Hemorrhoids are a pain in the A$$! Dealing with hemorrhoids after birthing my first child was more painful than the labour itself, and this is not an exaggeration. The reason I’m oversharing here – this issue is often overlooked, and we ignore the problem out of embarrassment. However, over time hemorrhoids can become a serious problem and significantly affect a person’s quality of life. Therefore, it’s important to address the issue head-on.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the rectum; they can either be inside the rectum or outside. Internal hemorrhoids are usually painless, but can cause bleeding when passing stool. Not only is it unsettling to see blood in the toilet, but the regular loss of blood could contribute to low iron. External hemorrhoids, meaning swollen veins outside the anus, are painful, particularly when passing hard stool. Once you have hemorrhoids, they can be difficult to get rid of, therefore it’s best to avoid them altogether.
So what causes hemorrhoids?
The first step to be rid of hemorrhoids is to address the root cause. The most common cause is constipation, so it makes sense that any foods which combat constipation, will also help with hemorrhoids.
Soak a cotton ball in the witch hazel and oil, and apply to the affected area. This should only be used for external hemorrhoids. Witch hazel has astringent properties that reduce swelling. Lavender has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and skin vulnerary (wound-healing) properties.
Research has proven that acupuncture can reduce the inflammation contributing to painful hemorrhoids. Be assured, the acupuncture needles are not placed near the affected area. The acupuncture points for hemorrhoids are primarily on the arms and legs.
Although we don’t like to talk about it, it is estimated that 50% of people suffer from hemorrhoids. So let’s get rid of the stigma around hemorrhoids, or for that matter, any issues that deal with our internal plumbing. Excreting waste is vital to health and we should give it the attention it deserves.
As the busy mother of three young children, Certified Nutritionist Kirsten Colella is ensuring a healthy digestion and healthy pain-free bowel functions. Kirsten is always trying out new recipes, including those with fibre for a healthy colon. You can find Kirsten’s delicious recipes, colourful food pics and fibre-rich healthy food ideas on our Instagram page at @essentialbalanceholistic