Hemorrhoids are, unfortunately, something many people have to struggle with at some point in their lifetimes. There are numerous different triggers, from pregnancy to constipation to simple age. But just because hemorrhoids are common, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t avoidable—or that there’s nothing you can do to lessen their impact on your life. There are effective medications for hemorrhoids, but in many cases, all you need are a few natural solutions. Here are six all-natural tips that can help prevent, reduce, or cure your hemorrhoids.
One of the primary causes of hemorrhoids is diet, or rather, the effects your diet has on your digestive system. Constipation leads to straining and hard bowel movements, which in turn can cause or exacerbate hemorrhoids. One of the leading factors in developing constipation is inadequate water intake. By drinking more water, you’ll help prevent constipation, and in turn hemorrhoids. Additionally, fluid loss/retention can make existing hemorrhoids flare up and worsen symptoms, so drinking more water daily can reduce symptoms. Make sure you have at least two glasses of water with each meal every day, and a total of eight to ten glasses daily.
You can also help increase your water consumption by choosing foods with high water content, like fresh veggies and fruits, as well as soups and smoothies. If plain water just doesn’t do it for you, try adding slices of lemon or lime to jazz it up.
Another factor that leads to constipation is having a diet that’s too low in fiber. Ironically, our modern society with its bounty of convenient, prepared foods can sometimes fall short of simple nutritional requirements like fiber. If you subsist mainly on fast food and prepackaged snacks, you’re probably not getting the fiber you need. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a good source, as are whole grain foods. Check the nutrition labels on the foods you most commonly eat, and try to replace some of the low-fiber options with healthy high fiber ones. By the way, a high fiber diet has plenty of other advantages too, like feeling fuller longer and contributing to healthy weight loss! Aim for about thirty grams of fiber daily.
If you’re having a hard time getting enough fiber in your diet via your regular food intake, there are natural fiber supplements you can take as well, like psyllium husk. This is a great solution for people on the go who don’t necessarily have time to conveniently track their fiber intake.
Alcohol consumption can increase your chances of developing hemorrhoids and make your current hemorrhoid symptoms worse. While the full set of reasons for this is not yet known, the fact that alcohol leads to dehydration is likely involved. So, in addition to making sure you stay hydrated, don’t overdo it at the pub. And when you do indulge in a glass of wine or beer, make sure to follow it up with an extra glass of water to offset its dehydrating effects.
Wiping after a bowel movement can be uncomfortable with hemorrhoids, but it’s vital to stay fresh down there. If not, what’s left behind can irritate your hemorrhoids. Rough toilet paper can certainly be irritating, too, however, so we suggest flushable wipes for a gentler way to get even cleaner. Even after your hemorrhoids are cured, it’s a good idea to continue with this routine to keep the anal area clean and free of germs, and to keep your skin healthy and intact. After all, the last thing you want to do is start all over again!
Scrubbing with harsh soap in the shower isn’t doing your skin any favors, and hemorrhoids are no exception. While showering is fine, a nice long soak in a warm (not overly hot) tub can reduce inflammation and give you the opportunity to cleanse yourself more thoroughly and gently. It’s a great way to get relief from the itching or burning so often associated with hemorrhoids.
You’ll find witch hazel in the skin care aisle at most supermarkets, drug stores, and department stores. Witch hazel is an astringent, often used by women to cleanse and soothe inflammation for smoother skin after removing makeup, but it’s also a great tool for conquering anal itchiness and inflammation! This all natural solution comes from the witch hazel plant, and all you need to do is apply it topically. Just soak a cotton ball and gently dab the hemorrhoid area for near-instant relief.