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Taming ‘Roid Rage

Taming ‘Roid Rage

There’s nothing pretty about hemorrhoids, but they’ve afflicted the world’s most beautiful women (Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor) and most dashing men (Ernest Hemingway and, it’s rumored, George Clooney). In fact, by age 50 half of all men and women develop them. But what are they exactly?

A hemorrhoid is an inflamed vein in the lower part of your intestine—the rectum—or around your anus. Some never announce themselves; others trigger pain, itching and bright red bleeding. Occasionally rectal ‘roids protrude out of the anus.

Pregnancy and obesity can trigger hemorrhoids because of added weight pressing against veins in the lower intestines. Age can also weaken intestinal membranes and tissue, allowing veins to bulge and bleed. But for many folks, they’re a result of a fiber-deficient diet, low water intake, inactivity, chronic constipation (or diarrhea) and straining while going to the bathroom.

Treatments include bulk stool softeners (psyllium or methylcellulose). Take a little at the start of every meal. You can use OTC creams and suppositories and soak in a warm tub. Also, your doc may select from various treatments that shrink or KO a swollen vein. Sometimes surgery is required—and the latest, radically improved techniques make it a lot less painful than it used to be.

The best solution? Prevention. You can do that by maintaining a healthy weight; eating only grains that are 100 percent whole; and every day enjoying 9 servings of fruits and veggies, drinking around 64 ounces of water and walking 10,000 steps. Now you’re dodging ‘roid rage.

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