d

Find the silence
   which contains thought.
       --Hakuin       

    

Hemorrhoids

“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 your bowels.


  • 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 above.
    -  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 raw foods.
  • 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 Counseling.
  • Over-the-Counter Remedies: Suppositories (raw potato, garlic), Sitz Baths, Preparation H

 

© Jordan Hoffman, L.Ac., Dipl. OM, 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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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This site and any articles on this site are not medical advice and are not intended as medical advice and are intended to provide only general, non-specific information related to Chinese Medicine and acupuncture and are not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. You should consult a licensed health practitioner before using any of the information on this site and any articles.