Alcohol should always be taken in moderation and a drink or two daily is the recommended amount. Going past this is bound to bring you health problems that would be difficult and expensive to deal with. Did you know that there’s a link between hemorrhoids and alcohol?
Hemorrhoids are engorged vessels in the rectum and anus and drinking alcohol can make its symptoms worse. Read on to find out how alcohol affects hemorrhoids, how to prevent them, and the treatment options you can choose from to find relief.
How Can Alcohol Affect Your Hemorrhoids?
Excessive consumption of alcohol doesn’t directly affect hemorrhoids. Instead, it leads to other conditions that directly cause hemorrhoids. These factors include the pressure of blood in your blood vessels, the liver, and bowel movements. Taking more than 2 or 3 drinks of alcohol increases your blood pressure.
Hemorrhoids result from too much pressure in the veins of the rectum and anus and that’s why they swell. Therefore, when the blood pressure in the body rises, there’s a high likelihood that hemorrhoids and other vein problems may develop. This is why your skin flushes when you get drunk.
Alcoholism leads to liver cirrhosis, a condition that affects the proper functioning of the liver including the passing of blood. Consequently, blood looks for alternative vein routes to pass through and since these veins are not used to that extra blood, they become strained. The strain on these vessels causes hemorrhoids to develop.
Alcohol consumption also leads to dehydration, a major factor that causes hemorrhoids.
Can the Consumption of Alcohol Lead to Hemorrhoids?
Indeed. Since alcohol affects the aforementioned factors that cause hemorrhoids, overindulging in it indirectly causes hemorrhoids, makes its symptoms worse and healing difficult.
Do Hemorrhoids and Alcohol Go Along?
Patients of hemorrhoids should not take too much of a liking to the bottle. Hemorrhoids are painful, itchy, and can make something as basic as sitting down a nightmare! Alcohol makes these symptoms worse so drinking when you have hemorrhoids is a bad idea.
Alcohol and Bowel Movements
One of the main causes of hemorrhoids is straining too much in the toilet due to constipation. It puts a strain on the anal and rectal vessels and causes them to swell with blood. Alcohol is a diuretic so it increases the rate of urinating and gets rid of a lot of water from the body. Hence, alcohol can dehydrate you and cause problems with bowel movements.
Since the body doesn’t have enough water, passing stool becomes very difficult so you constipate and stress the blood vessels in the anus and rectum. Hemorrhoids develop as a result.
Treating hemorrhoids is an unnecessary hassle that you wouldn’t have to deal with if you prevent them in the first place. Some of the preventive measures include:
- Eat plenty of fiber – Fiber softens stool and adds bulk to it so bowel movements become much easier. Foods with fiber are whole grain, vegetables, fruits, and nuts
- Drink water – Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water daily to soften stool and prevent constipation
- Exercise – Exercising stimulates bowel function so you’ll have an easier time passing stool
- Avoid certain foods like high-starch foods, alcohol, processed foods, dairy products, meats, and spicy foods that make hemorrhoids worse
- Avoid putting a strain on anal and rectal blood vessels by sitting too long on the toilet
- Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge to prevent constipating later
- Avoid wearing tight clothing, especially underwear and pants which hinder the proper flow of blood. Wear loose cotton clothing instead.
Hemorrhoids Treatment Options
You can treat hemorrhoids at home or get them removed by a doctor or surgeon.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has excellent anti-inflammatory effects. Applying it to your hemorrhoids will help in reducing pain, inflammation, and itchiness.
Witch hazel also has anti-inflammatory effects so it will relieve hemorrhoids symptoms, even bleeding. You can apply it directly to the hemorrhoids.
Warm water is great for soothing hemorrhoids’ inflammation, itching, and pain since it improves blood circulation. After bowel movements, sit in a bath with warm water to soothe the pain.
Compressing ice placed in a piece of cloth on your hemorrhoids shrinks the swollen blood vessels and thus reduces the symptoms. Do it for 15 minutes at a time until you no longer feel discomfort.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil with wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. It will relieve irritation, inflammation, and pain in hemorrhoids. Never apply it directly to your skin; dilute in a carrier oil like almond or coconut oil first.
Freshly extracted aloe vera gel is used for many skin conditions because of its soothing effects. You can also apply it to hemorrhoids to reduce swelling, pain, and itchiness in hemorrhoids.
Rubber Band Ligation
Here, a doctor uses a ligator to put a tight rubber band on the base of a hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply. The hemorrhoid eventually withers and falls off.
In this procedure, the doctor incises the sides of the hemorrhoids in order to remove the swollen blood vessels.
This procedure involves the injection of a chemical into the hemorrhoids that shrinks them. Remember, avoiding alcohol or taking it in moderation doesn’t just benefit those suffering from hemorrhoids. It also ensures you remain in tiptop mental and physical shape. You will thank yourself later for it! Read more about self help HERE.