Dr. Nicole Sundene
"Are hemorrhoids caused by hormone imbalance?"
Hemorrhoids "do not happen" to any women because we are all perfect, so I will just leave this hemorrhoid information here for nobody. 😉
Okay all jokes aside, women generally have much worse hemorrhoids than men due to pregnancy and monthly hormone imbalance. Women are also scared to ask me how to fix this simple issue, and should never hesitate to ask their doctor for help. Just think of us as auto mechanics for your body. Doctors just like to "fix parts." So the part may be embarrassing to you, but it is just another day at the office for your doctor.
The majority of women filling out my paperwork state they have hemorrhoids, generally from pregnancy that never go away. Since women often ask me about this and many have thyroid disease, I wanted to mention the connection between hormones and hemorrhoids. More women also have thyroid disease. This particular hormone condition hypothyroidism or Hashimotos can also cause constipation and bloating that can contribute to forming hemorrhoids. We must treat the constipation to alleviate the hemorrhoids. Constipation also can occur with PMS, Perimenopause, PCOS, and Menopause.
Is that a picture of an ancient medieval torture device? Is the herbal medicine worse than hemorrhoids?
No, it is simply a horse chestnut seed. Don't worry, the outer spiky hull is not used in Naturopathy!
For women the inner nut or seed of Aesculus hippocastanum is a fabulous cure for hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Hemorrhoids are just varicose veins as well, so if you tend to have constipated, coupled with a weak veinous system, you might benefit from this herb.
The active constituent aescin has an astringent property that serves to tighten up loose leaky veins. It is also anti-edematous, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-exudative, and decreases capillary permeability.
Check with your naturopathic doctor before taking this herb as there are potential drug-herb interactions and this herb should not be used by those on anti-coagulants as the coumarin properties may theoretically interact with blood thinning medications.
Any time there is bleeding or pain down there you should go to your doctor immediately as it could be indicative of colon or rectal cancer, and when caught early enough is highly treatable. Also do not make any herbal medicine preparations from wild plants unless you are 100% certain of the species for safety purposes. The colon cancer screenings have been changed to starting at age 45, so before using herbal medicine see your GI Doctor, or Gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy to insure it is not cancer or pre-cancerous polyps we need to worry about.
Horsechestnut should absolutely not be used by children or pregnant women, anyone with a chronic health condition should check with their doctor before using any herbal medicine.
Dose: A tincture (1:5 in 40%) can be used, the standard dose is 1-4ml in a little bit of water three times daily. To make an herbal infusion pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried seed and allow to steep 15 minutes, strain and drink three times daily or apply with cotton balls to the affected area (best when applied cold so keep your witch hazel or horse chestnut solutions in the fridge). You can also try a 16% standardized aescin extract in capsules. Daily dose should equate to 50mg of aescin taken two to three times daily (so the entire capsule weight will most likely be 300 to 900 mg to receive the 50mg of aescin from the 16% standardized extract). Most of my hemorrhoid patients take 2 caps twice daily.
Although horse chestnut is wonderful for strengthening veins, just utilizing it alone is not going to fully address the problem. Straining with bowel movements because of a dry hardened stool lacking fiber, water, and probiotics are the ultimate causes of hemorrhoids. Basically everyone in America has hemorrhoids at some point because of the crappy white refined foods diet that we eat.
You can always apply the standard preparation H, or an herbal hemorrhoid cream with astringents such as witch hazel in it. Keep the area clean and take some stool softeners until it is healed so you don’t continue to rupture it back open, or feel like you are pooping razor blades.
Eat dark pigmented berries to ensure a strong healthy vasculature. Add a cup of frozen blueberries daily to the diet as well as citrus foods to heal blood vessels. When symptomatic do alternating sitz baths to tonify the vessels of the pelvic region.
For prevention be sure to not get constipated!
Try drinking a glass of warm water every morning when you wake up to give the intestines a bath. The heat from the water tends to relax the smooth muscle of the bowel and train your body to have a bowel movement each morning. For short term relief you can try magnesium 400-800mg but keep in mind that it is simply a short-term osmotic cure for diarrhea, it is not treating the cause.
Be sure to eat plenty of fiber, drink a gallon of water daily, and MOVE your body. Your digestive tract responds to movement. Sitting around all day will result in a sluggish bowel. Humans were not designed for sitting all day and it creates stagnation in our pelvis. Include foods in the diet that encourage bowel movements such as celery, pears, flaxseeds, apples, prunes, oatmeal and other whole grains.
Try a “High Fiber Breakfast” which consists of a bowl of oatmeal with 3 tablespoons of FRESHLY ground flaxseeds, a handful of raw walnuts, half a chopped apple pears, blackberries, blueberries (not bananas as they cause constipation) along with yogurt and cinnamon for flavor and garnish. Or eat this as a bed time snack to insure a normal bowel movement in the morning.
You may also benefit from taking some probiotics to help bulk up the stool, as a third of the weight of our stool comes from the bacteria in our digestive tract. If you have taken antibiotics in the past, your bowel flora may be compromised. I like HMF intensive, Megasporebiotic, and Klaire's probiotic you can pick up on my discount vitamin page. Rotat the different brands around each month to create a diverse amount of flora in your microbiome!
Please keep in mind your Naturopathic Doctor has heard EVERYTHING and simply just wants to help you with your constipation and hemorrhoids so you can feel fabulous again!
Need my help simply visit my SCHEDULE page. I would be happy to help!
Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD
Dr. Sundene is a Naturopathic Doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is considered a Female Hormone Expert in Women's Health and Bioidentical Hormones. She specializes in Holistic Women's Health for Menopause, Thyroid, Hashimotos, PMS, Perimenopause, Autoimmune, Postpartum, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, Food Allergies, Digestion, Dermatology , Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema and Adrenal Hormonal Conditions. In 1999 she began working for a Hormone Doctor prior to starting Naturopathic Medical School. With over 22 years of experience in both Prescription and Natural women's health and hormones she presents to women the best integrated health solutions for their Chronic Disease. She has been an Herbalist for over 27 years and enjoys teaching women how to use herbs to balance their hormones, nutrition and optimize their health. Dr. Sundene relies on blood testing for her hormone metrics. The hormone testing is covered per the patient's insurance plan and conducted at certain points in the woman's menstrual cycle. To learn more about Hormone Testing for Women Visit: Bioidentical Hormones. Follow Dr. Sundene on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more tips on Women's Health, Female Hormones and Naturopathy!