Hemorrhoids, commonly known as ‘piles’ are veins in the rectum and anus that get swollen and inflamed, usually as a result of constipation. It is a very common complaint which most adults experience at some point in their life. Symptoms include pain, bleeding during bowel movements, itching around the anus, difficulty sitting and sometimes a swelling felt near the anus. Sometimes there are no symptoms, may be just a protrusion. Hemorrohoids are classified as internal or external, based on their location in the rectum and anal canal. Those which get thrombosed (clotted) or strangulated (due to protrusion and constriction cutting off the blood supply) get very painful. Internal hemorrhoids can be uncomfortable but are not as painful as thrombosed external hemorrhoids.
Common factors leading to hemorrhoids:
- Prolonged constipation
- Spending long spells sitting on the toilet
- Family history of hemorrhoids
- Sedentary habits like lack of exercise, poor diet.
All these factors can cause straining during bowel movements which raise the intravenous pressure within the rectal veins causing them to eventually swell and protrude.
What can be done?
Make positive changes in your lifestyle like improving your fiber and your fluid intake as they lead to softer stools and reduce straining during defecation.
Avoid holding in the urge to defecate as that tends to harden the stools and prevents establishment of a regular bowel habit.
Sitz bath- Sitting in a tub of warm water for 10 minutes after each bowel movement or 2-3 times a day provides symptomatic relief and helps with faster healing.
Diagnosis: There are other more serious conditions which lead to rectal bleeding like colorectal cancer and anal cancer. Though hemorrhoids are a common cause of rectal bleeding don’t assume it is hemorrhoids without visiting the doctor. The bleeding from the hemorrhoids if prolonged can also lead to anemia, which can cause fatigue and weakness. Your doctor may perform a digital rectal examination or a proctoscopy to visually inspect the rectum and anus.
There are multiple surgical procedures like ‘rubber band ligation’, ‘injection sclerotherapy’, ‘hemorrhoidectomy’ etc that are used to shrink and reduce the size of the swollen veins. Also hemorrhoid shrinking creams are available to reduce the itching, burning and swelling caused by them.
Homeopathic treatment: The advantage that Homeopathy offers for treatment of hemorrhoids is that it is completely ‘non-invasive’, the results are ‘long lasting’ and often permanent (whereas the chances of the hemorrhoids recurring again are high after surgical procedures). Homeopathic treatment is holistic, gentle and targets the primary cause of the problem like genetic predisposition, tendency to constipation etc which helps give positive long term results. Our remedies work very well in addressing the constipation if present, the pains and provide symptomatic relief with ‘no side effects’.
The Homeopathic Materia Medica has a listing of more than 200 Homeopathic remedies for the treatment of hemorrhoids! Homeopathy works by strengthening the immune system of the patient and by promoting the body to heal itself in a mild, gentle manner. Examples of some of the Homeopathic remedies for hemorrhoids are: Aesculus hippocastanum, Aloe socotrina, Carbo vegetabilis, Collinsonia, Hamamelis virginiana, Sulphur among a few. The treatment has to be customized to get relief as one remedy does not fit all in Homeopathy.
Call me to discuss about how I could help you. Homeopathy is a definite, safe way to avoid going under the surgeon’s knife!