By Cheryl L Bascom, M.D. and Michael D. Canty, M.D.
Tri-State Digestive Disease Associates, P.S.C.
Hemorrhoids are an all too common problem for many people. Indeed, whether you are young or old, a man or a woman, you could easily suffer from this irritating ailment. Although hemorrhoids are not usually medical emergencies, they can disrupt your life and cause you a lot of discomfort and even some pain. Luckily, there are strategies that can reduce the occurrence of hemorrhoids; one of the easiest of these is keeping hydrated.
Hydration and Metabolism
When you keep your body properly hydrated, its metabolism can operate at peak performance. In doing so, all of your bodily functions and various systems work their absolute best. When it comes to hemorrhoids, this is critical. When your circulatory system is functioning well, the chances of the veins near the rectum and anus of experiencing great pressure is dramatically reduced. Keeping well hydrated will allow your circulation to plug along to its maximum effect.
If your body becomes dehydrated, your metabolism takes a seriously beating. A slow metabolism can impair your body’s ability to circulate blood efficiently and effectively. Hemorrhoids occur when the veins near your rectum and anus experience increased pressure. This increased pressure is much likelier to happen when your circulation is not working up to speed. Fortunately, you can help give your metabolism a boost by keeping sufficiently hydrated; this way, you may be able to eliminate existing hemorrhoids, or avoid getting them altogether.
Dehydration, Constipation and Hemorrhoids
When the veins beneath the skin around the outside of the anus swell up due to increased pressure, the result is external piles. These are usually much more obvious than internal piles. External hemorrhoids can be easily felt, since they are located on the outside of the rectum. People experience much more pain and discomfort when they have external piles.
Constipation is one of the most common causes of hemorrhoids. When you are constipated, you are more likely to strain harder in order to try and produce a bowel movement. You will often run to the toilet repeatedly, straining and pushing a great deal. This straining and pushing drastically increases the pressure on the sensitive veins near your anus and rectum, causing them to swell and form into hemorrhoids.
Keeping your body properly hydrated is an effective way of warding off constipation. A body that is well hydrated is far less likely to become constipated. Drinking plenty of water and other fluids keeps your body working in peak condition, and allows you to avoid the hemorrhoid causing condition of constipation. If you frequently suffer from constipation – and, as a result, hemorrhoids – take a look at how hydrated you are staying. Chances are that your body is not receiving adequate hydration. Resolving this issue can help prevent the recurrence of constipation, and hemorrhoids.
Keeping Properly Hydrated to Prevent Hemorrhoids
Indeed, hydration is essential to avoiding and preventing hemorrhoids. A good rule of thumb is to aim to drink six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day. If you frequently forget to do so, make a habit of keeping a twenty ounce bottle of water with you throughout the day. A good strategy is to fill three twenty-ounce bottles with water each morning; make sure they are all empty by the end of the day. This way, you will know that you have consumed your quota of water.
Make staying hydrated a priority in your life. It not only helps you prevent hemorrhoids, but it is vital to overall good health. People who suffer from hemorrhoids frequently often have recurrence significantly reduced when they begin maintaining proper hydration.
Hemorrhoids and Blood in the Stool
One of the most alarming things that a person can experience when using the bathroom is the discovery of blood in their stool. People who have never experienced this before often panic when they see the red blood after having a bowel movement. Many times, it is not accompanied by any sort of pain, so it can be very puzzling too. However, the most common cause of blood in the stool is a relatively benign one: hemorrhoids.
When you notice blood in your stool, floating in the toilet bowl, on your toilet paper or on the toilet seat, note its overall color. Darker reds signify a source deeper within the gastrointestinal tract and might be a bigger cause for concern. More likely, though, the blood is bright red in color. Brighter red blood signifies a source closer to the end of the tract, and that usually means the anus or the rectum.
Although blood in the stool usually signifies hemorrhoids, it may rarely signify something more serious. If you notice a sudden increase in blood, call your doctor. Also, if the blood is quite dark in color – sometimes even black and tarry – this might be the sign of something more serious, and a visit to your physician is probably in order. Any time you feel concern about blood in your stool, consult with a medical professional.
Tri-State Digestive Disease Associates, P.S.C.
617 23rd Street, Suite 11
Ashland, KY 41101