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6 Steps Toward Natural Relief From Hemorrhoids

As isolating and awful as they may seem, hemorrhoids are extremely common, affecting 75% of Americans at some point in their lives. Simply put, they’re swollen veins in the anal region and cause uncomfortable swelling, itching, and bleeding. Anything that helps get rid of them as soon as possible is usually very welcome, but what remedies actually work? Here are some tried and true solutions that have been proven to provide positive results…

Photo of a person sitting on a toilet

Proper Bowel Habits And Reducing Strain

Straining while attempting to empty your bowels can aggravate – and even cause – hemorrhoids. Sit in a relaxed position while leaning slightly forward in order to avoid strain on the lower back or lumbar spine. Try not to force any activity, but relax and let the urge to go come naturally. If the urge does not come within a few minutes, stand up and resume your normal activity.

Try a warm drink and some light walking or exercise to promote motility. Sometimes a gentle laxative can also help. Speak to your local pharmacist or holistic healthcare practitioner about the best options.

Pay attention to the urge to go. Try not to hold it or prolong the need to go to the restroom. Waiting too long can cause a buildup and lead to even more problems, such as impaction. Also, sitting too long in the restroom can cause unnecessary pressure and lead to a worsening of the problem. So be aware of the need or urge to relieve your bowels, and do your best to obey it.

Try to establish a regular routine to promote normal motility, such as consuming warm drinks in the morning before leaving the house, and focus on relaxing and allowing nature to take its course, versus straining or forcing a bowel movement.

Work On Promoting Proper Stool Consistency

Along with avoiding straining, having the proper stool consistency will greatly help with easing bowel activity. If your stool is too soft, it can lead to pressure in the anal canal and incomplete emptying of the bowels. Eating high-fiber foods can help create a better form and structure.

The flip side of this is having stool that is too hard, which leads to straining and may not only worsen hemorrhoid symptoms but can cause them in the first place. If this is the problem, take steps to soften the stool; eating fruits and vegetables, fiber supplements, and hydration with water and warm beverages, can help greatly.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Exercising the pelvic floor can aid anal sphincter relaxation, helping to promote ease of bowel-emptying, as well as providing a long-term solution to hemorrhoids altogether. Learn how to perform proper pelvic floor exercises here, or discuss them with your local physical therapist or gynecologist, as these types of exercises are often prescribed for women recovering from childbirth.

Avoid Improper Exercises

Along with properly exercising the pelvic floor, regular proper full-body exercise can promote bowel movements and bowel health, but you definitely want to avoid performing the wrong types of exercise, particularly the kinds that promote over-straining in the pelvic region.


Try to avoid exercises such as deep squats and yoga poses. Heavy weight-lifting, intense abdominal exercise, and high-impact aerobic exercise can all increase pressure and muscle tension within the pelvic wall and floor, exacerbating and prolonging your problem.

Hand-in-hand with this type of attention to proper exercise it is important to avoid lifting heavy weights, which can also increase strain on the pelvic floor and load on the rectum itself. Repetitive heavy lifting can actually lead to hemorrhoids over time, so practicing safe lifting techniques is imperative.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Don’t Smoke

Smoking can often irritate bowel and intestinal tissue, and cause increased frequency in urges to go. It can also cause coughing, which can obviously increase strain and load on the pelvic floor and rectum itself.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Excessive abdominal weight can increase pressure on the pelvic floor, rectum, and anus. Minding your weight by adopting healthy eating habits, such as those mentioned above, will go a long way in managing and healing hemorrhoids over time.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone in your suffering, and that there are many things you can do to help yourself recover quickly, and even permanently.