August 17, 2010

Natural Treatments for Running and Hemorrhoids

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

Hemorrhoids are a common feature in middle age but may also occur when you are younger. By the age of 50 almost 50% of the population has experienced some of the symptoms of hemorrhoids which include pain while passing stools, itching in the rectal region, bleeding from the anus and prolapse. The latter occurs when the hemorrhoids protrude from the anus. The discomfort caused by hemorrhoids can be quite severe although the consequences seldom are.

Hemorrhoids are caused by the inflammation of veins in the mucous membranes lining the rectum and the anus. These veins get swollen due to the accumulation of blood, somewhat similar to the manner in which varicose veins form in the legs. This accumulation of blood takes place because the veins are unable to overcome the force of gravity and push the blood upwards which is why standing and running for extended periods can aggravate hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids can be classified as internal and external with the former occurring in the lower rectum and the latter lying outside the anus. External hemorrhoids form under the skin of the anus and cause the maximum amount of discomfort because the overlying skin may erode. Blood clots form frequently in the case of external hemorrhoids and can cause severe pain while defecating. The clots will usually dissolve leaving a fold of skin that may subsequently cause periodic itching.

Internal hemorrhoids on the other hand are not usually painful although they may result in bleeding. They may at a later stage prolapse and protrude through the anus in which case they can cause complications such as infections to occur.

Hemorrhoids may have different causes but the main suspect is poor dietary habits that result in chronic constipation. Chronic constipation results in straining while passing stools and sitting for long periods on the toilet, which may interfere with the flow of blood to the rectal and anal regions. This results in the blood pooling in the veins of the rectum and the anus. This is why hemorrhoids also tend to occur during pregnancy due to the pressure of the uterus on the veins.

Studies have also shown that those who develop hemorrhoids usually have tighter muscles in the anal canal. Coupled with the increased pressure due to constipation, these cause the veins to be pushed against the sphincter muscle, damaging it. The last contributing factor is the weakening of the connective tissue that supports the veins.

Hemorrhoids tend to swell up after activities such as running. This is probably due to the fact that gravity tends to pull blood into the lower regions of the body, increasing the accumulation of blood in the veins of the rectal and anal regions. However, this effect is usually temporary and subsides with an end to the running. It is suggested that if your hemorrhoids are acting up, you should abstain from any form of strenuous activity including running.

There are many treatments available for hemorrhoids including certain natural treatments. However, it is strongly suggested that you consult your doctor to confirm a diagnosis of hemorrhoids and any treatment including home remedies that may be required.

The first step you should take involve changes in your diet to include foods with more fiber. This will facilitate easier bowel movements. If you are suffering from chronic constipation, there are certain foods that act as natural laxatives including such as bananas and prunes. A brisk walk in the morning may also help to stimulate bowel movements. Other measures that may help include applying an ice compress to the anal region which can then be followed with a warm compress after 10 to 15 minutes. Application of aloe vera gel to the anal region or a sitz bath may also help relieve the itch and the swelling.