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Naturopathic Approach to Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids, no one likes to talk about them, but most people are going to suffer from them at some point; the dreaded Hemorrhoids. Over the years, I have had many patients with chronic and recurring hemorrhoids who are looking for some natural, long lasting relief. Here are some of the facts about hemorrhoids and some natural approaches to help reduce them. What are they? Hemorrhoids are basically varicose veins, but they occur in a particularly unpleasant spot. They can happen more often when there is an increase in pressure on the veins, like during pregnancy or with weight gain. They are also more common in cases of chronic constipation, which puts extra pressure on these veins, causing them to swell and become uncomfortable. Symptoms can include itching, bleeding, pain and pressure. In most cases the symptoms are moderately uncomfortable and inconvenient, but more severe cases can be very painful. Treatment While severe cases of hemorrhoids may require surgery, most cases are not severe and can be treated with a combination of diet, lifestyle and natural medicines. Key recommendations that I make include Maintain adequate fibre and fluid intake. This helps to prevent constipation that can aggravate hemorrhoids. Regular physical activity also helps to keep the bowels regular and supports healthy circulation and body weight. Natural medicines that may be helpful It is best to consult directly with a naturopathic doctor for guidance on which supplements would be most appropriate for you, but here are the ones I recommend most often:Bioflavonoids – these natural plant extracts, often derived from berries or citrus fruit, support the strength of blood vessel walls and are a great addition to protocols for hemorrhoids or varicose veins. Bioflavonoids are often found in combination with vitamin C which also helps to maintain the health of blood vessels by supporting the proper formation of collagen, a key material in blood vessel walls. Pycnogenol – this pine bark extract, available in an oral supplement, has some pretty good evidence for supporting vein health. I find it useful in the treatment of hemorrhoids, varicose veins and other conditions where “weak veins