I developed hemorrhoids when I was in my 20s. Occasional flare-ups occur when my stress levels are high and I eat too much junk food and too little fiber. After a few days of eating right, drinking lots of water and exercising more, symptoms disappear.
In May 2009, I moved from my home of 19 years into a condo. I did a lot of renovation work and I love my new place. But even good stress can cause problems. In October, I had a severe flare-up of hemorrhoids. Only this time, nothing helped. Finally I got prescription ointment and suppositories, and the bleeding stopped and pain subsided. Within days, it started again and got worse.
I did some research on the internet. There is a lot of good medical information and advice out there. I found one site that was loaded with helpful yet hilarious advice. Check out 001yourtranslationservice.com and follow the links to his natural hemorrhoids treatment page.
I experimented with herbal supplements, took sitz baths, ate bran, psyllium fiber and fruits and veggies, drank even more water and started exercising regularly. Everything helped a little but nothing stopped the pain or cured the condition.
Terrified at the prospect of surgery, refusing to spend hundreds of dollars on so-called miracle cures, I dug deeper in researching subjects like constipation, colon health, and digestion. Did you know that:
– Eating lots of fiber relieves constipation,but not drinking enough water causes it
– Eating regularly (same times daily) keeps you digesting and eliminating regularly
– Chewing your food to near-liquid consistency delights your intestines by making digestion easier (no more belching and bloating)
– Enzymes for digesting food are activated when you chew
– Food is digested in the order that it’s eaten
– Eating easy-to-digest foods kick starts the digestive process (start with water or juice, then soup, salad, vegetables etc.)
– Drinking before your meal is good. If you must drink with your meal, then sip warm water with fresh lemon juice
– Our digestive system has to work harder to digest certain food combinations – the worst is meat plus potatoes, rice, pasta or bread. It’s better to eat meat with vegetables, or, pasta, potatoes or other starches with vegetables
– Fruit should be eaten on its own – at least 1 hour before a meal or two hours after – it digests quickly and can interfere with the digestion of other foods
– Dairy foods should be avoided as they can cause constipation, which aggravates hemorrhoids
– Caffeine, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, fried and processed foods do the same
– Exercise is crucial for good digestion – if your body moves so does your digestive system, and it ‘s OK to walk after a meal; in fact, it helps.
One website provided the key that unlocked the door to my own permanent recovery. On puristat.com, I discovered their colon cleanse detox diet. It is a very easy-to-follow eating plan. The basics are as follows:
1. Eat only fruit until noon. Any kind, as much as you want, but only fruit
2. Do not combine starches with proteins during any meal
3. Do not eat anything for two-three hours before bedtime
4. Drink half your body weight in ounces daily (eg., A 150 lb person would drink 75 ounces or 9-10 glasses) preferably purified water but green teas, juices and warm water are good too.
That’s it. The website also provides 10 Tips to Ease Digestion that are easy to follow and make good sense.
In addition to changing what, how and when I eat, I make it a point to be more active. I go for a 20-30 minute walk after lunch. I work out three times per week in my condo gym – cardio on the elliptical machine, stretching, free weights, core-strengthening exercises and more stretching. That is my basic routine.
When weather permits, I take longer walks, exploring my neighbourhood or walking in a nearby riverside park. I take the stairs when I can, I walk around the office, I get off the bus a couple of stops early and walk home. Little changes add up to big gains.
I lost over 15 pounds in 3 months and I’ve whittled 3 inches off my waistline, simply by losing fat and building muscle tone. I’m stronger and more fit; I look good and I feel great. To quote the Billy Crystal character from Saturday Night Live, “When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you look mahvelous!”
I’m basically a couch potato. I work full-time in the corporate world, and do freelance writing and editing. My favourite hobbies are reading and watching movies or TV. But if I can do it – change my eating habits, exercise more, banish hemorrhoid pain and get fit, strong and sexy – then so can you!