Hemorrhoids are included under peripheral vascular conditions because they involve the vascular network of the anorectal area. They are essentially varicose veins resulting from many factors such as constipation, straining at stool or long periods of standing. This is common in individuals over 50 years of age.  They can cause significant discomfort and anxiety.
|Causes||Dietary Factors, Lack of movement, Stress, Constipation, Infections|
|See Also||Cardiovascular Conditions, Constipation, Anemia|
|Books||Books on Cardiovascular Conditions|
|Articles||Articles on Cardiovascular Conditions|
- 1 Naturopathic Assessment
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Naturopathic Treatment
- 4 References
The root causes of hemorrhoids are similar to those of varicose veins.
In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. With hemorrhoids, the causes are variable and include lifestyle and environmental factors. A detailed assessment is required to determine which factors are contributing to hemorrhoids.
- Dietary factors include:
- Practice of anoreceptive sex can lead to hemorrhoids.
- Household Products
- Constipation, large bowel movements and straining for a bowel movement eventual compromise the tissues and mucosa leading to the formation of hemorrhoids.
- Diarrhea is also are associated with hemorrhoids.
- Increased intraabdominal pressure can be secondary to straining on stool, pregnancy, cough, sneezing, vomiting, exerting oneself and portal hypertension.
- The tendency to hemorrhoids seems to run in families. Assessment of genetic weakness of veins involves knowing family history of this condition or other varicosities as well as evaluation of the presence of straining during defecation.
Common history questions for hemorrhoids
- Diet diary assessment and how much fiber is in the diet?
- Family history of hemorrhoids?
- Quality of stools?
- Amount of straining?
- Constipation or diarrhea?
- Mass or pressure?
- Fecal soiling or incontinence?
- The presence of hemorrhoids is typically based on symptoms, yet if hemorrhoids persist other diagnostic testing may be valuable to rule in/out other causes of rectal problems including.
- Fecal occult blood test
- Fecal immunochemical test
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy
- Stool for ova and parasites
- Digital rectal exam
- Cultures for infectious organisms
- Microscopic examination of stool
Related Symptoms and Conditions
Conditions that are associated with hemorrhoids or that may mimic hemorrhoids include:
- Candida albicans
- Parasitic Infections
- Food allergies and Food Intolerances
- Other causes of rectal pain could be a tear or infection.
- Presence of internal hemorrhoids increases chances of external thrombosed hemorrhoids.
- There are two classifications but common to both is recurrent bleeding, rupture and incidental findings on physical exam.
- External (below the anorectal line)– may present with bluish swellings if thrombosed.
- Internal (above the anorectal line)– often bleed and may prolapse on bearing down.
- Mixed hemorrhoids can also occur; without prolapsed (bleeding but no pain), Prolapsed (pain and bleeding), and strangulated (has prolapsed and usually becomes thrombosed and very painful).
- Skin tags are usually evidence of previous hemorrhoids leaving connective tissue behind. Typically when resolving thrombosed hemorrhoids this tissue may be replaced by connective tissue resulting in skin tags.
- A typical clinical presentation of hemorrhoids involves pain, constipation, incomplete defecation, rectal itching, bleeding and a prolapsed mass. The amount of bleeding from a ruptured hemorrhoid seems dramatic but is usually harmless.
- Bright red blood on the toilet paper or frank blood in the toilet water may be present with dull aching or itching with chronic prolapse.
The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies. Treatment of hemorrhoids needs to be rooted in prevention and includes reducing lifestyle factors that may be responsible for pelvic congestion.
It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.
Home Care strategies include:
- Schedule time for regular bowel movements and avoid straining at stool.
Lifestyle recommendations include:
- Dietary recommendations include:
- Water. Ensure you drink adequate water.
The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.
Naturopathic Therapies for hemorrhoids include:
- Clinical Nutritional Supplementation includes
- Botanical remedies such as Bilberry (Vaccinum myrtillus),Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus), Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra)., , Yarrow (Achileea millefolium)
- Topical botanical applications may help palliate discomfort with temporary effects. Root cause still needs addressing to prevent recurrence.
- Gemmotherapies such as Aesculus hippocastanum, Equisetum arvense, Sambucus nigra, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vinca minor, Vitis vinifera
- Differentials to consider include general conditions such as; damp heat, blood stagnation, blood deficiency. Organ pathologies may include; intestinal wind, sinking spleen qi or spleen qi deficiency..
- Acupuncture points to consider include; UB30, GV1, UB57, UB50/36, UB54/40, UB56, UB58, SI5, GV3, UB32, Erbai, SP6, SI3, UB62, Ear-shenmen, brain, spleen, rectum and large intestine.
Reviewed by Iva Lloyd, BScH, RPE, ND 
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