Christ by the doctors of Upper Egypt and are still as effective today. Be sure to choose organic psyllium. Go slowly at first if you are not used to eating a lot of fiber.
- To tone your veins, eat flavonoids. These are the substances that fruit its color. You’ll find a lot in fresh oranges … but also in red wine. In fact, wine contains flavonoids in large quantities. It also seems that populations consuming half of their fat in the form of virgin coconut oil have better veins, and rarely suffer from piles.
- Drink water rich in minerals: the color of your urine will guide you to know if you are well hydrated. It must be light yellow. If you take multivitamins, do not be surprised, however, to have bright yellow urine as a result of vitamin B2. Water “Hepar”, very rich in calcium, is effective against constipation;
- Consume high quality Probiotics. A good intestinal flora does not only allow good digestion; it is an essential condition for achieving optimal health.
Finally, make sure to keep your stress level under control. Eliminate unnecessary sources of anxiety from your life, if you can. A more relaxed life, better controlled emotions, will perhaps contribute decisively to eliminating gastrointestinal problems and, consequently, Piles.