Hemorrhoids might be embarrassing to discuss for many people, but it’s actually one of the most common ailments affecting at least half of the population by age 50. Besides, we all have them. It’s just a matter of whether yours ever get swollen and cause you grief.
Hemorrhoids are a normal part of the human body with a purpose just like any other part. And we can be glad we all have them!
According to The Medicine Journal, “Their job is to protect your anal sphincter muscles (the ones that open and close your anus) and to help keep your anus closed when you have moments of increased abdominal pressure, like when you’re coughing.”
If your hemorrhoids become inflamed, then you have what is called piles, or swollen hemorrhoids. They can be internal or external depending on where they develop.
If you have internal swollen hemorrhoid symptoms, you might notice bright red blood when going to the bathroom. This symptom usually doesn’t come with pain but can still be alarming.
Oftentimes, people think they are bleeding from hemorrhoids when they are actually dealing with something called fissures. These are tiny tears in the skin of the lower rectum.
Unless you are sure your bleeding is due to hemorrhoids or fissures, rectal bleeding can be a sign of something more serious, and you may want to make an appointment with your doctor.
Internal hemorrhoids can protrude through the anus and become prolapsed. In this case, you may have symptoms that can include a painful lump around the anus as well as itching and discomfort.
External hemorrhoids can become thrombosed, which means a blood clot formed inside of the hemorrhoid making the pain and swelling even worse.
There are many reasons your hemorrhoids can swell or become inflamed. It can happen from being obese, sitting too long, lifting heavy weights, pushing too hard while going to the bathroom, hormonal changes, pregnancy, having anal sex or simply with age. Some experts even say your genes can make you more susceptible to developing piles.
Everything I read says piles are common among pregnant women and usually go away after they give birth. But for me, it was the absolute opposite. Both times I gave birth, I was left with a pile of piles to deal with during my recovery.
As if an eight pound baby tearing through the vaginal canal wasn’t enough?!
That was the first I was ever introduced to the issue and what an uncomfortable pain in the butt it was – literally! I just wish I knew about Motherlove’s Rhoid Balm back then, which is safe for pregnant and nursing mamas.
Rarely does it happen anymore. It’s been almost four years since I last gave birth. However, once in a blue moon, I’ll find myself dealing with an irritating swollen hemorrhoid which likely comes about because of hormones, since it’s usually right around that time of the month.
7 Ways to Get Rid of Swollen Hemorrhoids:
Here are some things I’ve done that have helped tremendously, and I hope you’ll find some ideas you’d like to try to help relive your pain and discomfort too.
1. Gently push them back in
I was in your boat once, searching the internet for ways to get rid of my “pile” of pain. I was so glad I came across this helpful tip that I’ve been using ever since.
If you have an internal hemorrhoid that has protruded, or an external hemorrhoid and you can feel a bump, you can gently apply pressure until you feel it move back in to your anal canal.
Lovely mental image, isn’t it? But, I promise you it just might give you the instant relief you’re looking for.
2. Eat radishes and roughage with healthy fats
One summer, I ate an entire bowl of radishes from the garden as soon as I heard they were helpful for swollen hemorrhoids! That’s a lot of radishes, but I was desperate.
According to Natural Food Benefits, “Radish is very rich in roughage, or indigestible carbohydrates. This facilitates digestion, retains water, cures constipation (one of the main causes for piles) and thus gives relief in piles. Its juice also soothes the digestive and excretory system and this also relieves piles.”
There are plenty of other foods that are high in roughage or fiber. Sprouted grains, nuts, seeds and beans as well as a variety of organic fruits and veggies are also great sources. Especially green leafy vegetables and apples, bananas, pears and berries. Organic psyllium and organic ground flaxseed are also rich sources of natural fiber that can help prevent constipation and straining. Flaxseeds also have healthy saturated fats which are necessary for helping our bodies absorb nutrients from all those fruits and veggies.
Coconut oil is another super healthy saturated fat that Weston Price says has an added benefit of being anti-microbial. Organic, Non-GMO varieties are best. You can also eat lots of organic grass-fed butter. Consuming these types of foods can help people suffering from inflamed rhoids as well as help prevent future occurrences.
3. Drink enough water and exercise
Water is key for so many common ailments. We need it, and many of us need more of it. If you’re not drinking six to eight glasses of water a day, you could stand to up the ante. Just be sure to drink the water that doesn’t have 18 unregulated chemicals. Either distilled or reverse osmosis is best.
Hydration is important for keeping your digestive system running smoothly and for helping your body excrete unwanted toxins.
It is especially important for you to drink more water if you deal with constipation or if you don’t typically go poop two or three times a day.
If you need a way to “get thirsty,” take a 45 minute walk or do some other type of moderate exercise. Exercise helps keep your bowels moving. Just don’t lift any heavy weights when you’re dealing with hemorrhoids!
4. Eat tannin and rutin rich foods and herbs
Varicose veins and piles are essentially the same thing. You can actually think of swollen hemorrhoids as varicose veins in your anus.
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, “The blood vessel walls are nourished by certain food factors, especially foods that contain tannins, and rutins, a family of compounds in the vitamin C co-factor group.”
Green leafy vegetables, fruits and specific herbs, like horse chestnut, contain the nutrients needed to shrink and strengthen the blood vessel walls.
The Weston A. Price Foundation points out that the best studied herb for varicose veins is horse chestnut. The most rutin rich food sources are probably buckwheat sprouts.
Another medicinal herb that has been associated with strengthening blood vessels, circulation and capillary flow is butcher’s broom. It’s part of the asparagus family, and according to the Global Healing Center, “Itâs even been approved by the German Commission E (Germanyâs version of the FDA) as a remedy for hemorrhoids and a 1999 clinical trial supported butcher broomâs reputation as a hemorrhoid remedy.”
As a precautionary, before you take any medicinal herbs, you should research the side effects and interactions. Even natural plant extracts can be harmful if used along with other medications or in excess amounts. Pregnant women are always advised to talk with a doctor first.
With that said, here are several quality supplements without preservatives, binders or artificial anything that may be able to help.
Vitanica’s Horse Chestnut is especially helpful in strengthening the vein and capillary tissues. It is made with 250mg of horse chestnut extract.
Butcher’s Broom from Solgar combines raw butcher’s broom powder and extract. It’s good for vegetarians and is also gluten-free.
Herb Pharm’s Vein Health combines organically grown, fresh horse chestnut and butcher’s broom along with a few other herbs in liquid form.
You can simply add the suggested drops to your water throughout the day.
Whole-C from Pure Essence Labs contains 75mg of organic buckwheat sprouts. It also has 120mg of wildcrafted Camu Camu extract. Camu Camu is a tart, purple fruit that grows in the Amazon rainforest. It is a nutrient powerhouse with multiple flavanoids that include tannin and rutin.
Viracin Plant Tannins from Intensive Nutrition contains the most powerful phagicidal and virucidal herbal tannins available, specifically Norwegian maple fruit, babul bark and wild rhubarb to help support normal flora balance in the gastrointestinal tract.
There are also natural supplements, like this one from Carlson Labs, that provide a powerful source of rutin.
5. Use witch hazel pads, aloe vera or horse chestnut cream
These pads are also made with Aloe Vera, which has been used for centuries to treat many different ailments. It can help give some cooling relief for pain and swelling.
Another option is to use pure Aloe Vera gel topically.
Or, many sources say mashed ripe banana can even be helpful in relieving constipation and piles!
Planetary Herbals makes a stellar cream that combines horse chestnut, butcher’s broom and witch hazel.
People who have tried it, said the cream helped get rid of their spider veins, but remember that hemorrhoids and varicose veins are one in the same, so the cream may also do wonders on the swollen varicose veins in your bum.
6. Buckwheat honey
The health benefits of honey are amazing. It has been used since ancient times for many different health issues including inflamed hemorrhoids. If you look it up on your own, you will find many success stories where honey helped with hemorrhoids and even credible studies.
Manuka honey is especially beneficial for healing fissures.
But for a hemorrhoid problem, buckwheat honey, which is also a rich source of rutin, may work even better. Whatever honey you choose, be sure to use only quality sources that are raw and unprocessed.
Some people apply the honey directly to the area, while others mix it with pure apple cider vinegar or olive oil and have it as a drink. Apple cider vinegar also has amazing healing properties and is very helpful in getting rid of piles. Just a fair warning, it might sting at first!
7. Raw bee propolis
Bees coat their hives with propolis, a gummy-like compound made mostly of sap from certain plants and trees such as Poplar, Willow, Horse Chestnut and Birch. Raw bee propolis has antibiotic qualities to protect the trees from infections. Honey bees gather this sap, re-metabolize it with their own nectar secretions and coat the inside of their hives to protect the health of the entire colony.
There are multiple benefits of consuming raw bee propolis, but healing hemorrhoids is definitely on the list. You can either eat raw bee propolis from quality sources like Patz Maple & Honey Farm. Just a couple of pieces a day will do the trick, and will even help boost your immune system – among other things.
You can also try a raw honey and propolis blend in a paste form that you can apply directly on your swollen hemorrhoids. Propolis Extract from YS Organic Bee Farms is a great one for that.
Hopefully, you’ve found something in this article that will help get rid of that “pain in your butt!” Remember that you are not alone. This is something almost all of us will experience at some point in our lives. But if we continue to eat a diet full of the right foods, it can help prevent our hemorrhoids from getting inflamed.
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