Suffering from piles, but too embarrassed to discuss it? Piles (also are known as haemorrhoids) is an embarrassing situation that makes a person’s suffering even more complex. More than 40-50% of us will develop haemorrhoids at some point in our lives.
What are Haemorrhoids?
Haemorrhoids are protrusions or swellings of the blood vessels. It is commonly found in and around the lower part of the anus and rectum. It results when the veins around the anal region get stretched or become very irritated and cause swelling, itching bleeding and discomfort.
The severe forms of piles or haemorrhoids require surgical treatment. However, your doctor may recommend certain medications and lifestyle or dietary changes to reverse the milder forms of piles.
Below mentioned are 8 tips that can help you prevent piles.
1. Drink lots of water
Dehydration is most commonly associated with haemorrhoids. Not getting enough water within the intestines can lead to chronic constipation which in turn is a contributing factor in piles. Water is required by our digestive system to promote comfortable defecation. Drinking at least 6 -8 glasses of water can prevent constipation, limits the amount of straining and pressure applied to the anal blood vessels while using the toilet. Thus, drinking enough water can help you from getting piles.
2. Engage in physical activity
Piles are most commonly found to affect people with sedentary lifestyle habits. Doing regular exercise and physically active stimulates the blood flow throughout your whole body and near the anal region. It stimulates the abdominal organs and increases the blood flow near the congested area including the anus. Strengthening your abdominals can prevent and ease constipation which is a common cause of piles. Exercise like leg slide, pelvic floor exercise, swimming and yoga can help prevent piles from happening. If not exercise walking or jogging for at least half an hour can also help. Being active will help relieve the strain and pressure on the veins in your lower rectum and prevent haemorrhoids from flaring up.
3. Maintain a healthy body weight
Being overweight or obese is also a common cause of haemorrhoids. Heavy body weight puts extra pressure on the rectal muscles leading to piles or haemorrhoids. So, it’s important for overweight people to improve and control their weight and maintain a healthy weight range to prevent the condition from happening. A healthy weight range can be maintained by improving your diet, including exercises in your daily routine and remaining physically active.
4. Eat more fibre
Consuming a high fibre diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been known to help prevent and treat haemorrhoids. High fibre diet consists of both water-soluble and insoluble fibres. Soluble fibre foods help maintain healthy levels of gut bacteria, as they are easily fermentable in the colon and help the bacteria thrive longer. Whereas, insoluble fibres obtained from the diet helps prevent constipation by absorbing the fluid and sticking to other byproducts of digestion that are ready to be formed into the stool. Its speeds up the process of defecation by preventing gastrointestinal blockage and constipation or reduced bowel movements.
5. Avoid fast food and alcohol
Fatty and processed foods are not only empty in calories but also are considered as health hazards. Fast foods and alcohol does not contain any fibre and has very little nutrients, so if eaten on a regular basis these foods can lead to poor digestion and constipation.
Similarly, alcoholic beverages are also to be avoided as they are considered to irritate the digestive system and upset the digestive balance in your intestines. Alcohol also dehydrates you and causes constipation. Straining during bowel movements due to constipation can result in haemorrhoids. Try to limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
6. Do not strain
Sitting for long periods in the toilet should not be done while defecating. Similarly putting too much strain while passing stools can damage your anal veins and increases the risk of piles.
7. Maintain proper hygiene
In India, the temperature conditions are quite hot and humid and a perfect condition for the microbes to grow. Poor hygiene near the anal area may increase the risk of piles by causing irritation and itching. Always clean and wash your genitals thoroughly after using the toilet and keep the area clean and dry. During your periods ensure proper hygiene by using sanitary napkins specifically made for sensitive skin to avoid any rashes.
After cleaning the area, you can try using a perineal spray that can help in soothing the burning and relieving the pain. Perineal sprays are easy to use and provide compact relief on the go.
8. Avoid overuse of laxatives
Your gastroenterologist generally recommends you to take the prescribed amount of laxatives only. Overusing these laxatives may make a habit of popping up those tablets regularly even when it is not required. Try to choose natural home remedies or consume isapghula if you are still feeling constipated
Some other factors that flare-up your haemorrhoids include anxiety or stress, insomnia and holding your nature’s call for a long period. These should also be avoided in order to prevent the piles’ condition from affecting you.