Dear Dr. D:
I’ve got one of those problems I don’t want to talk to my doctor about, and it’s a real pain in the you-know-what.
Yes, I’ve got hemorrhoids.
I dread a certain part of my morning ritual because I know it’s going to hurt. And the rest of the day, I look like I’ve got ants in my pants - always twisting and shifting trying to get comfortable.
And you know the worst part? It’s not the pain. It’s the itch!
Doc, that’s one part of the body I sure as heck ain’t scratchin’... HELP!
- Chris T., Helena, Montana
You’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, my friend. Any proctologist worth his gloved finger will tell you there are two kinds of people in the world: Those who come in for help with their hemorrhoids... and those who sit around suffering, just like you.
By the age of 50, half of all Americans have had hemorrhoids - and most don’t say boo about their butts to their docs.
The proof is all around us. Next poker night, take a look at the guys sitting at the table. The ones shifting in their seats aren’t revealing a bad hand with a nervous “tell.”
It’s another type of “tell” - a sure sign they’ve got hemorrhoids, too.
You shouldn’t be shy about mentioning this to your doctor, and if it’s persistent or recurring you’ll want to rule out other more serious problems. So go ahead and make that appointment.
But you know I like to bend over backwards for my readers, so I’ve got a few tips to share that have helped others with this same problem.
Starting with my...
TOP THREE HEMORRHOID HEALERS
#1) Butcher’s Broom: I know, this sounds like something that would be listed next to “bat’s breath” and “eye of newt.”
But this time-tested natural remedy can constrict blood vessels, choking off the hemorrhoid. There aren’t many studies on it, but docs recommend it so often that 75 percent of physicians in one survey rated it as “good” or “excellent” for hemorrhoids.
This can interfere with BP meds so speak to a doc if you’re taking those.
#2) Blackstrap Molasses: This is not the typical molasses, but rather what’s left after most of the sucrose has been boiled out of the sugarcane.
It’s low in sugar, high in minerals and some folks with hemorrhoids swear by it.
One note: You read a lot of crazy stuff on the Internet. Some people seem to think they are supposed to wipe this stuff right onto the hemorrhoid, which is an excellent way to find yourself squirming more than ever (and ruining a perfectly fine pair of underwear).
Just eat a couple of teaspoons a day, or take it as a supplement, and make sure it’s blackstrap molasses and not plain molasses.
#3) Horse Chestnut: It sounds like I’m making this stuff up, doesn’t it?
Forget the wacky names. What really matters here are results - and these natural cures deliver big in that department. Horse chestnut is a hemorrhoid healing superstar, able to improve circulation, cut swelling and protect veins from damage.
Naturally, you’ll also want to make sure you have easier bowel movements. You’ll hear a lot of blah-blah-blah about a high-fiber diet, but don’t waste your time or taste buds. A couple of prunes will usually do the trick.
If you can’t get ahead of your problem in the behind, then you’ll have to get over your shyness and visit the doc. If you require treatment, ask about the Keesey technique or an electronic tool that zaps the hemorrhoid with a low-frequency electrical current. And don’t worry; odds are you won’t feel a thing.