DEAR DR. GOTT: I just want to say a big thank you for the help I got with my hemorrhoid problem. Because I have a spinal disorder, I struggle with bowel difficulties that are not really constipation. This resulted in severe internal and external hemorrhoids. The internal ones were banded about every six months but surgery was recommended for the external ones.
I read about rutin in your column and decided to give it a try. It did take a while, but in about a year, I noticed that despite my continue bowel difficulty, the hemorrhoids had totally disappeared. I had my “well woman” physical this past April and my doctor noticed their absence. When I told her the “secret” she was skeptical but I am quite sure it was the rutin as nothing else has changed. I continue to take one a day. I have no side effects from it and have had no recurrence of the hemorrhoids. I cannot thank you enough for having the courage the post these suggestions from readers so that others of us may have alternatives to try.
DEAR READER: Hemorrhoids are a condition of life that no one wants to talk about. These pesky little blood vessels in one of the most private regions of the body can cause all sorts of havoc including itching, pain and, of course, bleeding.
They are often the result of child birth, chronic constipation and excessive straining during bowel movements that all put undue pressure on the blood vessels of the anus and rectum which can in turn cause them to swell, bulge and, eventually, leak. The most common symptoms are bright red blood on the toilet paper after a BM, painless bleeding, itching and sometimes a palpable lump.
As a brief aside, I would like to take this opportunity to say that anyone experiencing rectal bleeding should immediately see his or her physician. Although the likelihood of simple hemorrhoids being the problem is quite high, other more serious problems could be at play so it is always best to hedge your bets and speak with your physician.
In most cases, hemorrhoids don’t require medical treatment. Simple changes at home and over-the-counter products may be all that are needed. The first is to include more water and fiber in the diet to make stools softer and easier to pass. The second is to exercise regularly. Next, you should pat the area clean rather than wiping following bathroom trips as this is less abrasive and less likely to further irritate the area. Soaking the area in warm water either in a bath or using a Sitz bath can also relieve some of the discomfort. Over-the-counter remedies such as Tucks pads or Preparation H can be used. Some other home remedies include garlic, rutin, witch hazel, including honey in the diet or applying honey directly to the hemorrhoids daily, and more.
Readers who are interested in learning more can order my Health Reports “Constipation and Diarrhea”, “Dr. Gott’s Compelling Home Remedies” and “More Compelling Home Remedies” by sending a self-addressed, stamped number 10 and a $2 (for each report) US check or money order to Dr. Peter Gott, PO Box 433, Lakeville, CT 06039. Be sure to mention the title(s) or print an order form from my website, www.AskDrGottMD.com.