Our overall health should be our top priority more than ever. With all these uncertainties ahead of us because of the COVID-19 pandemic, awareness and self-care is a must.
Almost half of the U.S. workforce is working from home to keep them safe from the dangers the virus may cause them according to data gathered by MIT. Since most workers are stuck on their computers all day, some forget to stretch and take a break from time to time, and this might cause a toll on their health – most especially the most affected part from prolonged sitting, our buttocks.
Too much sitting can cause hemorrhoids and can worsen if neglected. To know more about this, here are some facts and tips you should know to prevent having them. If you would love to know more about the fun stories about hermorrhoids, click in the episode and have fun !
What is Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids or piles happen when the veins at the lowest part of your rectum and anus are swollen. Sometimes, these veins bulge and get irritated, especially when you poop. It is also due to straining on the toilet because of constipation, pregnancy, because of the extra weight, hereditary factors, and heavy manual labor.
There are two types of hemorrhoids – internal and external. Internal hemorrhoid is located inside the rectum. This type of hemorrhoid generally resolves on their own, although patients do experience discomfort because of their size. On the other hand, larger internal hemorrhoids may cause symptoms such as pain, itching, or burning.
External hemorrhoids are noticeable or palpable lumps in the anus – and that’s how to distinguish the two. Symptoms include discomfort during sitting or bowel movements, itching, burning and pain.
Who are prone to having them?
According to Weforum.org, 24% of workers who work most of their time on their computers are most likely to get a hemorrhoids. The workers include the corporate executives, financial analysts, IT employees, creatives, and writers. However, since one of the reasons people get hemorrhoids is due to prolonged sitting – even commuters and drivers are possible to have it.
Women are also more likely to get hemorrhoids while pregnant according to Medical News Today. In a study conducted by Harvard, by age 50, about half of the population has experienced one or more symptoms, which include rectal pain, itching, bleeding, and possibly prolapse (hemorrhoids that protrude through the anal canal). The likelihood of developing hemorrhoids increases as a person ages.
Hemorrhoids are diagnosed by a simple medical history and physical exam. The basic test would be looking at your bottom and putting an instrument inside your anus. A doctor may perform a digital rectal exam to check for blood in the stool. However, to check out for possible internal hemorrhoids, an examination at the anal canal is done with an anoscope, a short plastic tube inserted into the rectum with illumination. This exam will show proof if there's evidence of rectal bleeding or microscopic blood in the stool.
Home treatment for hemorrhoids
In an article released by Medical News Today, some hemorrhoids do not require treatment and will clear up on their own within a few days. Only 4% go to a doctor because of hemorrhoid problems according to OnHealth.
Sometimes, medicines and surgery are needed to treat hemorrhoids, however there are also natural ways in treating them including:
- Intake of food rich in high fiber
Foods that are rich in high fiber such as cereals, green leafy vegetables, and fruits like pineapple, are helpful in producing soft bowel motions. Avoid eating too much sweets to prevent constipation.
- Drinking plenty of water
The Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board suggests that women get 91 ounces of water each day from foods and drinks and men should get 125 ounces. This recommendation was based on the daily intake of fluid from our food.
- Astringent ointments or suppositories
Use creams, ointments, and suppositories for temporary relief. For the suppositories, they’ere mostly used two to four times per day for a week. It’s better if you insert after a bowel movement so the effect can last longer.
- Have a warm bath or sitz bath
One of the most effective relief for hemorrhoids is by soaking regularly in a warm bath or sitz bath. Soak your anal area in plain warm water for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a day. A sitz bath is a small plastic tub that fits over a toilet seat. According to Harvard Health, taking a warm bath for 20 minutes after every bowel movement will be most effective
- Witch Hazel
It is known for its anti-inflammatory property. Applying a witch hazel directly to the hemorrhoids will reduce the itching and swelling.
If the pain still doesn’t go away after applying these home remedies, visit your doctor immediately. You can also try changing your lifestyle to a healthier one – from doing a 30-minute exercise per day, simple stretches, and being mindful of what you eat.