The Federal Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health recently teamed up to provide hemorrhoid sufferers with some tips on how to relieve hemorrhoid pain. Interestingly, many of the remedies that the organizations recommended were preventative and natural cures for hemorrhoids.
Rajat Malik, a gastroenterologist with the FDA, recommended a number of chemical-free remedies for individuals suffering from hemorrhoids pain. In addition to advocating for diets that are rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, Malik also suggested fiber supplements like Hem Relief, which uses ginger root to help aid digestion naturally. According to Bastyr University, one of seven schools accredited for naturopathic medicine in North America, raw ginger, ginger tea and crystallized ginger may also help aid in digestion, and could help supplement the effects of Hem Relief.
Malik also recommended taking regular baths to help soothe the pain that often occurs with hemorrhoids. To further boost the soothing powers of the bath, sufferers may want to add a few drops of witch hazel extract to their bath water. Often used in compresses to help soothe inflamed blood vessels or skin, witch hazel can also offer its soothing powers when added to a warm bath. The powers of witch hazel can also be found in many natural hemorrhoid treatments like Hem Relief, which uses the plant’s extract in its formula.
However, Dr. Herbert Lerner, who works as a medical officer for the FDA, stated that it is important to treat the underlying causes of the painful symptoms of hemorrhoids rather than just the pain.
“[Over the counter] products may help you feel more comfortable,” stated Lerner. “But they won’t get rid of the underlying hemorrhoids, such as internal hemorrhoids, that commonly cause bleeding.”
Malik, like most natural physicians and health practitioners, also advocates for the prevention of hemorrhoids by maintaining digestive health. In addition to natural digestive aids, the use of probiotics is also extremely helpful in maintaining rectal health. Yogurt is most well-known for its high levels of probiotics, but many fermented foods, such as kimchi, sauerkraut and tempeh provide high concentrations of probiotics as well, and offer a great solution for any individual who is lactose intolerant.
Just as fiber-rich foods may help reduce the swelling and pain associated with hemorrhoids, eating a diet full of these foods will also assist in preventing the occurrence of hemorrhoids. Some of the top fiber sources come from legumes and beans. White beans, with their high levels of potassium protein and iron – as well as fiber – pack a serious punch nutrition-wise. Kidney, black and garbanzo (the main ingredient in hummus) beans are also a great source of fiber.
Corn, avocados and brown rice are also chock-full of fiber. If you needed another reason to make healthy tacos or burritos a few nights a week, this is it!