Friday, July 31, 2009

Health Tips for July 31

Health Tip: Understanding Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are often painful swollen veins near the anus, the U.S. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) says.

They commonly are triggered by straining during bowel movements, the effects of pregnancy or childbirth, or constipation.

To relieve the pain of hemorrhoids, the NDDIC suggests soaking in a bathtub of warm water for about 10 minutes, several times daily. Use of a hemorrhoid cream or a suppository also can help relieve symptoms.

You can help lower your risk of hemorrhoids by drinking plenty of water and eating lots of fiber. Regular exercise can also help soften stools and make bowel movements easier.

Health Tip: Easing Hemorrhoid Pain

Hemorrhoids are painful, swollen veins on the anus or rectum, and may occur from straining to have a bowel movement.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these tips to help soothe hemorrhoid pain and discomfort:

  • Take a warm bath.
  • Use moistened toilet paper or a moist towelette to clean yourself after a bowel movement.
  • Apply an ice pack.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Try a topical cream -- when recommended by your doctor. Creams that help numb the area may contain witch hazel, or those that soothe itching may contain hydrocortisone.
  • Don't use a hemorrhoid medicine unless you've spoken to your doctor about it first.

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