Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum, similar to varicose veins.
Hemorrhoids have a number of causes, although often the cause is unknown. They may result from straining during bowel movements or from the increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy.
Hemorrhoids may be located inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids), or they may develop under the skin around the anus (external hemorrhoids).
Hemorrhoids are very common. Nearly three out of four adults will have hemorrhoids from time to time. Sometimes they don’t cause symptoms but at other times they cause itching, discomfort and bleeding.
The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is by directly addressing the causes that lead to these anal lesions and thus reduce any possibility of them occurring.
Overall, these may be caused by many things, including:
A diet very low in fiber, Constipation, Effort before defecating, Pregnancy
- Painless bleeding during bowel movements — you might notice small amounts of bright red blood on your toilet tissue or in the toilet
- Itching or irritation in your anal region
- Pain or discomfort
- Swelling around your anus
- A lump near your anus, which may be sensitive or painful (may be a thrombosed hemorrhoid)
- Hemorrhoid symptoms usually depend on the location.
How can you prevent hemorrhoids?
“Eat more fiber.” “Stay hydrated.”
That’s the advice everyone gets about hemorrhoids – and it’s good.
Drink 2 litres of water a day
Good eating habits should be complemented by the daily intake of water. It’s recommended to drink between 1.5 and 2 litres of water a day, since it is the best amount for stimulation of the intestinal tract. Therefore, evacuations require no huge effort and there will be no problems.
Drinking plenty of water improves constipation. Plus, the daily intake of a minimum of 1.5 litres of water makes softer fecal consistency and all the causes of hemorrhoids disappear.
Fill up on fiber
Hemorrhoids are more likely to occur in people who have infrequent bowel movements. One of the easiest, most natural ways to become more regular is by filling up on fiber either through your diet or supplements. Adding fiber to the diet is the universal recommendation of both family doctors and gastroenterologists. It may increase gas, but this is a small price to pay for the benefits. Aim to get 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. Great food sources of fiber include:
Legumes, such as split peas, lentils, black beans, lima beans, and baked beans
Whole grains, such as barley, bran flakes, oatmeal, and brown rice
Vegetables, such as artichoke, green peas, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts
Fruits, such as raspberries, pears, apples, and bananas
Be careful when it comes to laxatives
When you’re constipated, some fiber supplements, particularly psyllium capsules, have a track record of helping get you more regular, which can prevent painful hemorrhoids. As far as laxatives go, they can help as long as you choose the correct ones. The safest laxatives are those that work with your body rather than those that stimulate or simulate normal physiological activities. Some laxatives work by stimulating intestinal contraction to move the contents along. This might increase hemorrhoid pressures and cause symptoms.
Avoid certain foods
When you have a risk of hemorrhoids, you should avoid foods that are not recommended for this condition.
Some of the foods that should be avoided in this case are:
- Spicy foods
- Salty foods
Each one of these foods makes the fecal journey more forced, causing lesions on the way.
Salty foods can cause greater venous congestion, which worsens hemorrhoid inflammation. Therefore, it’s recommended that you consume them in moderation.
Go to the bathroom when you need to
Waiting to go to the bathroom when you need to is a bad decision, especially if you have had prior episodes of hemorrhoids.
It’s best to go to the bathroom at the moment that you need to. However, there is the alternative of getting into the routine of evacuating at certain times, in order to not wait long hours for the opportunity.
A long wait when you need to use the bathroom may have consequences, such as higher pressure in the anal region. This causes venous inflammation and therefore hemorrhoids.
It’s recommended to have fixed hours to defecate, such that the action becomes a physiological habit at specific hours.
Most importantly, don’t put off the urge to evacuate under any circumstances. And, please, don’t allow the fact that you’re not at home to become an excuse for not defecating.