No one wants to talk about hemorrhoids, let alone experience them. Most people associate this unwelcome condition with hard stools and are surprised to learn that they can also be caused and irritated by diarrhea.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your lower rectum and anus, and are sometimes called piles. While their exact cause is still undetermined, what we definitely know is that they can be uncomfortable and downright painful. And according to the Mayo Clinic, 3 out of 4 adults will experience them at some point.
Symptoms experienced with hemorrhoids can vary, and while some cases are so mild that you might not even notice them, in other cases hemorrhoids can cause bleeding, itching, pain, and general discomfort, especially when using the bathroom. You might also notice swelling or a lump around the anus.
The most common causes of hemorrhoids include pressure from pregnancy and straining during bowel movements. Other factors that can contribute to hemorrhoids include sitting for long periods of time, overuse of laxatives, lifting heavy objects on a regular basis, poor hygiene, high-stress levels and not finding a bathroom right away when you need to have a bowel movement.
Diarrhea is also a common lesser-known cause. Loose stools or diarrhea can both cause and worsen hemorrhoids. As you can see, we all experience many of the usual causes of hemorrhoids, so it’s not surprising that they are so common.
How to Avoid, Soothe and Deal With Hemorrhoids
The good news is that there are some simple, safe and effective at-home steps you can take to help prevent and soothe hemorrhoids.
(1) Get to the Root of Constipation and Diarrhea — Since constipation and diarrhea can cause and irritate hemorrhoids, it’s key to discover the underlying causes. Food sensitivities and allergies might be an issue, or an undiagnosed medical condition could be to blame. If you believe an allergy or medical condition could be the culprit, work with your doctor to identify the root of the problem.
(2) Listen to Nature’s Call — If you have the urge to go number two, it’s important to heed nature’s call. If you hold it, you’re naturally putting more pressure on the veins of your anal area, which can potentially cause or worsen hemorrhoids.
(3) Avoid Scratching — Some people experience a lot of itching from hemorrhoids, so naturally, want to scratch. Unfortunately, this can worsen symptoms, so talk to your doctor about a topical ointment if needed.
(4) Keep Soothing Support On-Hand — If hemorrhoids get very painful, you can apply an ice pack. If diarrhea is the culprit, having an effective and safe solution on hand like DiaResQ can be a life-saver. DiaResQ is a food for special dietary use that provides nutrients and immune factors that work with your body to help rapidly restore normal function and relieve diarrhea.
If your pain becomes severe or your symptoms don’t clear up with these DIY strategies, a call to the doctor is warranted. If your stool or diarrhea appears tarry, black or maroon, you’ll definitely need to see your doctor. However, the majority of hemorrhoid sufferers find relief with these at-home supports, along with a little bit of patience.