Hemorrhoids are unfortunately a very common anal or rectal pathology that has an all too familiar set of symptoms:
- Itchiness or irritation in the anal or rectal region
- Swelling around the anus
- General pain and irritation
- Rectal or anal bleeding
Not exactly a lovely set of problems to deal with during the dog days of summer. This is doubly unfortunate, as cases of hemorrhoids soar during the summer months of the year. In a recent survey of residents of Spain, 25% of the population suffers from hemorrhoid-related discomfort each year!
To combat this, the Surgery Group of Los Angeles would like to offer our recommendations to prevent this annoying pathology and have a hemorrhoid-free summer to remember for all the right reasons.
How are most hemorrhoids caused?
Hemorrhoids are caused when the veins of the rectum and anus dilate or become too large or expanded causing the veins to itch, hurt, and often bleed. When this happens we call this condition hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids can be caused by a variety of issues, such as the location of the veins in your anus or rectum, but the majority of hemorrhoids are caused by constipation. When the anus and rectum constantly have to exert more and more effort while defecating, this causes the veins around the anus and rectum to enlarge in order to deal with this increased workload. Which in turn causes more pain and irritation.
Why are Hemorrhoids so common during the summer?
Heat in general causes the blood vessels around the anus to widen in order to vasodilate in order to heal and cool down the sensitive areas of the anus and rectum that often overheated during the summer months. But this vasodilation or widening of the blood vessels can in turn cause itchiness and swelling.
Also at the end of the day, with summer comes new habits and changes in the diet every year. This often comes in form of increased consumption of ice cream, soda, alcohol, spicy, super salty food paired with vacations and “cheat” days that no matter what you do leads to lots of overeating in the summer times.
How do we prevent this?
So it’s simple, Summer brings changes in the diet and weather that increases the risk of suffering from hemorrhoids. So the Surgery Group of Los Angeles humbly offers these 4 tips to make your summer hemorrhoid free:
- Avoid sitting as much as you can – with increased temperatures, the groin, and anal area are already most likely overheated, and sitting increases the chance of pressure building in that region leading to an inflamed groin and anus. Throw a walk in during the evening hours and give your chair and your apartment a chance to cool down while you get some much-needed exercise
- Drink at least a liter and a half of water a day – And two liters or more if you are active or drinking adult beverages during the day. Your body is sweating so much more during the summer and if there is inadequate water to facilitate bowel movements, hemorrhoids and constipation are sure to follow
- Eat foods high in fiber to avoid constipation – If your going to eat the ice cream or drink the margarita anyway throw in some fiber to at least keep your bowels healthy. Throw in a side salad on your visit to the local gastropub. If you can’t get enough fiber normally consider psyllium husk or chia seeds as a quick supplement to your daily fiber
- Contact a hemorrhoid specialist if bleeding occurs – While most rectal bleeding is hemorrhoid related it also might be a sign of a more serious condition. If this symptom arrives it’s important to understand what exactly your body is going through.
With the right plan and proper diet and exercise, your summerly ritual of constipation and pain can be a thing of the past. If you or a loved one have further questions about hemmorhoid-related issues, speak to a medical specialist today!