More often than not, the presence of blood in tissue or the toilet bowl after defecating can be a worrying site. The good and bad of it is, it may not be that serious. Although it is always to good to get a second opinion from a doctor, it may simply be a case of piles. Also known as hemorrhoids, these are clumps of blood vessels in the anus and lower rectum.
Affecting both sexes, they can form internally or externally. Many go unnoticed until they enlarge and become problematic.
The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids include bleeding, unsatisfactory bowel movement, mucus discharge when emptying the bowels, swelling, itching, irritation and redness. In most cases, they tend to heal by themselves and for quick reprieve you can seek medication or undergo a surgical procedure.
On the other hand, lifestyle changes and home remedies may be all you need for it to be a thing of the past.
- Apple cider vinegar
With astringent properties, you will notice results immediately after your swollen blood vessels shrink. Use only natural apple cider vinegar and dilute with equal parts of water. Soak a cotton ball and apply gently to the piles. Let it dry and apply a natural oil of your choice.
You can also treat internally by drinking a glass of water with a table spoon of ACV. Do this once or twice a day.
- Coconut oil
To ease irritation and itching, apply some coconut oil directly and let it sit for a few minutes then rinse. Do it often and symptoms should start subsiding in consequent days.
- An ice pack
Place some ice cubes in a sandwich plastic bag or a thin towel and apply directly to the hemorrhoids. The cold temperature is said to constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation.
- Sitz bath
This is when you only soak your hips and buttocks in warm water. For a more effective treatment, add Epsom salt to your warm water and sit for 30 minutes. This will help soothe and relieve pain. Pat dry the area gently and apply a natural oil.
- Increase uptake of fluids
By drinking lots of water, it keeps your body hydrated hence better bowel movement. One of the many causes of hemorrhoids is constipation which forces one to force the stool to come out and in turn results in bleeding and pain.
- High fiber diet
Fiber aids in softening stool and is essential for colon health and digestive health as a whole. The nutrients help to clean out the gastrointestinal system, prevent constipation and allows the colon to work at greater levels of efficiency. Sources of fiber include vegetables of all kinds, flax seeds, almonds, pecans, pistachios, prunes, pears, beans etc.
- Witch hazel
Considered one of the oldest natural treatments for piles due to its astringent properties, soak a cotton pad or ball and apply. You can leave it or let it sit for a few minutes then rinse off.
Something else to consider is how you take your bowel movements. Unknown to many is that conventional toilets put tremendous strain on the rectum while squatting straightens the rectum and relaxes the puborectalis muscle. Therefore, if you suffer from hemorrhoids your best option is to squat as you continue to incorporate the natural treatments.