Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins located in the lower part of the rectum and the anus. Internal hemorrhoids are deeper and can bleed with a bowel movement usually without any pain. External hemorrhoids are just under the skin and can cause pain, itching and bleeding with bowel movement. Hemorrhoids can be caused by excess pressures from pregnancy or due to liver problems, or sometimes due to genetically weak vein walls. Most often, though, hemorrhoids are more of a symptom of the diet and lifestyle of a modern world.
To help heal hemorrhoids, adequate water and fiber is a key to keep bowel movements soft. Assuring about 25 grams of fiber a day, with a mixture of both insoluble and soluble fibers is key. Soluble fiber, found in apples, beans and legumes, flaxseed, oats, oranges, and pears, absorbs water and binds with fatty acids, forming a gel-like substance that keeps stools soft. Adding more insoluble fiber to your diet will add bulk to your stool and make it easier to pass. Foods that are high in insoluble fiber include cruciferous vegetables, prunes, raisins, and whole grains, especially wheat bran, brown rice or whole grain bread.
Stress can play a role in hemorrhoids, as it will impair rectal blood flow as well as tighten the pelvic floor muscles, both of which can aggravate relaxed bowel movements. After bowel movements, using toilet paper with witch hazel or wiping with tucks pads will keep the area clean, and witch hazel helps the veins tighten up. Daily sitz baths can help: use warm water for non-painful hemorrhoids, and cool for painful ones. If using warm water, the water should feel quite warm, but not so hot that it burns. If using cool water, keep it room temperature or slightly cooler.
Diosmin and Hesperidin: Both diosmin and hesperidin are citrus bioflavonoids which can increase the strength of veins and capillaries. In an open study (meaning the subjects knew what medication they were getting), pregnant women received a diosmin and hesperidin combination for an average of 8 weeks before delivery and 4 weeks after delivery, in 50 women with acute hemorrhoids. About 70% of patients found relief, and half of the patients did not have relapse. This treatment was safe for both mother and child, with no side effects. Typical dosages are 400 – 800mg of diosmin and 50 – 100mg of hesperidin.
Rutin: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 500 mg rutosides were given orally twice daily in the treatment of 97 pregnant patients. This flavonoid was found to be quite safe and effective in reducing bleeding, itching and inflammation, with no safety concerns for either the pregnant mom, or new born child.