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Hemorrhoids and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This may be discouraging to hear, but sometimes hemorrhoids accompany IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). That means if you suffer from hemorrhoids, there’s a good chance that you may suffer from IBS, and vice versa. Suffering from one of these conditions can be difficult enough, but suffering from both at the same time can be too much to handle for some people. The key to handling these conditions at the same time involves making appropriate lifestyle changes that can help you alleviate the symptoms of both IBS and hemorrhoids.

The IBS Connection

Why do hemorrhoids and IBS appear to be so complementary? First, it helps to understand the symptoms of IBS, and how they affect the development of hemorrhoids. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is very common, with doctors reporting it as one of the primary complaints among patients.

Like hemorrhoids, IBS has a certain amount of stigma attached to it that can make it difficult to talk about. IBS is a difficult condition to diagnose because the signs and symptoms tend to vary widely. In fact, it is possible that two individuals may be diagnosed with having IBS, while retaining two entirely different sets of symptoms.

IBS Symptoms

The most common types of symptoms to be associated with IBS include feelings of bloating, abdominal pain, gas, excessive diarrhea or constipation, alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation, abdominal swelling, and small or flat, long ribbon-shaped stools. Although there are many theories, doctors and researchers have not yet identified a single cause for IBS. Women are twice as likely to suffer from IBS, and onset occurs at a young age, usually around age 20.

Although for the most part, IBS can be controlled through diet, lifestyle, and stress control, it can prove very disruptive to an individual’s social and work life. Because IBS is directly linked to diarrhea, constipation, and sometimes both, it can cause additional complications for individuals who also suffer from hemorrhoids. In fact, IBS can be a great exacerbating factor for hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids, which are essentially clusters of swollen veins inside or around the rim of the anus, are very thin and prone to breaking during the course of a normal bowel movement. If you suffer from IBS, there is a greater chance that you may affect your hemorrhoids during the course of a bowel movement, particularly if you are prone to straining.

Change your Diet

If you suffer from both hemorrhoids and IBS, how can you go about controlling these conditions so that one does exacerbate the other? Above all, you should strive to make lifestyle choices that will help you heal both of these conditions. Changing your diet can be immensely helpful for dealing with both IBS and hemorrhoids.

For instance, if you suffer from constipation, adding more fiber to your diet can help you achieve more regular bowel movements, and may help you avoid straining, which can be very detrimental if you suffer from hemorrhoids. If you can find a way to ease the symptoms of IBS, there is a good chance that you can ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids as well.