Hemorrhoids are fairly common, but usually they are not that big of a deal. For some people, though, when they flare up they can be pretty disabling. They can get so bad that just sitting down is extremely uncomfortable. When they are fairly mild, just a topical cream or a few suppositories containing cortisone calms them down pretty well. On the other extreme, they can cause heavy bleeding or get painful clots in them (we call these “thrombosed”) that require surgical intervention. Unfortunately, while a surgeon can help a lot with a severe hemorrhoid flare, removing the worst hemorrhoids surgically will not prevent more from developing later.
In the past, the best we have had in the way of prevention is to avoid constipation and to quickly control diarrhea when it develops, since either can bring about a hemorrhoid flare. I have found a way, though, to both treat hemorrhoids and to prevent future attacks that very few people are aware of. I have been using bioflavonoids in this condition with very good results in many cases. Bioflavonoids are a family of vitamin-like compounds related to vitamin C. They are found in highest concentration in fruits, particularly citrus fruits. Be aware, though, that over-the-counter preparations like bioflavonoids are not well regulated. Unless you know that a given manufacturer uses effective quality control processes, if you fail to respond, it may be that you are using a poor quality product. Most health food stores and some pharmacies carry these preparations. You may have to look around to find them.
I have been treating patients with hemorrhoids using bioflavonoids for about five years. In the midst of a hemorrhoid flare, I recommend 700mg twice a day of a product that I know is good quality (we carry it in our office for this purpose). When it works, the hemorrhoids completely resolve, usually in a week or so. I then have my patients put the bioflavonoids aside until the start of another flare. For about 40% to 50% of people they work great. When they don’t work, unfortunately, there is no improvement at all. Still, eliminating this scourge for about half the people who try these compounds is a huge benefit to those who are lucky enough to respond.
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