Hemorrhoids are extremely common. Hemorrhoids can be located just outside of the anus or just inside the anal ring. The mechanism is similar to varicose veins, but occurring in a very uncomfortable place. Just as leg veins are continually in an upstream battle to get blood up to the heart, so are hemorrhoidal veins.
What causes hemorrhoids? There are several things that coalesce to set the stage for hemorrhoids. Have you ever blown into an empty balloon and it won’t blow up, so you’re blowing so hard your face is turning red and maybe your cheeks even hurt, then finally, one spot of the balloon weakens, then walla! – the balloon finally fills with air? Hemorrhoids are similar. There is too much internal pressure pressing down on the rectum, until a weak spot in the vein “gives”, and you get a hemorrhoid.
Constipation is the number one cause of hemorrhoids, because you are bearing down too hard, too long and/or too often until the vein weakens and “blows”. Eliminating constipation is important to prevent and remedy hemorrhoids. A diet deficient in fats and in fiber are two culprits for this condition. Allowing yourself to get dehydrated is another one.
Back-up pressure in the hepatic vein tends to add to the pressure in your lower veins and can also be a contributor.
Weakened vessels due to dietary deficiencies can set the stage for hemorrhoids, due to weakening the tissue integrity. Vitamins such as real vitamin C with its naturally-occurring bioflavonoids is needed for making collagen for tissue strength and elasticity; Vitamin B complex is important for cardiovascular tone, Niacin for improving blood circulation; Vitamin E is important for proper blood viscosity, preventing platelets from sticking together; Vitamin K for preventing blood clots (which can fill the hemorrhoid causing lots of pain) and strengthening the capillaries in the blood. It is important to note here that it only really works when your vitamins are from real foods – not synthetics. Ascorbic acid, d-alpha tocopherol and coal-tar-derived vitamin B doesn’t have the same healing and strengthening effects that foods do. Make sure you are taking whole food supplements and not synthetic ones.
Acupuncture can be an effective way of treating hemorrhoids. Acupuncture can improve hemorrhoids by improving digestion. Digestion effects your ability to digest your nutrients (so you have more vitamins and other nutrients to improve tissue integrity; improves the efficiency of the liver (to address back up pressure) and gallbladder (so you digest fats better – fats are needed for tissue integrity and for proper thickness of your stools); and to move your stools along their pathway more effectively. Acupuncture improves blood circulation, not only by pushing it along, removing stasis, but in addressing blood sugar which thickens the blood. Acupuncture also helps reduce the inflammation and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids.
If you have a pain in the butt you want to get rid of, try acupuncture! You’ll be glad you did!
©2022 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.