Hi, just joined the forum. This is the first time I've ever posted on a forum about this, and I feel like it will be good to get this out of my system as well as share some information with people who are having the same annoying problem...
If you have digestive problems, especially constipation, try squatting on your toilet seat. Humans have evolved to squat in the bushes to eliminate waste, and squatting gives your colon the most straight and easy path to elimination. Take your shoes off, place your feet on the toilet seat, squat and BREATHE and it will all come naturally. If you don't have to go, then don't force yourself to go. And if you aren't hungry, don't eat. Try to recognize the difference between food cravings and legitimate hunger-food cravings will lead to overeating and that excess food might get stuck in your intestines. If you're not breathing, you're straining your sphincter and only making things worse. Public toilets in developed modern countries such as China still have squat holes, because the Chinese understand that sitting on a toilet seat is not the natural way to eliminate. Also, the longer you sit on the toilet seat the more the blood will pool into that area. Now that i've started squatting, I spend about an average of 1-2 minutes on the toilet, compared to something like 5-10 before when I was sitting. America has the highest rate of hemorrhoids in the world, and it makes sense when you factor in our eating habits, lack of exercise and toilet sitting that we are so used to.
I was advised to add more fiber to my diet, and I proceeded to make a huge mistake-I added a few big tablespoons of "hemp protein powder" to my shakes every morning. I overdid the fiber, and didn't supplement this with enough water, which is VERY IMPORTANT IF YOU INCREASE FIBER, and it lead to constipation. Also adding all the extra fiber to my diet in the form of supplements made me extremely gassy, which irritated the hemorrhoids further. Try to slowly add fiber to your diet, and simultaneously increase water intake.
I first noticed itching when I was about 16 years old. I was riding a bike regularly, lifting weights and not eating a proper diet AT ALL.
My parents tried to scold me on the diet and lifestyle but I kept on doing what everyone else did, eating junk food and sleeping in as late as possible.
Needless to say, that caught up with me. By the time I left for college, I had bleeding external hemorrhoids. It was only occasional, and I didn't heed any attention to it as it didn't cause too much discomfort yet. I was smoking pot, drinking, eating very spicy food and my only form of exercise was sporadic skateboarding, which wasn't enough-basically I was living it up as a college freshman. Soon the problem got worse, and I got to stage 3-the biggest 'roid would prolapse after a bowel movement, but retract soon after. I decided to try some chinese herbs, but I didn't make any of the lifestyle changes I should have made and so it didn't help at all.
Flash forward a few years later, and I decided I would finally do something about this little problem that was always in the back of my mind. I knew something was wrong and even though it didn't cause me a whole lot of pain and discomfort, I needed to fix it. I decided to go with the "non invasive, painless" procedure known as infrared coagulation. Not only was this INVASIVE but the anoscopy was extremely painful ,probably due to swelling in the area. The doctor said I had "huge hemorrhoids" and that he could help. I came back for four visits, and let me tell you the procedure is painful and all I got from it was more bleeding after my BMs. It didn't seem to help me at all. The doctor said that after examining me, my hemorrhoids had gotten smaller-but I was in more discomfort than ever. I asked them for some kind of sedation or painkiller for the procedures, but they declined. I would always leave the operating table with a pool of sweat on the paper. It was uncomfortable, excruciating and nauseating. Don't fall for the marketing, this procedure might cure minor cases but did not help me and my chronic case.
After infrared coagulation, all of the sudden my hemorrhoid that used to prolapse and go back in became a permanent external one. It would not go back in no matter how much I tried to push it back. This is known as stage 4 hemorrhoids, and is very hard to reverse. Along with this came thrombosis: a blood clot inside the hemorrhoid. I knew as soon as it happened, because I was going about my day when all of the sudden I had a terrible sharp, shooting pain right where the sun don't shine. It got worse and worse, and I had to take a taxi home. Very hot baths were the only thing that made it feel better.
A few months later, I've gotten my nasty stage 4 hemorrhoid back to internal status, but it took a lot of time and change. I eliminated dairy, fast food, beef, coffee, raw veggies and nuts (only cooked or steamed veggies) and cut down on my alcohol intake. I've also started doing yoga, and a couple positions such as the plough and shoulder stand are good at reversing the blood pressure on the veins.
It's very hard to go cold turkey for someone who drinks coffee and alcohol even occasionally, and I'm still working on this. I have a fiber-rich diet, but I always make sure I'm sipping water all day long-not chugging it, that will only fill your bladder up. Just sip it regularly to stay hydrated and get better H2O absorption. My breakfast is usually a smoothie made with blueberries (antioxidants and vitamins to help rebuild your veins), bananas , rice milk, and soy yogurt. Sometimes I will eat bread and/or hot cereal although be mindful that wheat can cause gas in some people and I've noticed that the more gas, the more irritation. That's why I've eliminated gluten from my diet.
Anyways, the diet is crucial. Spicy food will make it burn and irritated, so try to cut that out. If you're a big meat-eater, salmon and chicken are beneficial to hemorrhoids but most other meats are bad news since they contain no fiber, and digest slowly. Staying active is also important. If you add a walking route on the way home from your car or public transit, you will probably have a BM as soon as you get home. If you have a problem with constant bleeding, the more greens you eat the better. Try not to sit or stand for more than an hour-if it gets as bad as it did for me, even an hour of sitting on a hard surface (commuting on a train or bus or even your car) can make it itchy and irritated for the rest of the day. Preparation H helps a lot with the itching. When I had a bad swollen external hemorrhoid, I would lie on my back and soak a cotton ball full of Apple Cider Vinegar to the area, then lay on my side for an hour or so with the cotton ball sitting in between my butt cheeks, to absorb the vinegar into the skin. I can't tell you how fast this worked for the swelling, it went down immediately!
I went through a period recently where I would itch horribly all day long, especially after a BM. I was afraid of over-using Preparation H since it contains steroids, but if you're really uncomfortable then just use it. If you're in a healing stage or beginning stage they might itch a whole lot. I'm at the point now where I have slight burning/irritation about 10 minutes after a bowel movement, but if I try to relax the muscles it's barely noticeable. Once you have an external hemorrhoid, cleaning can become tedious. I try to shower after my BMs. Always wet your toilet paper and try not to wipe too aggresively. I like to wet cotton balls with water, then dab them instead of wiping:this prevents irritation. After you're done wiping, try to use a dry piece of TP or cotton ball to dry the area, so it doesn't get more irritated from the excess moisture.
Good luck, and take care of yourselves.