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Hemorrhoids: Facts, Causes, and Treatments

Hemorrhoids: Facts, Causes, and Treatments

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, can be extremely painful and unpleasant, but can easily be treated if you know the right treatment. Generally, it gets worse over time; therefore, doctors suggest that it should be treated as early as possible. In this article, I’ll explain some lesser known facts, causes and treatments of this ailment so that you can be well aware of it.

Hemorrhoids: The Facts

  • This medical condition is very common. Many people develop some form of hemorrhoid before the age of 50
  • There is an equal probability of hemorrhoids in both males and females
  • More than 75% of people will experience this ailment at least once in their lifetime
  • The likelihood of suffering from this ailment increases with the age
  • While this medical condition is most common between ages 40 and 60, it is not unusual to see it in younger adults.
  • In September 2014, New England Journal of Medicine published that this symptom did not get worse in people who ate hot chili peppers
  • Constipation is one of the biggest risk factors for developing the symptoms of hemorrhoids
  • There is no evidence that cold surfaces can cause this ailment. In fact, cold compression techniques may be helpful to relieve symptoms of hemorrhoids
  • Exercise is important for avoiding this ailment, with one small exception. Lifting heavy weights with poor technique can increase the risk

Hemorrhoids: Causes

Hemorrhoids occur when the veins in the rectum or around the anus are enlarged (dilated) or engorged with blood.

This ailment can occur due to the below reasons:

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  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Aging
  • Sitting for long periods (especially on the toilet)
  • Chronic constipation – from straining to move stools
  • Obesity
  • Anal intercourse
  • Some people also inherit a tendency for hemorrhoids genetically

Hemorrhoids: Treatments

Your doctor may carry out an incision in the case of clot formation around hemorrhoid. This treatment is usually effective. In the case of continuous bleeding, your doctor can use rubber band ligation, coagulation or sclerotherapy (injection).

1. Surgical treatment for hemorrhoids

Surgery is recommended if the patient has not benefited from the simple procedures, or if the hemorrhoids are very large.

In some cases, patients can go home straight after the surgical procedure, while in other cases they may have to be hospitalized.

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Surgery may also involve hemorrhoidectomy which is complete hemorrhoid removal or stapling in which part of the intestine is stapled so as to reduce the chance of prolapse.

2. Home remedies for hemorrhoids

If you have fear of surgical treatment, then you should know how to heal hemorrhoids naturally. Some effective ways to treat this ailment naturally are as follows:

Topical creams and ointments
You can use over-the-counter creams which contain hydrocortisone as well as pads which contain a topical numbing agent.

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Bathing the affected area
Gently bathe the affected area with warm water and don’t use soap. After that, you can dry the area gently with a hair dryer.

Ice packs and cold compresses
Applying ice packs to the affected area may help in reducing the swelling.

Sitz bath using warm water
The sitz bath is placed over the toilet and is available in some pharmacies. They may relieve the itching or burning symptoms.

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Moist towelettes
If possible, you should always use wet toilet paper as dry toilet papers may aggravate the problem further.

Hemorrhoids are definitely a painful medical condition, but the cure can be pretty simple. You do not need to see a doctor for curing your pain and itching. The best treatments can often be things you can easily do at home. If you follow the above mentioned steps, you could be well on your way to aiding the problem.

Featured photo credit: Hemorrhoids via healthline.com

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Last Updated on October 23, 2018

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

The Neural Knitwork Project

In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

The knitting and neural connection

The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

More mental health benefits from knitting

Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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“You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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“People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

The dopamine effect on our happiness

Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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