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Natural Hemorrhoid Solutions

November 9, 2011 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

Any symptom the body presents is a form of communication. When it comes to hemorrhoids, the message being sent is typically two fold. First and foremost, anyone with hemorrhoids or at risk for them, ought to address the prevalent issue of constipation. If you strain during bowel movements, you’re encouraging the veins in the anus and rectum to swell. Do this frequently enough and hemorrhoids will most likely form. A lesser known contributor to hemorrhoids is poor circulation and vascular tone. All of these concerns can be addressed naturally.

There are several evidence-based methods of reducing hemorrhoid incidence: a) Eat a diet that’s rich in fiber – a minimum of 25 grams/day; b) Become a breakfast eater. A study out of the University of Birmingham, UK determined that breakfast skippers were 7.5 times more likely to suffer from anal fissures or tears and hemorrhoids than those who ate breakfast regularly; c) Increase healthy fluid intake (herbal tea, purified water, vegetable soup, etc.). Avoiding prolonged periods of sitting and inactivity also top the list of natural interventions. In other words, get off your backside and get moving!

Some health authorities recommend synthetic stool softeners as yet another therapeutic approach. However, I would first consider a natural route such as magnesium, an essential mineral that is often deficient in the modern diet. Higher dosages of magnesium (<500 mg/dose) act as an osmotic laxative which draws moisture into the intestines and, thereby, facilitates elimination. The use of clinically validated, cultured dairy products and probiotics can, likewise, decrease constipation and straining. If hemorrhoids are already established, a few dietary supplements may help to reduce discomfort and swelling. Pycnogenol, a patented extract of pine bark, applied topically (.5% cream) and taken orally (150 mg – 300 mg/day) is documented as relieving bleeding, a common hemorrhoidal symptom. Daflon, a naturopathic medicine consisting of micronized citrus flavonoids (diosmin and hesperidin), has proven itself effective and safe in reducing heaviness, itching and pain associated with external and internal hemorrhoids. Both of these supplements are known to support healthier circulation and vascular integrity.

For those who require additional support, a topical ointment consisting of equal parts beeswax, honey and olive oil may be just the ticket. In a pilot study, this specific combination was recently shown to improve anal fissure and hemorrhoid signs without any reported side effects. Finally, it’s important to emphasize the mind-body connection. When you sit on the toilet, do your best to create a relaxed environment. Try to avoid being rushed or otherwise setting yourself up for a sort of “performance anxiety”. As surprising as this may seem, simply being relaxed and mindful of the task at hand can help tremendously.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 - Fiber for the Treatment of Hemorrhoids Complications: A Systematic (link)

Study 2 - Hemorrhoids in Pregnancy (link)

Study 3 - The Effect of Breakfast on Minor Anal Complaints: A Matched Case-(link)

Study 4 - Comparison of the Effectiveness of Polyethylene Glycol 4000 (link)

Study 5 - Probiotic Fermented Milk Containing Dietary Fiber Has Additive (link)

Study 6 - Pycnogenol® Treatment of Acute Hemorrhoidal Episodes (link)

Study 7 - Daflon for Hemorrhoids: A Prospective, Multi-Centre (link)

Study 8 - The Impact of Micronized Purified Flavonoid Fraction (link)

Study 9 - Efficacy of Daflon in the Treatment of Hemorrhoids (link)

Study 10 - The Safety and Efficacy of a Mixture of Honey, Olive Oil & Beeswax (link)

Select Probiotics Support Healthier Bowel Function

Source: Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:19 (link)

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7 Comments & Updates to “Natural Hemorrhoid Solutions”

  1. Nina K. Says:

    Hiya JP :-)

    just read a few weeks ago in a study, that kiwifruit is a wonderful fruity way to ease digestion and bowel movement :-) , green or golden keep you regular..says the study ;-)

    Be well :-) )))
    Nina K.

  2. JP Says:

    Hi, Nina.

    You are quite right. I know of at least two studies supporting the use of kiwis for constipation:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21147704

    http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/full/v13/i35/4771.htm

    Thanks for adding this information to the discussion! :)

    Be well!

    JP

  3. Iggy Dalrymple Says:

    Should the kiwi be eaten peeled or with the fuzz?

  4. JP Says:

    Iggy,

    If one doesn’t mind the taste, I’d advise eating it. The skin is a rich source of fiber and health promoting phytochemicals. However, it can also be tainted with pesticides. Therefore, washing it well and/or buying organic kiwis is advisable, IMO.

    Be well!

    JP

  5. JP Says:

    More support for the use of Pycnogenol for hemorrhoids:

    http://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/minerva-ginecologica/article.php?cod=R09Y2014N01A0077

    Minerva Ginecol. 2014 Feb;66(1):77-84.

    Pycnogenol® in postpartum symptomatic hemorrhoids.

    Belcaro G1, Gizzi G, Pellegrini L, Dugall M, Luzzi R, Corsi M, Ippolito E, Ricci A, Cesarone MR, Ledda A, Bottari A, Errichi BM.

    Aim: The aim of this registry study was to evaluate the efficacy of Pycnogenol® (Horphag Research Ltd.), a standardized extract from the French maritime pine bark, to control signs/symptoms and prevent complications associated with hemorrhoids in the months after delivery in healthy women. Methods: Women with hemorrhoids after their second pregnancy were included within the third month after pregnancy. Pycnogenol dosage was 150 mg/day for 6 months. Symptoms for 4th and 3rd degree hemorrhoids were evaluated. Results: The registry groups were comparable. For 4th degree hemorrhoids, main symptoms were reduced after 6 months in all patients, but the group using Pycnogenol in addition to standard best management showed more improvement. In patients with 3rd degree hemorrhoids, symptoms were reduced in both management groups at 6 months; with Pycnogenol the reduction in symptoms scores was significantly better. At 6 months 18/24 subjects (75%) in the Pycnogenol group were symptom-free in comparison with 14/25 (56%) in controls. In the 4th degree hemorrhoid group, 7/10 patients (70%) in the Pycnogenol group were symptom-free at 6 months in comparison with 4/11 subjects (36%) in the best management group. No significant side effects were observed. Conclusion: Pycnogenol appears to positively affect hemorrhoid signs and symptoms in the months after pregnancy.

    Be well!

    JP

  6. JP Says:

    Updated 12/13/15:

    http://chp.sagepub.com/content/20/2/132.abstract

    Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2015 Apr;20(2):132-6.

    Topical Allium ampeloprasum subsp Iranicum (Leek) extract cream in patients with symptomatic hemorrhoids: a pilot randomized and controlled clinical trial.

    Allium ampeloprasum subsp iranicum (Leek) has been traditionally used in antihemorrhoidal topical herbal formulations. This study aimed to evaluate its safety and efficacy in a pilot randomized controlled clinical trial. Twenty patients with symptomatic hemorrhoids were randomly allocated to receive the topical leek extract cream or standard antihemorrhoid cream for 3 weeks. The patients were evaluated before and after the intervention in terms of pain, defecation discomfort, bleeding severity, anal itching severity, and reported adverse events. A significant decrease was observed in the grade of bleeding severity and defecation discomfort in both the leek and antihemorrhoid cream groups after the intervention, while no significant change was observed in pain scores. There was no significant difference between the leek and antihemorrhoid cream groups with regard to mean changes in outcome measures. This pilot study showed that the topical use of leek cream can be as effective as a standard antihemorrhoid cream.

    Be well!

    JP

  7. JP Says:

    Updated 07/15/16:

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03007995.2016.1211520

    Curr Med Res Opin. 2016 Jul 12:1-20.

    Clinical Acceptability Study of Micronized Purified Flavonoid Fraction 1000 mg Tablets Versus 500 mg Tablets in Patients Suffering Acute Hemorrhoidal Disease.

    OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical acceptability of micronized purified flavonoid fraction (MPFF) 1000 mg with MPFF 500 mg tablets, administered at the same daily dose in patients suffering non-complicated acute hemorrhoids.

    BACKGROUND: MPFF is an established treatment for hemorrhoidal disease.

    METHODS: This was a double-blind, multi-centre, randomized study. Patients took either MPFF 1000 mg or 500 mg tablets for 7 days (daily dose; 3 g over 4 days followed by 2 g over 3 days). Adverse events were recorded in a patient diary. On day 7, anal pain and bleeding were assessed (visual analogue scale [VAS] and Dimitroulopoulos scale, respectively).

    RESULTS: Patients (162) were randomized to MPFF 1000 mg (79) and MPFF 500 mg (83). No serious adverse events (AEs) occurred; 10 emergent AEs were considered treatment-related (6 for MPFF 1000 mg and 4 for 500 mg). Both regimens were associated with significant reduction in anal pain (VAS);-2.37 cm MPFF 1000 mg (P < 0.001) and -2.17 cm 500 mg (P < 0.001), with a slight trend in favour of MPFF 1000 mg (mean global reduction -2.27 cm, P < 0.001). Bleeding improved significantly in both groups of patients; 56% of patients on MPFF 1000 mg versus 61% on MPFF 500 mg. Bleeding ceased after treatment in 47% patients on MPFF 1000 mg versus 54% on 500 mg.

    CONCLUSION: After 7 days of treatment with MPFF at the same daily dose, both regimens reduced anal pain and bleeding. MPFF 1000 mg had a comparable safety profile to MPFF 500 mg, with the advantage of fewer tablets.

    Be well!

    JP

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