My assumption is that you aren’t reading this unless you are currently experiencing this agony. You may have experienced this in the past and if you have then you totally know how much this situation stinks. While there are several over the counter options to soothe the discomfort, the truth is what it takes for correction are the same things that you could have and should have been doing to not just prevent hemorrhoids in the first place, but the very things you need to be participating in to create overall health and wellbeing. Yes, I’m shaking my finger at you. I just can’t contain the mother in me.
So, what are hemorrhoids? They are essentially varicose veins, but not on your legs, obviously. They’re swollen, itchy, uncomfortable and sometimes very painful. They also can bleed, especially during a bowel movement. But you already know exactly what I’m talking about.
Why do they so often accompany pregnancy and labor? A lot of sources say they are caused by hormonal changes and by the strain placed in the veins in the pelvic floor during late pregnancy and labor. But, while everyone experiences the hormonal changes and strain of pregnancy and labor, not everyone gets hemorrhoids. I know. I don’t like those people either. Since not everyone gets them, the reality is, those stresses are the straw that breaks the camel’s back when the camel has deficiencies and toxicities in how she eats, moves and thinks.
Of course, this isn’t just a pregnancy/female thing. Men get them too. Deficiencies and toxicities in how they eat move and think, lead to weakening of the digestive health and their own pregnant looking belly that increases the strain down there.
The good news is there is something you can do about it, and I’m gonna share that with you RIGHT NOW!
Pretty much everyone knows the importance of a good quality multivitamin. Many people feel secure in knowing they are getting all the nutrients their body needs either in a pill or the latest craze, a shake. Unfortunately, neither of these options supply all the benefits that you receive from consuming the actual fruits and vegetables themselves. In this case, the fiber, is critically important in forming a bowel movement that properly stimulates the health of the digestive tract. You can get some of this fiber from blending (not juicing) fruits and vegetables into your shake, but nothing is better than raw or lightly steamed vegetables as far as your body is concerned. Your aim is consuming 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each every day. My experience is many people are consuming just 1-2 servings a day. This just simply isn’t going to be enough to prevent disease, but more importantly build health.
Additionally, fruits and vegetables contain water that help you meet your water needs. Adequate hydration is critical for entire body functioning, including the formation of a soft stool that is more easily passed and doesn’t inappropriately strain the colon.
Magnesium is a mineral that is important for correct function of nerves and muscles. It can also reduce the pain caused by vascular disorders such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Great sources of magnesium include: almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, wheat germ, wheat grain and wheat bran, figs, citrus fruits, dandelion, seaweed, kale, legumes, seeds, prunes and tofu. Toss up a salad with kale and dandelion and top with chopped almonds or sunflower seeds!
Stinging Nettle teas are rich in iron and vitamin K, which help to reduce the risk of hemorrhage and improve recovery post-birth. Nettles also help to reduce hemorrhoids as they are mildly astringent and strengthen blood vessel walls, Stinging Nettles are also beneficial during the first trimester. (Well Adjusted Babies) (For more information on how to have a healthy pregnancy and set your baby up for the strongest beginning, toss your copy of What to Expect and replace it with Well Adjusted Babies (Second Edition). This book is a full 700 pages of research and practical advice that will actually EMPOWER you rather than just create a ton of anxiety and fear during your pregnancy.)
While you may be able to get your nutrients from a pill, the smartest people in the world haven’t been able to figure out how to bottle movement yet. Appropriate amounts of movement are vital to every aspect of your body, including your digestive health. Movement should include aerobic such as walking, swimming and running. Maximal intensity output should be incorporated into your routine, as well as resistance exercise like lifting weights, or even using own body weight as resistance such as push ups and squats.
While we’re busy working out the muscles we see looking back at us in the mirror, we often forget the just as important muscles we don’t see. In this case, the PELVIC FLOOR. A weak pelvic floor contributes to sphincteral weakness that leads to subsequent hemorrhoids. A strong and healthy pelvic floor has better blood supply that enables these muscle to stretch more effectively during labor – therefore an easier labor ensues – and heals better after labor. Obviously, this is something you want to pay more attention to. Further, a weak pelvic floor that doesn’t heal appropriately after birth leads to Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD) and leads to urinary urgency and/or incontinence and the need the urinate frequently and can lead to a prolapsed uterus that likely will require surgery to correct.
Once upon a time there was heavy marketing for a “Gotta go, Gotta go, Gotta go right now” pill “you should talk to your doctor about.” Likely the patent for this pill expired and the profits decreased and so did the marketing thankfully. This pill did SQUAT for actually correcting the problem and creating health. What does strengthen the pelvic floor however are SQUATS. But a properly performed squat. Katy does a great job at explaining the why’s and how’s of a squat in a fun way, so I’m just going to direct you over there (http://www.katysays.com/you-dont-know-squat/)
Very often, kegel exercises are suggested to strength the pelvic floor. However, I think it makes a lot of sense when Katy says that when we’re doing this exercise, we’re actually pulling the sacrum forward, therefore decreasing the space inside the pelvic opening an thus promoting a flaccidity of the pelvic floor. So read through her blog and work on your squat and all the squat prep stuff. For those of you late in pregnancy, if you haven’t been exercising, you’re going to have to ease into this. Work on the squat prep, rather than the actual squatting. I know, you want your digestive system healed yesterday, but you’re going to make it worse if you’re
not properly conditioned. Slowly work towards a squat and strong pelvic floor.
Last but certainly not least, loss of proper spinal curves, especially those in the lumbar spine are significant risk factor in the development of pelvic organ prolapse.(Source, Source. and Source.) What’s that mean? GET ADJUSTED!! Without proper joint motion, you cannot have proper alignment. Or for that matter, proper nerve stimulation. Keep your nervous system healthy by ensuring a properly aligned and functioning spine.
Every negative thought you have weakens your body, even if you’re thinking about what you don’t want to experience. When we think about what we do want to be experiencing, your body will actually heal faster. In this case it’s important to think about having a comfortable bowel movement. For two reasons. First, it actually will help you form a more comfortable movement. Secondarily, the stress you create over fearing your next bathroom trip can cause you to delay the trip and make an already unpleasant experience worse.
While you’re on the potty, focusing on breathing out as you relax. Breathing out and relaxing your pelvic floor is going to be critical during labor so practice it now! (And while we’re on the potty, take a look at your positioning. How squat like is it? It should be very squat like. So look into the Squatty Potty® Toilet Stool to help address this issue.)
The hard truth is there is no quick fix when it comes to creating health. Anything worth having takes time, energy and work. However, I understand you’re uncomfortable NOW. So while you work to become sufficient and pure in how you Eat, Move and Think, below is a recipe that can provide comfort now.
Tried changing your diet and hate to exercise? I know how to help you!
I know I live in my own little health world, but I find it hard to believe that people don’t know they have to eat move and think better. Yet, they’ve tried eating better before ad didn’t get results or didn’t get them fast enough that they quit. And a they’ve thought about starting to exercise on Monday many times, but Monday has come and gone over and over again.
I’ve got what you need. The Innate Lifestyle program takes all the guess work out of how you should eat and move, while equipping you with what you really need to succeed: The will power to actually engage in the lifestyle you know you should be. When you wake up each morning, dreading moving your body and not looking forward to your next meal of foods you hate, how could you possibly ever succeed? The Innate Lifestyle Progam gives you recipes so you can learn how to prepare meals your entire family will not only enjoy but are actually healthful. The recipes include many options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert and snacks! You can snack while regaining your health – no starving or deprivation necessary.
And while you will need to move your body if you want to achieve your highest level of health, the Think Well component is the portion that has been missing from all your previous attempts. You see, behavior modification is a myth. It doesn’t exist. Our behaviors are a direct reflection of our thought and belief patterns, so if you know you need to change your behavior, then the first step is to change your beliefs regarding those behaviors. For instance, many people don’t exercise because they believe since they are skinny they are healthy and don’t need to exercise. Their belief is that skinny equals health. Yet, take a look at Patrick Swayze before he died of cancer. Heck, even before he was diagnosed with cancer. He looked pretty good, but obviously wasn’t healthy. On the other hand, you might think he worked out and still got sick and died young, but we really don’t know what other parts of his life were toxic and deficient that kept him from growing stronger rather than weaker.
The Innate Lifestyle program has been designed from three decades worth of research and investigation and modeled after the lifestyle patterns of populations that live long productive lives without chronic disease. It is the only program that addresses all the components it takes to fully create health, not just lessen symptoms or treat disease. It’s a program that you can live the rest of your life on. It’s a program for EVERYONE, regardless of age, medications and current health status – including pregnancy. In fact, considering what we know about epigenetics, if you’re pregnant and now you aren’t adequately Eating, Moving and Thinking, then the Innate Lifestyle Program is a must for you. This isn’t about losing weight. It’s about creating health for you and your family. When you create health, the symptoms of illness go away naturally.