Haemorrhoids are referred to as "anal and rectal varices". When tissues in and around the lower part of the anus and rectum are stretched, blood vessels dilate and swell, forming varices.

Some common forms of haemorrhoids are:
  1. Internal haemorrhoids: They are found inside the rectum and rarely cause discomfort. However, straining when passing stool can cause painless bleeding. In more severe cases, haemorrhoids can be pushed through the anal opening, resulting in pain and irritation.
  2. External haemorrhoids: They are formed under the skin around the anus. Common symptoms include irritation, itching, swelling in the anal region, pain, discomfort, or bleeding during defecation.
  3. Thrombosed haemorrhoids: They occur when blood pools in an external haemorrhoid, forming a clot. Common symptoms include severe pain, swelling, inflammation, hard lump near the anus and bleeding during defecation.
Although blood in stool is typical of haemorrhoids, it can also be caused by other conditions such as colorectal cancer or polyps. Do seek proper diagnosis and treatment if you experience prolonged bleeding.

Common causes:
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Sitting on the toilet bowl for extended period of time
  • Chronic diarrhoea or constipation
  • Obesity
  • Insufficient fibre intake
  • Weight lifting
  • Pregnancy
  • From traditional Chinese medicine point-of-view, haemorrhoids are believed to be caused by imbalanced diet, weight-bearing exercises, frequent sexual activities and emotional fluctuations. These factors lead to poor circulation of Qi and blood, forming blood stasis and thereby causing the formation of haemorrhoids.

  • Increase fibre and water intake to keep stools soft
  • Avoid straining during defecation or sitting on the toilet bowl for too long
  • Exercise regularly to promote smooth bowel movement
  • Try these simple recipes to help manage haemorrhoids:
    1. Sophora Flower Tea: Brew 10g of Sophora flower with hot water.
    Sophora flowers have heat-clearing and blood cooling properties, and hence help to reduce swelling. This tea is suitable for individuals with inflamed and painful piles.
    1. Black Sesame and Walnut Paste: Mix black sesame powder and walnut powder into paste. Serve warm.
    Black sesame and walnuts nourish the Kidney and Liver, and are both rich in healthy fats that aid bowel movement. This dessert is suitable for individuals with hard stools.

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