Simple Treatments to Heal and Prevent Hemorrhoids and Fissures
-Connie Pennington, MD
Prevention is the Best Cure!
Treating hemorrhoids and fissures may involve surgical management, but should always seek to uncover any underlying issues that contributed to the development of the problem in the first place. For instance, hemorrhoidal disease and constipation are often related to a deficiency of dietary fiber. Anal pain, hemorrhoids, and anal fissures can be treated and prevented by maintaining a healthy life style. The pillars of health include diet, supplements, exercise, sleep, and stress reduction. When each of these areas are in balance the human being becomes intrinsically able to self-heal. Follow these simple steps to recovery and life-long health.
1. Dietary Fiber & Water Intake
Fiber works in conjunction with water intake. Fiber intake should be in the range of 25-35 grams per day with 8 full glasses of water daily. Dietary fiber and water intake vary with individuals, climate, and exercise. The best way to gauge consumption is by recording your nutritional intake for several days to determine your actual consumption. Various apps, like my fitness pal, are available for smart phones that make dietary journaling easy. In addition to adequate fiber and water intake, the diet should be composed of nutrient-dense foods.
2. Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements that may aid in colorectal disease include fiber supplements, calcium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), and probiotics. Most anorectal conditions will respond to simple measures such as dietary changes and appropriate supplements. Be sure to review medications and potential side effects as many prescription medications can cause constipation or irregular bowel movements and exacerbate anorectal disease. Talk to a knowledgable health care professional about which supplements may benefit your unique situation.
Proper exercise helps maintain normal body weight, and that in itself decreases the likelihood of many disease processes. Exercise also helps to strengthen the immune system and prevent a pro-inflammatory state. Many exercise activities also provide a meditative component that aids with stress reduction and releases natural endorphins that aid the body in self-healing. Even for those who are unable to do aerobic activity, or have certain disabilities, there is almost always an exercise that can be of benefit to the mind, body, and spirit. Physical therapists, and yoga therapists are extremely valuable resources for those who believe they are exercise intolerant.
Quality sleep plays an important role in overall health. Sleep should be a scheduled time of rest and rejuvenation. Adequate sleep is necessary for the body to heal. Proper sleep is best achieved by good sleep hygiene, which can include establishing a regular sleep-wake cycle based on dusk and darkness. There are no medications that promote sleepiness, they work by decreasing wakefulness, and can be addictive and harmful. You can easily decrease wakefulness yourself by developing a routine to quiet the mind and body which may include a warm bath, reading, or prayer and meditation. Many yoga practices successfully promote sleep. Limiting caffeine intake, as well as large meals, sugary snacks, and alcohol right before bed is helpful. Also, develop a morning routine of arising mindfully and peacefully by setting conscious intentions for the day.
5. Stress Reduction
Stress reduction is perhaps the most important and least addressed issue surrounding health today. We all are faced with increasing demands and feelings that produce stress in the body. Chronic elevated stress hormones are proven to decrease the immune system, and inhibit the body's natural ability to heal. Stress management involves self-care, and is best maintained when a healthy diet, routine exercise, and proper sleep habits are in place. Meditation has proven benefits in stress reduction, as well as eliminating disease processes. People who engage in spiritual practices have been found to heal faster and live longer.
Practice laughter. Laughter really is a form of medicine with proven benefits. Seek out things that make you laugh. Join company with people that are easy to laugh with. Laughter increases endorphins that aid the body in numerous ways, all facilitating healing. Carefully examine your attitudes and develop a positive outlook on health and healing. Set simple life style goals, that can be achieved a little at a time. Be sure to discuss any concerns regarding your health to a health care provider who can assist you in overcoming obstacles.