April 5, 2022
By Christine Cheng, R.Ph. and Fred Cheng, R.Ph.
Both hemorrhoids and varicose veins are pathologically dilated veins. Many people are shy to talk about either of these ailments and thus suffer as silent victims. Orthodox medicine offers soothing ointments, ligation and surgery for both conditions, whereas natural medicines aim for prevention and support.
When vessel walls are weakened, they dilate to form saggy structures and that is what gives rise to hemorrhoids and varicose veins. The worry with varicose veins is that when they are dilated, the blood inside becomes stagnant and is subject to clotting. When this happens, it is called thrombosis and it can be extremely painful. If the blood clot is dislodged into the blood stream, it is called an embolism. If the embolus ends up in a vital organ, it can be life threatening. In the case of hemorrhoids, the saggy structures can be very painful as they are irritated by bowel movements (B.M.) and the cleaning after a B.M. If a blood clot forms inside an external hemorrhoid (i.e., one that hangs outside of the body), it can be a painful, hard lump.
In recent years, a product called Hemovel® has appeared on many drugstore shelves. We have even had a few physicians suggest it for their patients. The active ingredient is Diosmin, a derivative of hesperidin. Hesperidin is extracted from the peel of citrus rinds and has been used for a long time in both people and animals for bleeding and other vascular conditions. This ingredient is not new to the Canadian market. It is also found in products called Hemoraid and Circuvein (both made by Flora Health Products). Diosmin has an affinity for blood vessels (arteries, veins, and lymphatics) and somehow strengthens them, making them less likely to stretch and give in to the force of the blood in the vessel. The exact mechanism of action of Diosmin is believed to be its ability to enhance the vasoconstricting effect of nor-epinephrine. It is also a strong anti-oxidant with anti-inflammatory effects. The dosage of Hemovel is quite interesting. During an attack, you take 1 tablet three times daily for 4 days, then cut down to twice a day for 3 more days. For severe cases we recommend taking 1 a day for maintenance.
Bleeding alarms most people especially when one finds the toilet bowl all red. Haemorrhoids tend to bleed when the patient has to strain because of constipation or childbirth. It may also be triggered when the sufferer is dehydrated, dealing with inadequate sleep and/or intensified stress. If bleeding happens, any prolapsed haemorrhoids need to be pushed back into the rectum, and a dose of homeopathic Phosphorus 30CH has been found to be very effective in stopping bleeding.
Homeopathic medicine can be used to add to the benefits of herbal medicine like Hemovel. Haemorrhoid Mix usually helps to reduce the suffering really fast and it can also be used to reduce the size of haemorrhoids. Venofluid can do the same for the symptoms of varicose veins. AVENOC® suppositories can help with pain, swelling, itching and light bleeding that may occur with hemorrhoids.
Keep in mind that a healthy diet containing both soluble and insoluble fibre (think fruits and vegetables, respectively) is important in keeping one’s bowel movements regular, which can help reduce the symptoms of hemorrhoids. Regular exercise can help with both hemorrhoidal symptoms by reducing constipation as well as varicose vein conditions by helping with blood flow. If you have any health concerns, check with your doctor before starting any exercise or supplement regimen.
Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. Find them on Instagram and Facebook! Everything mentioned in their article is available InStore.
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