Hemorrhoids are swollen veins which are very painful and occur in the lower regions of the rectum.
Pregnant women suffer from increase pressure in the anal veins and often suffer from hemorrhoids during pregnancy and childbirth.
Hemorrhoids can also be caused due to excessive straining during bowel movements, anal infections, sitting for long time, constipation and due to liver cirrhosis or other diseases.
Hemorrhoids can occur both inside the anus and externally at the opening.
Symptoms include anal itch and pain, bloody stools, tender lumps and painful bowel movements. A simple physical exam can reveal the presence of hemorrhoids.
OTC creams, special hemorrhoid creams or stool softeners are used to treat hemorrhoids.
There are several preventive measures that can be adopted to avoid developing hemorrhoids – chief among them being preventing constipation and straining during bowel movements.
Aloe Vera and Hemorrhoids
Aloe vera is a perennial plant that belongs to the lily family. It grows in tropical and subtropical regions.
The juicy, succulent leaves contain a medicinal gel in the center that has been used for centuries to heal wounds, minor burns and other skin irritations.
Aloe latex is got from the bottom of the leaves and is usually taken orally to treat constipation for it is a stimulant laxative.
The gel is made up of 1% glycoproteins and polysaccharides and 99% water.
Glycoproteins are said to reduce pain and inflammation. Polysaccharides stimulate skin repair.
Both these compounds can help activate the immune system.
Aloe latex contains anthraquinone glycosides with laxative properties.
Oral aloe vera latex is usually taken for constipation and sometimes for hemorrhoids, colitis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis and for certain vision problems like glaucoma.
However, taking high doses of aloe latex is unsafe and you must check with your doctor about the dosage and duration.
Dietary changes are one way of avoiding hemorrhoids. Eat foods rich in fiber, drink plenty of water, and eat fruits, whole grains vegetables and other foods that help maintain normal bowel function.
Other measures include exercising regularly. There are certain supplements that are good bowel regulators too.
Aloe vera gel can be applied topically on hemorrhoids. This soothes the anal area and promotes healing.
Aloe vera gel contains ingredients that can soothe skin irritations and soreness. Soreness and irritation are two symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Enzymes found in aloe vera gel help soothe irritation when used topically.
Taking aloe latex internally can soften stools and ease symptoms of constipation.
This is because it contains anthraquinones that encourage bowel movements and prevent constipation.
Aloe vera products are not very expensive and can be purchased from any health store.
Aloe vera is one of the oldest remedies used for bleeding piles and hemorrhoids. Some people simply extract the gel from aloe vera leaves, cut it to one finger size, freeze it and insert it into their rectum.
This is said to reduce flow of blood to the anus and shrink hemorrhoids.
There are also aloe vera gels or creams commercially available for hemorrhoids that can be applied externally in the anus.
Since aloe vera is an anti-inflammatory, it soothes pain and inflammation caused by hemorrhoids.
Aloe vera has astringent properties that can soothe skin irritation and shrink hemorrhoids. It also relieves itching and burning sensation in the rectum.
The gel can even be inserted in a syringe and then applied into the anus. It is best to use as directed for there could be certain side effects.
Those who do not have aloe vera plants growing at home can try health food stores for organic whole leaves.
On the other hand, there are creams and suppositories available made using aloe vera that can be used to treat symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Aloe vera suppositories are said to help improve symptoms of internal hemorrhoids by reducing inflammation and pain.
Some patients with hemorrhoids have also reported finding relief by using a fleet enema with aloe vera.
They make a thin consistency of aloe vera gel, insert it in an enema apparatus and then place it in the rectum and leave it overnight.
This is supposed to improve pain, burning sensation, and bleeding caused by hemorrhoids.
However, it is advised that you consult a doctor before adopting these remedial measures.
Studies have been conducted on the efficacy of using topical applications in treating hemorrhoids.
A combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents were tried – aloe vera, vitamin E and C, grape seed extract, gotu kola extract and horse chestnut extract were combined with few drops of chamomile and lavender essential oils.
This composition applied topically on hemorrhoids was found to reduce swelling, discomfort, and pain caused by hemorrhoids as well as supporting surrounding capillaries and veins and connective tissues that sheathe the area.
This topical application was combined with a daily dosage of capsules made using vitamin E, C, bilberry extract, grape seed and gotu kola extract for better relief.
50-200mg aloe vera latex taken once a day for 10 days is the recommended dosage for constipation.
Take this with caution for aloe latex is a powerful laxative that helps with bowel contractions.
Topical aloe vera gel used for hemorrhoids is not known to cause any side effects.
Oral aloe vera can cause diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
Those with diabetes must exercise caution for it could lower levels of blood sugar.
Always wash the affected area clean before applying topical aloe vera gel.
Do not apply it on deep cuts, burns or wounds. Oral aloe latex is not advised for those with hemorrhoids for it could worsen the condition.
Be careful about the aloe vera products you use for some of those which use whole leaves could contain aloe latex
. Others with intestinal problems like irritable bowel disease, diabetes, kidney problems or diabetes must not take oral aloe latex.
Always consult a doctor before using aloe vera products for hemorrhoids.
There could be interaction with medications especially those taken by diabetic patients or blood thinning medications.