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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 August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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