What is piles or haemorrhoids? How does it develop? How can this painful condition be prevented and what diet changes are needed? This article takes a closer look at this very common problem which many people suffer from today.
Blame not nature
Instead of blaming the unhygienic habits of living as the sole cause of haemorrhoids, the blame is placed on Mother Nature 'for having wrongly designed the human frame. Due to unhygienic living practices or repeated suppression of acute and chronic conditions with drugs, the tone of blood vessels get adversely affected. In such cases, the veins develop varicosity and become distended. What is known as piles or haemorrhoids is only varicosity of the veins inside or outside the anus.
What happens during bowel movements?
When the faecal matter has reached the end of the descending colon and when the system wants to expel it, an urge for defecation is felt. The rectum is then stretched open to let the stool pass through. The membranes lining the rectum and anus, as also the surrounding muscles and the veins have to stretch. In a state of health, all this stretching takes place without any strain. The stool (which is well-formed) is passed out easily and immediately thereafter the membranes, the muscles and the veins in them and the anal sphincter (the circular purse-string muscle of the anal canal) go back to their original position.
However if the blood circulation in the abdominal and pelvic regions is congested and when the veins in the anal canal get distended, the stretching at the time of defecation would further weaken such veins. In chronic constipation, the high intra-abdominal pressure inevitable during vigorous straining at stool (which constipated people normally indulge in) would increase the venous pressure in the entire abdominal cavity. The rectal veins would also be compressed by the dry, hard masses of faecal matter that is literally "forced out” by the individual. In such cases the distended veins may stretch out permanently. With their walls already lacking tone, some veins may bleed when passing the stool.
Those who are in the habit of using laxatives or purgatives regularly also weaken their bowel tone and haemorrhoids would result.
Those that strain themselves at the time of passing urine (as it happens in conditions like prostatism) also build up intra-abdominal pressure.
Increased pressure of the enlarging abdomen and uterus in a state of pregnancy may also over distend the rectal veins. It is necessary to emphasize that in a state of pregnancy, a woman need not develop haemorrhoids or varicose veins if she follows natural hygiene during the pre-natal stage.
Conventional treatment and inherent dangers therein
An instrument known as proctoscope is inserted into the rectum for the purpose. Mishandling during diagnosis may further injure the already weakened veins.
When the trouble is in the initial stages, patients often use hot application over the anal region to relieve the pain. Either they sit in warm water or the patient is advised to use a sponge or flannel squeezed out in hot water and pressed to the anus. Use of these hot applications may afford temporary relief from pain but will only worsen the condition, viz. the dilation of the veins. These should not be applied as these are violent.
Patients are advised to use some soothing ointments or "suppositories ".These again can at best give one symptomatic relief. In the case of first or second-degree haemorrhoids, injections of a sclerosing solution into submucosa above the piles are administered. Symptomatic relief may be felt by the individual but the quality of bloodstream cannot be improved and the underlying weakened condition of the veins can only worsen.
The litigation and excision operations performed on the third-degree haemorrhoids have their own dangers. The most common complications of this procedure are retention of urine which results from pain in the region between anus and the genital organs and if the litigation had not been performed properly may result in secondary haemorrhoids.
Prevention with Nature Cure
Long before haemorrhoids can develop, the individual concerned should have been experiencing indigestion and constipation. Acute diseases like the common cold, cough loose motions, etc. might also be coming up off and on. If such acute diseases are not suppressed through drugs and if the individual takes the earliest opportunity to set his digestive system in order and improve his health, progressively through observation of Vital Economy in his daily life, he can prevent all chronic diseases. There ought to be no question of such individual developing haemorrhoids at any time.
As work and digestion do not go together, it is always advisable to work on a light stomach. The main meal could be taken by the individual after relaxing a bit on completion of the day’s work. Again at night let work be done without subjecting oneself to overstrain, either physically or mentally. An individual who maintains his health by following Natural Hygiene in his daily life cannot develop piles even if he has to do heavy physical work.
Improving general health of the patient by putting him on a hygienic plan of living in tune with the laws of life, the blood chemistry and circulation come back to normalcy.
In the morning and evening. Say 8 am and 4 pm hemay take some raw vegetable juices (of fresh seasonal satvic vegetables) or tender coconut water.
In the afternoon, he can take a plate of raw vegetable salads and grated coconut without any salt.
At night a small quantity of cereals may be taken by him with a plate of raw vegetables and steamed vegetables.
The food should be thoroughly chewed, eaten frugally.
Refined and denatured foods should be strictly avoided.
Stimulants like tea, coffee, spices, condiments, milk and its products, soybeans and its products should also not form part of the daily menu at any time.
SUN BASKING - It has a salutary effect on the overall health of the patient, every day he should go in the early sunlight. Follow it by normal cold water bath.
Rhythmic breathing and non-violent pranayama are also desirable.
FASTING - The patient should first of all be made to understand that fasting is not starvation. Occasional fasting say once a week, maybe taken with great benefits.
HEALING CRISIS - When any acute healing crisis comes up, the patients should not get unnerved. He must understand the purpose of such a healing crisis and be mentally cheerful.
WATER CURE APPLICATION - The spinal bath could be taken twice or thrice in a day. Every spinal bath would almost immediately afford a lot of relief to the anal region. In case he is not able to have a spinal bath, he may apply cooling wet packs three or four times a day.
BAREFOOT WALKING - Every morning he should walk barefoot on the grassy lawn.
A HARD BED - The patient is advised to sleep only on a hard bed. He is advised to maintain a proper posture while sitting and working.
A radical cure is possible and in a very short time. After getting cured, continue to live a life naturally.
(V.S.Pawar - Member Indian Institute of Natural Therapeutics, 1980)
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