Hemorrhoids are a painful inflammation of the veins that surround the anus and rectum. The most common sign of hemorrhoids is bleeding during or after a bowel movement, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. In addition to bleeding and pain, you may experience itching, burning and irritation. Hemorrhoids affect as many as 75 percent of all adults at some time in their lives and can be caused by excessive straining, a low-fiber diet, pregnancy or prolonged sitting. Vitamin supplements may help relieve some of the symptoms or causes of hemorrhoids. But check with your doctor before using a dietary supplement.
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Vitamin C is a natural anti-oxidant that can remove harmful substances from your body that can cause cellular damage. This versatile vitamin is also important in healing, which can help you recover from the inflammation and pain of hemorrhoids. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University adds that vitamin C is important for both the expansion and the contraction of blood vessels. This effect may help improve resiliency of the vessels affected by gravity, straining or lack of fiber.
Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopheryl acetate, is found in many topical applications and may help decrease hemorrhoids. According to the National Institutes of Health, creams that contain vitamin E can help decrease itching and burning. Additionally, the cream provides a protective and soothing barrier from potential antigens that can cause infection. You can find topical vitamin E cream at your local pharmacy or health food store. Check with your doctor before using any topical cream on hemorrhoids, and use the product as directed by the manufacturer.
Vitamin C is a type of bioflavonoid. But you can also purchase bioflavonoid supplements that contain other substances. Bioflavonoids are substances that provide the color in plants, according to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. Additionally, bioflavonoids act as anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories and anti-virals. These effects may help decrease the inflammation of hemorrhoids and protect you from infection caused by viruses entering ruptured veins. The Huntington College of Health Sciences adds that bioflavonoid supplements taken regularly may help reduce the incidence of hemorrhoids.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex, which includes B1, or thiamine; B2, or riboflavin; and B3, or niacin, is a family of vitamins that plays a role in facilitating digestion. In "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," author Phyllis A. Balch writes that B complex may relieve hemorrhoids by improving digestion. This can alleviate constipation that can lead to hemorrhoids. Vitamin B12, additionally, is a bioflavonoid and may decrease inflammation and irritation. Balch recommends the sublingual form of B complex, which is placed under your tongue.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Hemorrhoids
- Huntington College of Health Sciences: Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids
- International Chiropractic Pediatric Association: What Are Bioflavonoids?
- Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University: Vitamin C
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin E
- National Institutes of Health; Drug Facts; Hemorrhoidal Starch
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch; 2006