5 Tips to Prevent Hemorrhoids

5 Tips to Prevent Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a part of normal human anatomy, and consist of cushions of vascular tissue. However, when this tissue becomes irritated and painful, treatment is necessary.

Since irritation of the tissue contributes to hemorrhoid discomfort, there are some specific actions people can take to prevent or minimize the irritation before advanced treatment by a doctor is necessary.

The most effective way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep your stools soft, so they pass easily and do not cause irritation. Here are some tips that you can immediately incorporate into your regular daily routine.

1. Fill Up on Fiber and Fluids.

This includes fruits (such as raspberries, pears, apples and bananas), vegetables (such as artichokes, green peas, broccoli and Brussels sprouts) and whole grains (such as barley, bran flakes, oatmeal and brown rice). High-fiber foods help prevent hemorrhoids because they soften stool as well as increase its bulk. As a result, the amount of straining during a bowel movement is reduced; straining during a bowel movement can aggravate symptoms from existing hemorrhoids. People often do not get the recommended amount of fiber in their diet (25 grams a day for women and 38 grams a day for men). Studies have shown that over-the-counter fiber supplements, such as Metamucil and Citrucel are effective in softening stools. As a result, they improve overall symptoms and bleeding from hemorrhoids. Note: when taking fiber supplements, be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water or other liquids per day for best results. In addition, staying well hydrated is beneficial to one’s overall health, and also key to having healthy bowel movements. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water and other non-alcoholic liquids every day will help keep your digestive system running smoothly and your stools soft.

2. Avoid Straining

Holding your breath and straining during a bowel movement increases the pressure in the veins in the rectum, which is one of the most common causes of painful or bleeding hemorrhoids. Remember, it’s not really about pushing as much as just relaxing and letting your body do what it does naturally.

3. Don’t Ignore Mother Nature

As soon as you feel the urge to relieve your bowels, go immediately to the toilet. If the urge passes and there is a delay in getting to the toilet, stools can become dry, harder to pass and cause irritation to hemorrhoids. Remember, keeping your stools soft is important.

4. Exercise

Long periods of inactivity and being overweight can both contribute to hemorrhoid problems. Staying active through regular exercise will not only help you lose weight, but also prevents constipation and reduces pressure on anal veins. Stay away from weight-lifting squats and similar motions that increase abdominal pressure; these exercises can actually contribute to hemorrhoids.

5. Don’t Turn the Bathroom Into a Library.

Sitting for long periods of time, particularly on the toilet, can increase the pressure on the veins in the anus. Your time in the bathroom should be thought of as a necessity, not an extended break. If you keep reading material on the toilet tank, or check your phone while on the toilet, consider relocating your reading material to another room and leaving your phone in your pocket. The more time you spend on the toilet, the more likely you will strain for bowel movements. Also, if you sit at a desk for a significant amount of time each day, consider using a standing desk for part of the day.




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