Natural Hemorrhoid Relief... Let's Talk About It!
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I am 100% not a doctor. Always consult with your physician with your ailments. It is estimated that about 1/20 Americans are affected by hemorrhoids at one point in their life. I wanted to write this because I scoured the internet to find things that might help and didn’t find much. There were days when I cried and cried because of the discomfort and pain. I tried pretty much everything. Here’s what worked for me. Feel better!
I truly don’t even know where to begin with this, because there’s so much I have to say. I don’t really stay away from taboo topics. To be honest though, some of the “taboo” topics I have covered aren’t reaaaaaally taboo. Periods, menstrual cups, period underwear… they are all REAL LIFE people. I would love it if I could just sit back and talk about fashion. It is so much easier and takes way less time, but alas, that’s not what truly makes me happy anymore. I love helping people and no matter how * uncomfortable * it is, I’m going to do it. (* pun intended *)
I think I got my first hemorrhoid at 24. I could describe the pain/sensation to you, buuuut chances are if you’re reading this, then you already know. It came and went and I didn’t think much of it. Then last summer (when I was 26, about to turn 27) they came back with a vengeance. Like BAD. PLURAL. I’d say just in the last month or two I got them under control. Yes that’s almost a year of issues! (Side note: like I mentioned above, see your doctor. I did have my doctor look at them. Will go over that later.)
I also want to preface this with the fact that pooping has never been easy for me. (what a weird thing to tell the whole world!!) I was always in awe of people who could go in under 15 minutes, let alone under 5 minutes. They seemed like magicians! ALSO I never knew there was an issue if you didn’t go every day… that just wasn’t my normal. I started following Dr. Jolene Brighten last year and took one of her e-courses earlier this year. One of the (many) things I learned was that it is imperative that you poop every day, otherwise your body starts to re-absorb estrogen that it is trying to get rid of. What?! I mean it makes sense, I just had no idea.
ALSO did you know that as a woman you are more prone to be constipated in the last half of your cycle? I thought it was just some weird thing and only me, but it isn’t!! During your follicular phase (begins on the first day of menstruation and ends with ovulation – I remember it because it is FIRST and follicular starts with “F”), it is easier for your body to poop because everything is loose. During the luteal phase (begins after ovulation and ends with menstruation – I remember it because it is LAST and “luteal” starts with “L”) your body tightens up. All in layman’s terms of course;) I know I took biology and learned about cells, but I truly think we are lacking knowledge about our own bodies and how they work, but that’s another topic for another day.
Another note… there are internal (prolapsed) and external hemorrhoids. I personally have internal ones, so if yours are external, what worked for me may or may not work for you. I wish I could pinpoint what caused mine or what specifically helped, but it wasn’t an overnight miracle and there were a lot of variables. Last year was an extremely trying and stressful year for us – that certainly didn’t help the situation. I accidentally (meaning I forgot to order more) stopped taking my probiotic, apple cider vinegar, multivitamin, and magnesium supplements. I also stopped exercising as regularly as I once had. SO MANY THINGS. I digress. Let’s get into what did and didn’t work.
If you have ever searched for help with hemorrhoids a lot of the same things come up and none of them really worked for me. Here’s what DIDN’T work for me:
Preparation H – This is a short-term solution. Provides relief but won’t make them disappear.
Procort – My doctor gave me a sample of this and a scrip I could fill if I liked it, but I never did. It’s very expensive, only a short term solution and I would honestly rather use Preparation H.
Witch Hazel – I dabbed this down there and it didn’t do anything.
Celery Juice – I really wanted this to work. I had heard great things about drinking a glass of it every morning on an empty stomach. During my follicular phase I would go within an hour of drinking it. During my luteal phase, it didn’t help at all, so I stopped. It’s not an expensive habit, but it is really annoying to juice a whole stalk of celery and clean a juicer. I didn’t mind the flavor at all (make sure you buy organic) and enjoyed it. This is something I would consider doing every now and then, but not every day. I tried it for 2 full cycles.
Cold Packs – This was ok. It kind of numbed the area, but I don’t think it reduced swelling. Additionally it is kind of uncomfortable in and of itself.
Now to the good stuff. Here’s what I think DID work for me. Again, I can’t pinpoint one thing, but a lot of little things that helped along with way to help me manage my hemorrhoids.
Squatty Potty - I have been using this for almost 2 years now. It’s super helpful, but only in a sense of proper posture. If you’re constipated and/or have a hemorrhoid, it won’t help. It’s more of a preventative measure. I highly recommend!! First learned about them on Shark Tank. Side note: They make for great white elephant gifts! Funny AND useful!
Listen to your body - This sounds really silly, but I guess I never listened to my body about when to go. Once you get in sync with your body, you kind of know when it is normal to go. I saw Ali Wong’s latest comedy bit on her tour Milk and Money and she actually talked about poop. How men just go whenever and women kind of get side tracked and don’t make time for it, then it becomes a problem! #SOTRUE Once your body is giving you signals, you need to try and go as soon as possible, or it will harden and turn into a big problem. Again, feels so silly to type this out because it’s like common sense, but I didn’t start doing this until recently. ALSO something to keep in mind is that hemorrhoids can sometimes make you feel like you need to go, when really you don’t. Do not just push and wait for it to happen… try to wait until your body is telling you and let gravity do its work!
Probiotic – Like I mentioned earlier, I accidentally stopped taking mine and I don’t think that helped my situation. I take Ora Organic every morning and really like it. I did a whole blog post on it here. I also take their turmeric supplement every night and that is a known anti-inflammatory!
Magnesium — I first started taking a magnesium supplement around December 2017 to try and alleviate headaches. Like I mentioned earlier, I ran out and forgot to order more. I was listening to Dr. Jolene Brighton one day and she mentioned that she usually bumps up her patients magnesium intake the week or two before their period. This not only decreases cramps and pains, but also “loosens” you up at a time when you typically aren’t!!
Vitamin — I added back in a multivitamin that was actually good for me. I’ll do a post on vitamins later, but these were more of what I needed and although more expensive than ol’ Fred Flinstone, they are actually on the cheaper end of the good vitamin spectrum. I actually first featured them here!
Apple Cider Vinegar – I used to drink this in tea every day and stopped because it wasn’t enjoyable. I added this back, but in shot form. I pour about half a shot glass full and fill the rest with warm water and top with cayenne pepper. It is a natural probiotic and I do think it helps me go! I prefer this over celery juice and find that is less messy and works throughout my whole cycle. PLUS I truly think it helps me combat against sinus infections. Read my post on how I have prevented sinus infections here.
Lemon Water – Lemon water is a natural detoxifier. When you poop, you are actually detoxing your body! I try to drink at least one mug every morning.! I just squeeze lemon juice and drop a couple lemons in a warm water. Lemons are filled with vitamin c which attracts water. When you drink lemon water, you are pulling water into the gut, which can help soften your poop and even stimulate you to go!
Bone Broth - I think for me hemorrhoids were a result of bad gut health. An easy way to help combat that is with bone broth! It is a natural way to consume rich nutrients, which I wrote all about here.
Fibrous Foods - Food really is medicine! I try to incorporate fiber rich foods like broccoli, pears, legumes, bananas, avocados and brussels sprouts on a frequent basis! I also seed cycle (will write about this soon!). Seeds are full of fiber and super easy to incorporate. Seed cycling uses pumpkin, flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds. Whenever I’m feeling bloated I like to grab a handful of fennel seeds and they work like a charm. I also have some of this cookie dough pre-made in the freezer, so I can bake some whenever I need them! I call them poop cookies. (LOL) I also like kombucha and think it helps with going number 2, but don’t drink that daily, just because most on the market have a ton of sugar. I probably divide one bottle of Health-Ade into 4 servings. ALSO. Let it be known that I eat meat! One of my favorite things to eat for lunch has been a hamburger patty w/ a salad. Red meat can actually cause constipation, so I’ve been limiting that as well. Veggies for the win!
Dry Brushing - i’ve been dry brushing for almost a year now and one of the ways I use it is over my stomach to help with digestion! Dry brushing is great for detoxing and lymphatic drainage among other things which I wrote about here.
Tracking — I know it sounds weird, but I started tracking (and still do) if I go daily. It’s a really easy way to become aware of your body!
Exercise — Remaining active literally keeps your body moving. When I ran all the time, it definitely kept me regular, but moving your body at all is super helpful. For a large chunk of last year, I wasn’t as active as I had been and making sure I exercise at least 3 times a week has been a game changer. Obviously not new information, but something I wasn’t making a priority.
Stretching — This goes hand in hand with exercise, but there are specific stretches you can do to help you when you’re constipated / need help with digestion and/or just need to poop! I literally just search for them on YouTube as needed.
Poop Button — I accidentally found this when searching for stretches. Can’t tell you if it was all a mental thing or what, but it has worked for me several times!! Press hard on your stomach, 3 finger widths below your bellybutton, for about 60 seconds. It has worked almost immediately, but has also worked within an hour two. Call my crazy, but I have been so desperate to go at times and this seemed to help.
Thongs — I threw them all away!! Well I kept a few for certain outfits, but for the most part I don’t wear them anymore. Also who decided VPL wasn’t acceptable, because I simple do not care anymore! They definitely did not help the uncomfortable nature of hemorrhoids,!
Warm Water — If you look them up online, sitz baths are “recommended” 2-3 times a day when hemorrhoids are an issue, but how is that attainable when you have a corporate 9-5?! While I did do these a time or two, the easiest way for me to soothe the area was just let the shower water run on it for a couple of minutes during each one I take!
Blot — Don’t wipe hard! In fact, wet wipes work amazing for this! I make my own using this recipe. I wrote all about the ingredient they mention here. The ones you can buy are usually loaded with fragrance and chemicals, so steer clear of those.
Prayer — I cried out for healing day in and day out. One bible verse I clung to (and still do!) is Hebrews 12:12-14. It reads “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will se the Lord.”
SO. What are your tips? Anything that help you that I missed?! Let me know!! Let the people know!!
P.S. Like I mentioned above, I’m not a doctor. Go see your doctor! If your doctor has checked them out and nothing is working still, this list is a great place to start. Hopefully these tips will help and your hemorrhoids will either completely go away or simply become manageable like mine. Good luck!
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