Whether they're internal or external, dealing with hemorrhoids is a serious health issue that most people want to avoid. While hemorrhoids aren't exactly life threatening, they come with a whole slew of problems. They're painful, embarrassing and a cause for major discomfort, especially during a process as sensitive as passing bowel movements. If you're looking for ways to prevent hemorrhoids from occurring in or around your anus, here are seven tips you should look into:
1. Get More Fiber
If you are seriously lacking fiber in your regular diet, then you should already be experiencing the pains of your decision with discomforting bowel movements and constipation. The extra strain it takes for you to pass your bowels is one of the common causes of hemorrhoids, so it is important to ease the process with a healthy intake of fiber. Some high fiber foods to consider include:
- Whole grains, especially oats and bran
If you aren't used to a diet rich in fiber, it is best to gradually increase your fiber intake each day. Excessive amounts of fiber, especially if you're body isn't used to it, can cause other issues like excessive gas, bloating and increased flatulence.
Exercising regularly can help increase blood circulation and prevent constipation, which can lead to hemorrhoids. While it is important to maintain an active lifestyle to prevent hemorrhoids, strenuous exercising and weight lifting can also create complications for anyone who is already dealing with hemorrhoids. Excessive sweat and constant training on certain muscles can exacerbate pain and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids. Here are some exercises that can be beneficial for those with hemorrhoids, and those without:
- Light jogging
3. Avoid Sitting Down or Standing for Extended Periods of Time
Sitting or standing for extended periods of time can cause excessive strain on the veins around your anus, which can lead to hemorrhoids. Try to move periodically to get your blood circulation going. If you work in an office, think of ways to stay active in your cubicle. If you tend to read while you're on the toilet, you should stop.
4. Stool Softeners and Fiber Supplements
Sometimes, it's difficult for people to get the daily recommended amount of fiber into their diets. If you are unable to incorporate more high fiber foods in your meals, try taking fiber supplements to prevent hemorrhoids. Stool softeners can also be very beneficial to ease the passing of your bowels. The smoother things go, the less likely you are to put excessive strain around your anus. Stool softeners should only be used on a short-term basis.
5. Comfortable Bowel Movements
Create the most comfortable atmosphere possible for passing bowel movements to avoid constipation. If you feel rushed or uncomfortable during bowel movements, you are more likely to exert excessive pressure around your anus. Holding your breath while trying to pass stool can also cause more pressure on your veins around your rectum. Here are some healthy, bowel movement tips:
- Make sure you have enough time to do your business and try to avoid feeling rushed.
- Create a regular schedule for your bowel movements and stick to it.
- Do not read while on the toilet.
- Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge to defecate. Holding it in can cause your stool to harden.
- If you're already dealing with hemorrhoids, never use a dry toilet paper to clean yourself. Wet toilet paper or moist towelettes work best.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated and making sure your body has plenty of fluids is crucial for smooth bowel movements. Certain drinks like sodas and alcohol can create complications for your bowel movements, so it is best that you stick with water as your main source of hydration. Try drinking about eight glasses of water per day for smoother bowel movements. Other drinks to avoid include coffee, green tea and other highly caffeinated drinks. Since caffeine is a diuretic, it can cause you to pass excessive amounts of fluid from your body, leading to dehydration. A properly hydrated body is important for smooth bowel movements, and is almost the equivalent of a fiber supplement.
7. Try Not to Lift Heavy Objects
As mentioned earlier, heavy lifting can create extra strain on the veins around your rectum, which can lead to hemorrhoids. Heavy weight training should be avoided, as well as heavy lifting outside of the gym. If you must lift a heavy object, make sure to use proper form and avoid holding your breath in. It is always best to ask for someone's assistance to lift a heavy object to avoid injury or health complications like a strained muscle or hemorrhoids.