A reader of this blog and friend of ProcuraMed recently asked us to write about the association between hemorrhoids and cell phones. He was shocked as he just came back from a proctologist, who said one cause of his hemorrhoids was his use of the cell phone while sitting on the toilet. The proctologist said he saw this connection frequently now, as more people were spending more time sitting there with their phone.
Hemorrhoids are a common problem, particularly as we age (though our reader was in his early 30s). It’s estimated that by age 50, at least half of people have experienced the discomfort, itching, and bleeding that can signal the presence of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are simply dilated veins inside the rectum (called internal hemorrhoids), or they may appear under the skin just outside the anus (external hemorrhoids).
The cellphone connection is true, since one major reason people develop this problem is because they sit too long on the toilet, and during this time, your body is exerting increased pressure on the rectal veins that may dilate, resulting in hemorrhoids.
Other common causes of the problem include pregnancy, obesity, an unhealthy low-fiber diet, and constipation. The hemmorhoids of pregnancy typically go away after giving birth, and the other common causes can be avoided by healthy eating and exercise habits.
How to prevent hemorrhoids
- Eat a high fiber diet. More fruits, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains. This softens your stools and helps prevent straining during bowel movements.
- Drink lots of water. Six to 8 glasses of water per day is a good goal, and more if you are sweating a lot. This also helps prevent straining.
- Exercise, and avoid too much standing or sitting at one time. This helps reduce pressure on the veins in the area.
- Keep your weight under control. Excess weight puts more pressure on the veins.
- Minimize your time sitting on the toilet, and avoid using your cellphone or tablet at the same time. Better to finish your business and use your cellphone in another location. It is also more sanitary.
Hemorrhoids can often be treated by adopting these five practices, and you can talk to your pharmacist about ointments that usually diminish the symptoms. If the symptoms don’t go away, see your doctor or even a specialist in this subject, a proctologist.
Finally, remember that if you have rectal bleeding that does not stop when the hemorrhoids improve, or bleeding that seems suspicious, or is mixed in with your stools, see your doctor without delay. Sometimes rectal bleeding can be a sign of cancer in the colon or rectum.
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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)