It is estimated that 50 to 75 percent of Americans will suffer from
hemorrhoids at least once, and nearly one-third of the population has an
ongoing problem with this often painful condition. Hemorrhoids are usually
caused by increased pressure on the veins of the anus and the rectum. This
pressure inflames and swells and veins, much in the same way that pressure
on the veins of the legs creates varicose veins. Increased pressure on the
anal veins can occur for many reasons but is most commonly the result of
constipation, especially straining to pass stools, and pregnancy and
childbirth. There may also be a genetic component to this disorder.
Hemorrhoids can be divided into three categories. Internal hemorrhoids
develop inside the rectum, where they cannot be seen. Because they are
usually painless, you may not even be aware of them unless they bleed.
External hemorrhoids are located at the lower end of the anal canal, at the
opening of the anus and under the skin. They are likely to become inflamed;
when they do, they turn blue or purple and feel tender to the touch.
Because of the high number of nerves in the anus, these hemorrhoids can be
If an internal hemorrhoid becomes enlarged, it may collapse and descend so
that it partially protrudes outside of the anus. These lumpy-looking masses
of tissue are called prolapsed hemorrhoids. They usually appear after a
bowel movement and produce both mucus and heavy bleeding. Prolapsed
hemorrhoids can be excruciating painful.
Most cases of hemorrhoids are linked in some way to a lack of dietary
fiber. They are best treated at home with increased fiber intake,
detoxification, and soothing treatments for the pain and the itching. If
your hemorrhoids don't improve with these conservative strategies, see a
doctor about more aggressive treatments. In rare cases, surgery is required
to remove large and very painful hemorrhoids. If you have any rectal
bleeding at all, consult with a doctor so that he or she can rule out a
more serious underlying condition.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; level of
effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when
taking any and all supplements.
The top 7 vitamins and supplements shown to help
Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch,
M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.M.D.
Super Prescription #1 Butcher's broom (Ruscus
Take a standardized extract that gives you 200 to 300
mg of ruscogenins daily. Ruscogenins are constituents
within this herb that are believed to constrict and
reduce inflammation of hemorrhoidal tissue.
Super Prescription # 2
- LifeSource Products
Take a standardized extract that contains 100 mg of
aescin daily. This herb improves circulation and
Super Prescription #3 Collinsonia (stone root)
Take 500 mg three times daily. Collinsonia reduces
Super Prescription #4 Witch hazel (Hamamelis
Apply as a gel or a cream to external hemorrhoids, or
add 1 ounce to a sitz bath daily.
Super Prescription #5
Flax Seed Oil
- LifeSource Products
Take 3 capsules daily. Flaxseed oil improves regularity
and reduces straining. It also contains essential fatty
acids that promote tissue healing.
Super Prescription # 6 Bioflavonoid complex
Take 1,000 mg two to three times daily. Various
flavonoids, such as rutin and hesperidin, have been
shown to be effective in treating hemorrhoids. They
reduce swelling and prevent bleeding.
Super Prescription #7
Bilberry (Vaccimium myrtillus)
- LifeSource Product
Take a standardized extract 160 mg twice daily.
Bilberry improves circulation and strengthens capillary
walls. Or try liquid extract.
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studies for Hemorrhoids
Pain, itching, burning, or bleeding in the anal area
Blue or purple patches of hard skin near the anus
Lumpy tissue protruding from the anus
Constipation and straining
Pregnancy and childbirth
Lifting heavy objects
Inactivity, especially standing or sitting for extended periods
Portal hypertension and poor liver function
Poor anal hygiene
Almost everyone who suffers from hemorrhoids-even people who aren't
constipated-willbenefit from dietary changes.
If you're unaccustomed to a high-fiber diet, incorporate these suggestions
incrementally. If you try to introduce too much fiber at once, you'll only
place more pressure on your digestive tract.
The best way to relieve hemorrhoids is to consume more fiber. Eat lots of
whole grains, raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables, and beans, nuts,
and seeds. Rather than sitting down to three large meals every day, plan on
several smaller meals.
To allow stools to pass more easily, drink a glass of clean water every two
Add prunes or figs to your breakfast to speed up a sluggish intestine.
Have a tablespoon of flaxseed oil every day to encourage elimination, or
sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds onto cereal or salads.
Vitamin K will help stop or prevent bleeding. Green leafy vegetables,
especially kale, are a good source of this nutrient, as are kelp and
An overgrowth of candidiasis is an often-overlooked aggravator of
hemorrhoids. Consume soured food like unsweetened live yogurt, kefir, and
sauerkraut to increase the numbers of friendly bacteria that inhibit this
fungal growth. These products will also help you absorb vitamin K.
Eat wheat germ for its high level of vitamin E. You'll promote circulation
and prevent blood clots in your already-stressed circulatory system.
Bioflavonoids have been shown to significantly reduce inflammation and to
strengthen capillaries, so enjoy some berries a few times daily.
If you're pregnant, you have another reason to eat your leafy greens. These
vegetables are high in B6, a vitamin that many pregnant women lack; a
deficiency may contribute to hemorrhoids. Brewer's yeast and wheat germ are
also good sources.
Foods to Avoid
Fats and oils slow down the digestive system. Stay away from foods that are
fried or otherwise high in saturated fat.
Caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating and worsen hemorrhoids.
Avoid sugars and spicy foods, as they also tend to worsen this condition.
Some cases of hemorrhoids are caused by food allergies. Try the elimination
diet to determine whether you need to remove certain foods from your diet.
The most common ones that lead to hemorrhoids are cow's milk, wheat, citrus
fruit, tomatoes, and peanuts.
If hemorrhoids result from constipation or straining on the toilet, go on a
three-day juice fast to cleanse accumulated waste matter from your
digestive tract. If you are constipated when you begin taking the fast, add
psyllium husks or flaxseeds to your juices for fiber.
If you're constipated, do not strain when sitting on the toilet. Try to
relax and breathe deeply.
Do not use laxatives. They only address the surface of the problem and
can cause your bowels to become dependent on them.
Get regular exercise. Any kind will do, but a daily walk is always a
For temporary relief of pain and itching, use any of the following as a
topical lotion: cocoa butter, zinc oxide, olive oil, or calendula gel.
If you must stand or sit for long periods of time, take frequent breaks
to stretch and move around.
Special foam-rubber pillows known as "doughnuts" are helpful when you
need to sit. They have a hole in the middle so there is less pressure
on the hemorrhoids.
If you're obese, losing weight will reduce or even eliminate your
hemorrhoids. The dietary suggestions in this section should help you
take the weight off safely.
Bruce Brightman – founder
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