Haemorrhoid is a common medical condition. It affects about 75 percent of people at some point in their lives. It is most common among adults in the age group 45-65. The risk of developing haemorrhoids is higher in pregnant women. Fortunately, it is a preventable condition. The easiest way to prevent haemorrhoids is to keep your stool soft, so that it passes easily and you don’t have to strain. The following measures can help to prevent haemorrhoids and lessen symptoms.
- Increase fibre intake: Including foods with high fibre content such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains can make the stool soft. Soft stool is easier to pass and it prevents straining (the major cause of haemorrhoids). This can prevent development of haemorrhoids and worsening of symptoms from existing haemorrhoids. Increase fibre content in your diet slowly to avoid problems of gas.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Experts say that a healthy adult should drink six to eight (200 ml) glasses of water and other liquids (not alcohol) each day. It is an effective measure to keep stools soft.
- Take fibre supplements: If increasing fibre content in the diet fails to keep your stool soft, consult your doctor for fibre supplement. Many studies have shown that many people don't get enough of the recommended amount of fibre — 20 to 35 grams a day — from diet. Over-the-counter fibre supplements, such as Metamucil and Citrucel, have been shown to be effective in improving overall symptoms including bleeding from haemorrhoids by making the stool soft. Regular use of these products may be needed to keep stools soft and regular. With the use of fibre supplements, it is essential to drink at least eight glasses of water or other fluids daily; otherwise the fibre can make constipation worse.
- Avoid straining: Straining while passing stool creates greater pressure in the veins in the lower rectum and worsens the symptoms.
- Avoid waiting to pass a bowel movement: To prevent constipation and straining when passing stool, go as soon as you feel the urge. Waiting for some time to pass a bowel movement can cause the urge to go away and make your stool dry and harder to pass.
- Exercise regularly: Being active and regular exercises can help to prevent constipation and reduce pressure on veins. In addition to this, regular exercise can also help you lose excess weight that may be contributing to your haemorrhoids.