Home hemorrhoid treatment
Before employing a home hemorrhoid treatment, you should understand what you are treating, or (for this page) what you are trying to prevent. It's a bulge in the sidewall of a vein that's supposed to bring the blood back from your butt toward your heart. There's no good place to have a bulged-out vein, but tight, puckered areas at the exit of your colon are even less ideal than most.
Doctors actually have several classifications of hemorrhoids, depending on where they originate and what they do.
You don't really need to know about anatomical structures like the pectinate line, etc. What you need to know is that your gut is a tube, the rectum is the section of that tube just before the exit, and the anus is the final opening where the tube opens out. There's a mechanism - rings of muscles - that puckers the anus shut in two stages, an internal sphincter that normally does the work of keeping the contents in, and an external sphincter (the pucker that you can see from outside) that is your… er… um… last chance to hold in stuff (shit) that wants out.
As explained on other pages, the anus has a blood supply, meaning arteries to bring blood in from the heart, and veins to take that blood back. A hemorrhoid is a bulge in the sidewall of one of those veins either just inside or just outside the muscular sphincter.
Strangely, while the description of a hemorrhoid sounds a lot like the description of an aneurysm, a hemorrhoid is not included in the same medical classification as an aneurysm. It's a varicosity (you've seen/heard-of varicose veins in the legs?? similar idea but in your butt).
Anyway, as with many veins, the rectal and anal veins occur just under the skin, so when a rectal or anal vein balloons out, the surface skin is bulged out with it. Generally one of two things happens:
- the balloon is inside, behind your anus, and you can't see it, and probably can't feel it - no pain, usually, but they've been known to bleed
- the balloon is at, or just outside the anus, so you can see it, it is in the way of the exit, and you can feel it - often it is painful or itchy; might bleed when you wipe
A third possibility is that it originates inside, but has bulged sufficiently that it extends/spreads/sags all the way to the outside. That's fairly advanced, and you should be talking to your doctor.
Why the bulge, anyway?
Hydraulics, man. Hydraulics. As we told you over in the blood pressure pages, your body is a hydraulic system. It's miles and miles of pipes with fluid in 'em.
Recall, for a second, your high-school physics: if you contain a liquid and then apply pressure to it in the container, the pressure is transmitted through the fluid to all parts of the fluid… and to all parts of the container.
So, you are a network of tubes full of liquid. That network is enclosed in a barrel of meat, supported by a framework of bones. The meat - your muscles - is always under a certain amount of tension (it keeps your contents in, right?) and is often under increased tension as you tense, move, squeeze, lift, pull…
A mechanical [dis]advantage
There's almost no action you can take that doesn't involve a bunch of your muscles, particularly what are called the core muscles. Those are the ones around your middle - front, back, and sides - that stabilize and anchor your trunk while your arms and legs do stuff.
Those core muscles are unavoidably involved mostly because your extremities are kinda attached to your trunk. If you swing your arm, you have to tighten your back, your belly, and sides, because it's all attached, and a movement of one pulls, pushes, levers against whatever it's attached to.
Fine. You knew that. You've got a degree in bio-mechanics, and I'm teaching my Grandma how to suck eggs.
But the point is that you are constantly tensing and relaxing your core. If you exert yourself significantly, you tend to stop breathing and tense even the muscles that control your chest. So the whole middle of you is tensed and clenched when you exert yourself.
So what happens when the outside of the container tenses? Well, anything inside that pulses/squeezes/pushes - like, oh, maybe your heart - is now pushing against a container that's resisting. Your heart is beating, pushing out an ounce or so of blood every second, into that network of tubes (your arteries and veins), and when every inch of that tubing tries to expand, the outer shell of the container pushes back. So the internal pressure of your whole body goes up and down with every beat of your heart, and it's the outside shell, that sheath of muscle and ribs and meaty stuff that keeps that pressure inside.
More to the point, when you heave and squeeze to move something heavy, you actually try to shrink that container. When you bend at the waist, you add extra pressure on the container because you are squishing the middle of the container like a toothpaste tube, and there's no give on either end to compensate. When you, say, sit on a toilet (bent at the waist, by the way) and heave and strain to move a brick out your ass (i.e., have a bowel movement that doesn't want to cooperate), then you drastically increase the pressure inside your body.
OK, squish... pressure... what about home hemorrhoid treatment?
Getting there. Many things are going on, most of them not good. If you pack on a lot of fat, both on the outside of your "shell" and inside among your organs, then you leave less space for everything to bend and give. You raise the floor of your basic blood pressure, and then just about everything you do increases your pressure above that starting point (which is already higher than it should be, before you start exerting).
This is the home hemorrhoid treatment page, but over in the blood pressure / hypertension pages, we talk about what that pressure does to things inside your abdomen, like kidneys, and to things inside your (very inflexible) head-bone, like brains. It's not good.
But the pressure doesn't stop there. It affects everything else. If you hafta poop, but it doesn't wanna, or it isn't coming quickly enough for your schedule, then you know what you do to make it come faster. You sit there and you heave. You strain. Your straining is basically compressing your abdomen (with your belly and back muscles, your diaphragm, etc.) like a big caulking gun, except that what gets squeezed out the hole is not caulk or construction adhesive. Mostly, usually, as far as you know, it's shit. And then you are done - you think.
But wait. The contents of your colon were absolutely NOT the only things that were under all that pressure. Bring a shaving mirror in there, next time you're on the toilet. Watch your face. That color change in your face, the bulging of your eyes, the cords standing out on your neck, the beads of sweat… that's all a result of you increasing your internal pressure.
Have you suddenly got a bad taste in your mouth or acid in your throat? Excessive back pressure on your stomach will do that to you.
As much as many of those results are not what was intended, neither are the other results that you don't see or feel immediately. Shit is being squeezed out your ass, because you are exerting massive pressure and holding the outside of your container (body) rigid, so all that pressure goes where you intend it to go.
Are we getting to the home hemorrhoid treatment part?
Yes. As far as you are concerned, the only opening you are leaving for all that pressure is your anus, which, by the way, is about the only part of your central body that you are trying to relax while everything else is being clamped down and squeezed hard. So whatever is reasonably fluid and is in the area of your anus, is going to come out.
Squishing the middle makes the ends bulge
Guess what? That includes the local blood vessels. And - here's the important part - what's inside them is squished out your asshole along with the shit that you've been trying to expel.
Now, what's in the veins can't actually get all the way out, because it's still contained inside those veins. So, being floppy and soft, the veins do the only thing they can, under all that pressure - they stretch. Specifically, they stretch at the weakest point. The sidewall of the vein balloons out at a point where it's least supported by surrounding flesh.
It turns out that veins do that just inside, and just outside your anus. Nobody's totally symmetrical, so one side or the other - around that puckered little circle - has a weaker point than all the rest, and a vein bulges out there, just under the skin. If it happens inside, in the dark, then that bulged part is now intruding into your rectum, and you probably don't notice, at least not until it gets really big.
That's actually a problem.
If the weak spot along the vein occurs at-or-outside the external sphincter, then by gosh you notice. It's a problem, by definition, because it's obvious, it's painful-itchy-or-both, and it's in the way when you crap and when you wipe. Because it's hard not to notice, you probably do something about it.
Well, I would if you would get to the home hemorrhoid treatment point!
Right. We're moving at our own rate here. Play along.
If the event takes place inside, where you can't see or feel, then you don't notice, and it can grow into a big problem before it forces you to pay attention.
Here's the key:
- If the bulgy, bluish thing is just under the skin, at or outside your anus, it's annoying but probably not a big scary deal.
- If the bulgy, lumpy thing is protruding through your anus, from somewhere inside, then it's quite likely to be rather large already, it is a problem, and you'd better do something about it NOW!
Go to your doctor. Don't wait. Don't try to push it back inside and think you've fixed something.
By the way, if you are over 50 and have this occur, it's an indication of another thing that's wrong. Either your doctor hasn't been doing digital rectal exams, or your doctor isn't very good at doing them.
What to do?
If the bulgy bit appears to be external and it's recent, there are ointments and things that you can rub on, to alleviate some pain and itching, and while you are in the shower, you might consider digitally (that's with your finger(s)) massaging the thing in an effort to deflate it. Don't be rough. Not only is it probably painful, it's also a bit delicate. If you rip or burst it, it'll be bloody messy (probably just when you need to be somewhere important, wearing good clothes), and you risk introducing anal bacteria into an open wound - not a good thing.
You can get medical treatments, but those have drawbacks that we'll get to.
The main thing is to stop doing what's causing the hemorrhoid and allow it to heal on its own.
What to do? (again)
Stop straining to crap.
That sounds simple.
But if you've been in the habit for years, it's anything but easy to stop.
The very best advice we can give you is to go visit www.naturesplatform.com and buy what he's selling. In 25 words or less, it's a portable platform to make your throne toilet work like a squat toilet.
He's got all sorts of explanation and history at his website, and we invite you to read it and then buy what we think is the best home hemorrhoid treatment for an actual cure.
Alternatively, you could build your own platform, but you are unlikely to make it better or cheaper than what's offered.
The point is to get your body aligned the way the human body was built to be aligned when defecating.
Sitting upright on a throne, there's a natural (one might say UN-natural) kink in the colon, right near the exit. That's why people exert themselves to dump, when they are seated. It's hardly better than trying to defecate while standing. Or, if starting is not difficult, many people find themselves straining to finish. Nobody likes that feeling of an incomplete poo.
By contrast, when you squat the entire colon is aligned for best operation, and no effort is needed - whether to get started, or to complete the movement.
Hemorrhoids were rarely a problem when we all squatted low to the ground to shit. And it didn't matter if we were farmers who ate lots of fibre-full veggies and grains or if we were "eskimos" (Inuit and other northern people) who ate mostly meat and fat and very little vegetation. So all that nonsense that various doctors and associations have been telling you about how hemorrhoids and assorted intestinal diseases have become epidemic since our diets became "westernized" and low in fibre . . . is just that, nonsense.
Doctors have been telling us that hooey because its one of the very, very few things that they learn about nutrition during the couple of hours that they receive on the topic during their entire medical school training.
Just adopt a squatting position for defecation for a few weeks - consistently - and see if your hemorrhoid problem doesn't vanish. It'll work wa-a-a-a-ay better than eating a mess of bran.
When you don't need to shit, it takes effort to make it happen anyway. So if you avoid trying to force it when it's not ready, and if you avoid doing it from an anatomically incorrect posture, then the poop just slides out, when ready. No strain. No push. No raised blood pressure. No hemorrhoids. Also, your digestion will probably improve without frequent episodes of extreme back-pressure causing damage and mis-routing (diverticula)in your intestines. But that's for another page.
So, to sum up, there are two things that you can and should do as part of your home hemorrhoid treatment:
- stop straining (whether to start dumping, or to complete dumping), and
- stop straining to empty your bladder that's being blocked by an expanding prostate
The poop-related "stop straining" can be accomplished by keeping yourself hydrated (so your bowel contents stay hydrated), and by adopting the squat position for defecating. Most people can't find, let alone get bylaw permission to install, a real squat toilet, so the Nature's Platform is the next best thing. We've got. We've used. We enjoyed immediate and lasting success. We recommend. Highly.
The prostate-related "stop straining" can be addressed by preventing benign prostate hyperplasia, and by slowing or reducing it - see our prostate pages.
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