Hemorrhoid pain can make everything from sitting to relieving your bowels difficult. And once you’ve experienced a flare-up, you may do just about anything to prevent another.
The swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum are very similar to varicose veins that form in your legs. They can develop on the inside of your rectum or under the skin around your anus. While lasting relief from either type may require treatment, there’s a lot you can do in your daily life to prevent or minimize the pain.
specializes in hemorrhoidal artery embolization, a minimally invasive procedure that shrinks and destroys bothersome hemorrhoids.
If you’d like to avoid recurrent hemorrhoid pain, consider the following lifestyle tips.
Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate that promotes normal digestive function. When you lack fiber, falling short of the daily recommended 25-30 grams per day, you can easily develop constipation, which is a major contributor to hemorrhoid pain. Each time you strain while attempting to pass a bowel movement, you run the risk of hemorrhoid pain or bleeding.
If you currently eat a low-fiber diet, gradually replace low-fiber starches, such as white bread, potato chips, and candy, with high-fiber foods, such as whole-grain bread, air-popped popcorn, and fresh fruit. Other valuable fiber sources include beans, lentils, avocados, and broccoli.
While healthy, unsaturated fats are important for a healthy diet, saturated and trans fats can increase inflammation and strain your digestive tract, potentially worsening hemorrhoid pain. To lower these risks, choose fish or tofu instead of red and processed meats. Meanwhile, keep deep-fried foods to a minimum.
Salty foods can also worsen hemorrhoid symptoms by increasing bloating and sensitivity. When possible, choose foods without added salt, and season your foods primarily with herbs, spices, or splashes of fruit juice.
Hydration is important for staving off constipation and inviting normal digestive function. So without enough fluid, your chances of strain that fuels hemorrhoid pain may skyrocket.
While specific fluid needs vary, you should drink enough that your urine appears pale yellow or clear, versus bright yellow (unless you take supplements that darken your urine). Many people need one-half to one ounce of fluid per day. Smart hydrating beverages and foods to consider include water, herbal teas, low-sodium broth, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
While leading a sedentary lifestyle can worsen hemorrhoid symptoms, staying appropriately active can do the opposite by improving circulation and pelvic floor strength in your body. In general, aim for about 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, jogging, or swimming, most days.
Yoga poses, pilates, and strength-training exercises that focus on your pelvic region can also help. For example, try pelvic floor contractions. Sit or lie back and contract your anal muscles as though you’re trying not to pass gas. Hold that contraction for about five seconds, relax for 10 seconds, and repeat the cycle five times. Do this exercise series once or several times per day.
To learn more about hemorrhoid pain prevention or find out if you’re a candidate for hemorrhoidal artery embolization, call our office or book an appointment with Dr. Golowa through our website today.