Let’s begin with what are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are a common but painful problem that most adults and sometimes even youngsters face due to a number of reasons. Also known as Piles, these are enlarged veins or clots in the lower rectum and anus area. Hemorrhoids are of two types, based on where they are, Internal hemorrhoids, and External hemorrhoids.
Internal hemorrhoids are clots or swollen veins inside the rectum, and though they are usually not painful, they cause bleeding and discomfort while passing stool. On the other hand, External hemorrhoids are found around the anus and cause a lot of pain and itching in the area. Swelling and painful motions are also one of the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
There are numerous causes that may result in a person developing hemorrhoids, but one of the main reasons is constant and increased pressure in the lower rectum and anus region. This pressure could be because of sitting for too long, being overweight or pregnant, doing heavy-lifting often, and too much straining during bowel movements.
Whatever the reason may be, it’s a fact that hemorrhoids, though easily treatable, cause a lot of discomfort and might be outright painful a lot of times. They cause disruption in our day-to-day activities, and if one is not cautious or is too careless regarding them, hemorrhoids can just as easily turn into a major problem.
Then what can we really do? A lot, actually.
As long as we take the initiative to tackle the problem, we can do a lot to either prevent hemorrhoids or minimize the damage if the condition already exists. Don’t do anything that may aggravate the already swollen veins, and that includes – sitting for long hours.
Table of Contents
- How Should I Sit With Hemorrhoids?
- Is it Bad to Sit With Hemorrhoids?
- Is Sitting or Standing Worse for Hemorrhoids?
- Common Mistakes that Can Worsen Your Hemorrhoids
- What to Eat if You Have Hemorrhoids?
- What Shrinks Hemorrhoids Fast?
How Should I Sit With Hemorrhoids?
Let’s start with the most ‘pressing’ issue first… how to sit with hemorrhoids. In an era where desk work has taken precedence over fieldwork, we can’t really avoid sitting while working for hours upon hours per day. But this also aggravates our body and leads to a number of problems, swollen veins in nether regions being just one of the many.
Though this might seem like a major issue, it can actually be resolved by following just a few simple tips, such as:
1. Soft vs. Hard
Normally, people are advised to sit on firm chairs to avoid back pain, but when it comes to hemorrhoids, it’s better to go for a chair with soft padding. Because the main reason for a flare-up of hemorrhoids is the increased pressure on the lower rectum area, and firm chairs would just put more pressure on it while giving less room to breathe and cause pain.
By using the chairs that have a soft padding, the pressure on the area is reduced by quite a lot, and it hurts much less. If you can’t get a hold of any chairs with soft padding while working, you can even put a cushion on your regular chair and use it for sitting instead. The cushion would lessen the pressure and the discomfort while saving you a lot of trouble.
In fact, these days, there are a lot of ergonomically correct cushions, like donut pillows, that you can use for a more comfortable and less painful working experience, if you suffer from hemorrhoids. These cushions and pillows can be easily carried with you too, and that makes it a lot easier.
But make sure to buy the right cushion! Not all cushions and pillows will be helpful, and some might even aggravate your condition. For example, rubber ring cushions actually increase the pressure instead of relieving it, and their prolonged use might cause pain and swelling. So invest in the right cushion and if you feel even a little discomfort, change the existing one.
2. Elevate Your Legs…
Elevating your legs while sitting is good for you in more ways than one. When it comes to hemorrhoids, it’s all about decreasing the pressure your lower rectum is put under while sitting for long hours. Elevating your legs a bit, with the help of a footstool or any other tool you might find, does exactly this. It reduces the pressure on your hips and makes it a bit more comfortable for you to sit and work.
3. …Or Your Thighs
If it’s not possible for you to elevate your legs while sitting, or it is inconvenient, you can just use a small pillow or even rolled-up towel to place under your thighs and slightly elevate them. This way too, you can relieve some of the pressure from your anal region and avoid the hemorrhoid from being aggravated.
4. Take a Walk
Prolonged sitting increases the risk of getting hemorrhoids because it puts constant pressure on the lower rectum and anus area, causing the blood to accumulate and form clots. If you don’t have hemorrhoids, this may become a trigger, and if you already suffer from it, this may aggravate it even more.
So don’t sit for a prolonged period of time, and whenever possible, take a break from work and go for a short walk, just move around a bit. A short five to ten minute walk and light exercise for every thirty minutes of sitting is exactly right. It takes away the fatigue, gets the circulation going, and helps relax muscles and relieve the pressure off them.
So not just sitting on a chair, but the way you sit on the floor and even the toilet can play a decisive role in your battle against hemorrhoids. Remember that straining during bowel movements can also turn out to be the cause of hemorrhoids, as it also puts pressure on the surrounding veins, making them swell up or enlarge and causing blood pockets to form.
What you can do to counter it is, use a squatting position on the toilet as opposed to the normal sitting position. Squatting not only relieves the pressure on the lower rectum region but also facilitates bowel movement, and you don’t need to strain yourself and your muscles too much. While the normal sitting position is not conducive to bowel movements at all, it not only fails to relieve the pressure on the lower rectum caused by strain but worsens it even more.
Is it Bad to Sit With Hemorrhoids?
What’s bad for hemorrhoids is not exactly sitting, but sitting for a long period of time without moving much. As we already know, it’s the increased pressure on the lower rectum and anus region that causes hemorrhoids. And what does sitting for a long time do? It puts pressure on the lower rectum and anus region.
This is why long hours at the desk, working away without much exercise is one of the main reasons behind the spike of hemorrhoid cases in the past decade or so. Even children and youngsters are increasingly facing this problem because of hours upon hours spent sitting on the hard classroom benches and on study tables at home.
But it is not exactly unavoidable. Adults still need to go to work, and kids still need to study, though who says that we cannot fulfill our responsibilities and also lessen the threat of hemorrhoids at the same time? There are just a few things which we need to pay attention to in order to battle hemorrhoids. And to tell you about these tips and tricks is what I am here for!
Is Sitting or Standing Worse for Hemorrhoids?
While sitting for prolonged periods increases the pressure on the lower rectum region, standing relieves it, giving the muscles the space to relax and cool down. So standing is not at all bad. As a matter of fact, the more you move around, the better your circulation is, and good circulation means lesser chances of veins bulging and blood clots forming.
And not just standing and moving around, exercises that don’t involve heavy lifting and focus on movement and muscles more are a good way to deal with the annoyance of hemorrhoids. Dancing too, as it involves movements that involve the entire body, giving it a good, but not heavy, exercise and improving the blood circulation and consumption of oxygen in the body.
Common Mistakes that Can Worsen Your Hemorrhoids
There are many things that can trigger hemorrhoids, but these are some of the common mistakes that are the causes for many people. These things are a part of many people’s lifestyles, which need to be changed for better health anyway.
1. Sitting for Long Hours
With a lack of physical activity, sitting for long periods, either at your desk working or watching TV, can put a lot of pressure on the veins of the anal region, especially if your weight is on the heavier side.
2. Doing Daily Heavy Lifting
If your work involves a lot of heavy lifting, or if you tend to push yourself in the gym, overdoing it can put pressure on your external haemorrhoids.
3. Poor Hygiene
With high levels of heat and humidity, the itching that you might experience in your genital and anal area can worsen. It is crucial to keep your body clean by taking daily showers.
4. Stress and Anxiety
Having a stressful life can lead to anxiety. When people are distressed, they tighten their sphincter muscle and put pressure on the rectum. This can cause digestive problems and can flare up the hemorrhoids.
5. Using Your Phone While on the Toilet
Using your phone when sitting on the toilet seat can quickly make you lose track of time, and you might end up sitting more than 15 minutes on the pot. This can put a lot of pressure on the blood vessels and lead to anal skin tags and bleeding.
What to Eat if You Have Hemorrhoids?
Doctors recommend eating food that is high in fiber. Eating high fiber food along with drinking lots of water will make your stools softer and easy to pass. The fiber too are of two types, soluble and insoluble; and eating them in proper proportion is recommended. The soluble fiber gets dissolved with water in the digestive process, while the insoluble fiber keeps things moving through the digestive tracts.
Many fiber-rich foods like beans, lentils, and nuts are flavorful, and half a cup of these can add up to 8 grams of fiber to your meal. When it comes to fiber, you won’t be running out of options any sooner, with whole-grain bread that is low in fat and high in fiber or the regular oatmeal that is packed with vitamins and minerals. Adding dark leafy vegetables like spinach can easily make your salads rich in fiber.
Having low fiber food can cause constipation problems and can lead to hemorrhoids. Try and avoid dairy products like milk, cheese, and completely avoid processed food and fast food if you don’t want your hemorrhoids to worsen.
What Shrinks Hemorrhoids Fast?
We know what is a hemorrhoid and what aggravates the hemorrhoids and the tips on how not to aggravate them. So now, we are going to take a look at how to actually actively become better when suffering from hemorrhoid pain. Here is a list of a few really simple things that you can do that causes hemorrhoids to disappear:
1. Maintain Proper Hygiene
The first thing to keep in mind is hygiene. As long as the conditions are hygienic, it is easy to get better from most ailments. In the case of hemorrhoids, you can maintain hygiene by:
- Keeping your anus dry and clean.
- Using wet wipes and soft toilet paper, instead of coarse and dry toilet paper, to clean up the place. But the wet wipes you choose to use should not be scented, or they will irritate the flesh more.
- Regularly and properly clean the area with warm water and dry it off properly.
- If you sweat a lot or live somewhere hot and humid, make sure to wear cotton underwear and change it as soon as it gets sweaty, because sweat, if rolled down, can actually irritate the area more.
2. Take a Sitz Bath
You can also try using a sitz bath. It is a warm and shallow bath in which you can sit with your buttocks in the warm water. This method is really effective in not only keeping the area clean but also reducing the swelling, itching, and any pain you might be experiencing.
3. Wear Breathable Clothing
Wear breathable clothing, so your muscles don’t heat up too much, or it will result in discomfort and aggravation of the already sensitive area. Keep it cool.
4. Stay Hydrated
Stay hydrated as drinking adequate amounts of water can help in making the bowel motions easier; thus, you can prevent putting a strain on the lower rectum.
5. Take Care of Your Diet
A slight change in diet can also help you a lot. Include food with more fiber, like green vegetables, and eat them more often. Fiber aids digestion and makes it easier for your bowels. If a diet change is not possible, or you don’t have the time to cook your own food, you can buy some fiber supplements instead to make for it.
6. Don’t Hold it in
One of the many causes of hemorrhoids can be chronic diarrhea and constipation that didn’t clear up properly. For this, what you can do is not hold in. Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge instead of waiting for it to go away.
Doing it when you actually need to will work a lot better than spending hours in the toilet later, trying to pass out a hardened stool. It is straining on the muscles and will aggravate the hemorrhoids further.
7. Use Squatting Toilet
Use squatting toilets as they aid the proper bowel movement making it easier for your muscles. Squatting position is the best sitting position for hemorrhoids on the toilet.
8. Don’t Use Your Phones Sitting on the Toilet
Don’t use phones or tablets while in the toilet as they distract you and you inevitably stay there far longer than you should ideally have. Remember, the more time you spend in the toilet, the worse your hemorrhoids could get, as constantly straining muscles is never good. They have a limit too, so finish your job quickly and give them a rest.
9. Do Not Scratch the Itch
One of the symptoms of hemorrhoids is constant itching in the area, but if you give in to the itch and actually use your nails to scratch it, it will just aggravate the hemorrhoids more. So even if it itches bad, don’t scratch it and instead ask the doctor for a cooling gel.
Follow these short and simple steps, along with taking your prescribed medicine and exercising well, and before you know it, the hemorrhoids would actually get better.
Hemorrhoids are painful and can cause great discomfort, but you can do a lot to counter it. Exercise, walk, eat, and drink right, in addition to paying close attention when you need to work and sit for a prolonged period. Use chairs with softer padding or at least a cushion to relieve the pressure off your anal muscles and elevate your legs, or thighs, for proper circulation and pressure relief.
These actions may seem small, but their effect is actually important. So if you want to be comfortable while going on with your daily life, you need to pay attention to details and not let your lower rectum suffer. Know the best sitting position for hemorrhoids, especially if your job entails long hours of sitting.