Hemorrhoids are an annoying and sometimes painful condition that is also known as piles. They occur when veins in or around your anus become swollen, inflamed and enlarged. Anyone can develop hemorrhoids, but pregnant women and those who sit for long periods are more susceptible. Many times you can treat hemorrhoids with natural home remedies. But you should consult your doctor if these treatments don’t work.
Traditional Sitz Baths
Sitz baths have been a popular home remedy for hemorrhoids for years. They are one of the most common remedies you will hear about. Simply sit in a bath of shallow water for about 15 minutes several times a day. Squat in the water if it’s too painful to sit down. To soothe your sphincter muscles, you only need enough warm water in the tub to cover your anal area. About 4 inches is usually enough.
Plain water will do, but you can also add a touch of salt, baking soda or even lavender to help soothe and clean the inflamed area. Using cool water can help if you have extensive swelling. Do not, however, add any kind of soap to the water. There are also products available that you can buy, including sitz bath kits that fit on the toilet. If you’re experiencing a lot of pain, they make it easier because you don’t have to squat or sit on the hard tub.
Hemorrhoids are often caused by hard stools that are difficult to pass, which can lead to constipation. Many people are constipated because they don’t get enough fiber in their diets. You can add psyllium to your diet to ensure you’re getting the fiber you need. It will help make your stools softer and easier to pass, lessening the inflammation and your hemorrhoid pain. Mix one teaspoon with a glass of water each morning at breakfast for a week. During the second week you can start taking one with lunch, too. Slowly work up to taking it three times a day. Be sure to drink plenty of water. It’s always important to drink water, especially if you’re prone to hemorrhoids, but it’s even more important when you’re taking fiber supplements or eating a fiber-rich diet.
Food for Relief
As with most conditions, there are foods that can help relieve hemorrhoid pain. Try dark green, leafy veggies and sweet potatoes. Lima beans are a good choice if you have bleeding hemorrhoids. Berry juices (blackberries, cherries, and blueberries) strengthen your hemorrhoidal veins, which can help reduce the swelling.
Pregnancy Related Tip
If you’re pregnant and are suffering from hemorrhoids, you aren’t alone. Dr. Townsend (http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/47/75.cfm) recommends lying on your left side every four to six hours. Do this for about 20 minutes each time, which should relieve pressure on the main vein draining the lower half of your body.