“Is he really talking about Hemorrhoids?”
- An uncomfortable to talk about, yet incredibly common condition
in the US.
- These are varicosities, or swellings, of the veins local to
the anus and rectum, which can be asymptomatic or cause pain,
bleeding or even protrusion depending on the severity.
- There are external hemorrhoids which are superficial and quite
common, and internal hemorrhoids which are deeper within the
intestinal wall and usually pain-free, can prolapse outside
the anus and form thromboses, or clots, that prevent their receding.
“One day they just appeared out of nowhere.”
- #1 cause is chronic constipation due to the pressure created
by the obstructing fecal mass that weakens the intestinal wall
and balloons the local veins. Add to this the pressure from
pushing when trying to evacuate the bowels. Overuse of laxatives.
- Chronic diarrhea can also be a cause at it too creates a
lot of downward pressure.
- Diet and eating habits can weaken the digestive function slowing
and even impairing your ability to properly and easily evacuate
- Lifestyle: Sitting for long periods of time creates poor
circulation in the pelvis; prolonged standing, excessive exercise
or physical labor can weaken the Spleen leading to further impairment;
any prolonged increase in abdominal pressure like chronic cough
or heavy lifting, or even pregnancy.
- Emotional stress: long-standing unexpressed or repressed emotions,
grief or stress can block the smooth flow of Qi into the Intestines
and lead to other impairing pathologies.
- Internal Imbalance:
- Intestinal Wind: mild hemorrhoids with no
other constitutional signs, fresh blood prior to or after defecation,
no pain, swelling or itching. These respond very well to treatment.
- Intestinal Dryness: due to chronic constipation
and repeated straining, dryness could be related to smoking
or any respiratory disease, and to a hot constitution; fresh
blood prior to or after defecation, hemorrhoids may protrude
but are easily reduced; there may be pain and distension upon
defecation; thirst and dry skin.
- Damp-Heat: inflamed internal hemorrhoids:
can come from diet or a Liver-Spleen dysfunction sinking into
the intestines irritating the tissues leading to swelling, redness
and pain; copious, fresh red or plum colored preceding or after
defecation or may coat the stool; may protrude but will reduce
on their own or manually; itching, burning, irritation, or pain,
tenesmus, thirst, abdominal distension, concentrated urine,
and a tendency towards constipation.
- Spleen Qi Deficiency Not holding the Blood:
persistent bleeding patterns due to a constitutional deficiency;
scanty or copious pale or fresh red blood, possible protrusion;
pale complexion, fatigue, poor appetite, easily full, abdominal
distension, loose stools, orthostatic hypotension, poor concentration,
insomnia, palpitations, possible anxiety, heavy menstrual bleeding,
or easy bruising.
- Spleen Qi Deficiency Sinking: common in
older patients with poor muscle tone or patients with chronic
diarrhea; protrusion with defecation, coughing, sneezing, prolonged
standing or walking; can be manually reduced or on their own
when lying down; variable amounts of pale or fresh red blood,
discomfort; intermittent dull abdominal pain alleviated with
warmth and pressure, plus other Spleen Deficiency signs listed
- Blood Stagnation: chronic with severe pain due
to previous pathologies or prolonged Liver Qi Stagnation impairing
Blood circulation in the portal system (Liver-Large Intestine);
pain, protrusion, swelling, worse during defecation, dark purple
in color, fresh or plum colored blood; dark purple or spider
nevi around inner ankle and knee, pain around left lower abdomen
or under ribs, dry mouth and throat with no desire to drink,
dry scaly skin, dull or dark complexion, lips or conjunctiva
(inside of eye lids) with rings around eyes.
“What can I do about them?”
- Lifestyle: squatting during defecation, Kegel exercises (inhale
and relax, exhale and draw upwards), exercise, diet, limit sexual
activity, treat the constipation/diarrhea and the root, warm
wash local area to promote circulation as toilet paper can be
unhygienic and can abrade the delicate area, aggravate inflammation
and inhibit healing.
- Topical Treatment: using an astringent ointment.
- Blood Letting red or purple spots in the lumbosacral area
can relieve local blood stagnation
- Intestinal Dryness: keep the stools soft and avoid
overly heating and drying foods; avoid coffee and other caffeine
sources as they are diuretics, tobacco, chile, lemon, over-cooked
meats, fried food, and alcohol; have small quantities of dairy,
bananas, apples, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, pine nuts,
FLAX SEEDS/EFA’s, spirulina, Go Ji berries, rich colored
veggies, roots, and healthy oils.
- Damp-Heat: Avoid fried and greasy foods, coffee, alcohol,
excessive sugar and sweets, nuts especially peanuts and seeds,
warming spices like peppers, cinnamon, cloves and garlic; target
bitter green leafy veggies, Green Soup, green tea, celery, seaweeds,
peppermint tea, chrysanthemum tea, dandelion tea, and eat in
smaller portions; always address stress-coping skills.
- Spleen Qi Deficiency Not Holding Blood: this can take
3-9 months to rebuild the Qi and Blood, but the bleeding should
resolve within a few weeks. Target lightly cooking all veggies,
avoiding raw or overly spiced and heating foods; soups and stews,
broths; chew your food more thoroughly; simpler combinations
of foods; smaller portions and more frequent meals; nourishing
moistening foods like Flax Seeds, root veggies, Go Ji Berries,
spirulina and seaweeds.
- Spleen Qi Deficiency Sinking: similar to Not Holding
Blood with the same length of time to resolve. Same advice for
foods as above but for Qi Sinking is a more severe form similar
to Yang Deficiency, so here we would add more warming foods
and spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves and garlic; avoid cold
- Blood Stagnation: If this is a severe case, then sometimes
having a hemorrhoidectomy is the most immediate course of treatment
to relieve the pain, though it is still necessary to correct
the pattern that led to such an extreme condition. Exercise
and movement are essential for circulation, blood letting of
several milliliters of dark blood which will become much lighter
as the stagnation is relieved. Avoid cold raw foods that tend
to stagnate circulation, avoid sitting on cold surfaces or being
in cold water. Target spices like cayenne, garlic, turmeric,
pepper, green and oolong teas, a little wine, and salty seafood.
- Acupuncture and Chinese Medicinal Herbs: Your second
and third lines of defense. Sometimes, modifying your daily
food intake is not enough, and you need some extra assistance.
Working together, we can create a specific treatment plan to
meet your individual needs. This can include Acupuncture, a
Chinese Medicinal Herbal Formula, and Nutritional and Lifestyle
- Over-the-Counter Remedies: Suppositories (raw potato,
garlic), Sitz Baths, Preparation H
© Jordan Hoffman, L.Ac., Dipl. OM, 2007. All
The information presented here is not medical
advice, is not intended as medical advice, and is intended to
provide only general, non-specific information related to Chinese
Medicine and Acupuncture and is not intended to cover all the
issues related to the topic discussed. You should consult a licensed
health practitioner before using any of this information.
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