One of the worst things about GERD is that it is not just limited to its symptoms. It can cause several other problems as well. Some may be side effects meanwhile others could be consequences. The Human body is interconnected, so one problem in the digestive system can wreck the system. For instance, a Hiatal hernia is one of the most common repercussions of acid reflux.
Acid reflux and hemorrhoids are connected and if you are wondering whether one causes the other or if it can only worsen the other if it’s already developed, what’s the link between them, and most importantly, what are the ultimate treatment options, keep reading this article to find out because lack of knowledge will only make you ignorant and prolong the symptoms, as soon as you understand their connection you can work towards curing the two.
What Is Acid Reflux?
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a highly vital organ that joins the stomach to the lower esophagus. LES only opens and closes to allow food substances into our bellies. Still, if it gets disrupted, it will start relaxing at the wrong times, allowing the stomach acids to flow back into the esophagus.
Stomach contents, when refluxed, will cause common GERD symptoms such as a burning sensation in your throat along with sharp abdominal pain and chest pain. You may also feel the sense of a lump in the back of your throat, a sour or acidic taste in your mouth, and difficulty swallowing food and liquid substances.
The constant recurrence of acid reflux is not regular, and it will lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is a chronic condition. That’s why if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. Please seek medical advice immediately and discuss it with your healthcare provider.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are the swollen veins in your lower rectum. When the blood vessels at the end of your digestive tract get inflamed, they can either cause internal hemorrhoids (inside the rectum) or external hemorrhoids (around the anus). They can be caused due to several reasons, such as increased pressure on the lower rectum, obesity, chronic diarrhea, or straining during bowel movements.
Pregnant women may also get hemorrhoids often. They mainly result in minor rectal bleeding that can stain the toilet paper. Even though most of the time, it’s nothing serious, every 3 in 4 adults in the general population experience it over time. You can diagnose hemorrhoids by looking out for the following symptoms.
- Symptoms of hemorrhoids
- Mucus in underwear
- Rectal pain inflicted from around your anus
- A feeling of an itch or lump around your anal region
- Painless bleeding during bowel movement
- Stools that have an unusually darker color
- Discomfort while sitting
If the symptoms worsen over time and do not repress, consult your doctor.
The Connection Between Acid Reflux And Hemorrhoid
Now that you have general knowledge about both acid reflux disease and hemorrhoids, it is clear that the main link between the two is their connection with the digestive system. Both can cause similar symptoms and make your day-to-day life difficult, keep reading to find out how they are connected.
The same dietary changes can essentially prevent both GERD and hemorrhoids. Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet will aid your digestive system and accelerate metabolism; hence, not giving food substances a chance to catch bacteria and increasing the amount of toxic acid will reduce acid reflux.
On the other hand, it will help with hemorrhoids by softening stool, and the pain will fade away once straining decreases.
The other way these both are related is the reason behind their occurrence. Obesity and excess weight can cause both acid reflux and hemorrhoids. Being overweight will cause pressure on your anal veins, and your body will develop hemorrhoids. As for GERD, the excess weight that adds pressure on your abdomen and the lack of space causes acid reflux, so reducing weight can solve both problems.
Most importantly, both GERD and hemorrhoids are an example of gastrointestinal diseases. The gastrointestinal tract is a tube from your mouth to the anus, and both acid reflux and hemorrhoids affect this same tube at different places. Gerd is considered an upper gastrointestinal disorder. Meanwhile, hemorrhoids are one of the structural GI diseases.
Solemnity Of Hemorrhoids
Connected or not, hemorrhoids are crucial and attention worthy even if they are not related to acid reflux. If your bleeding only seems to worsen along with other symptoms over time, it might be possible that you are confusing something much more severe for hemorrhoids.
Most people neglect and underestimate the seriousness of other potential diseases. It may be possible that the recurrence of hemorrhoid symptoms is actually due to colorectal cancer (also known as colon cancer), chron disease, or even ulcerative colitis.
Studies show that patients with diverticular disease are more likely to develop internal hemorrhoids. Diverticulums are small pouches that can form around the colon’s wall in the large intestine once you reach 40. The reason behind hemorrhoids could be the development of diverticula in your body which requires appropriate treatment.
The treatment options are somewhat similar, but since they exist in different parts of our body, surgical procedures and medicines may vary accordingly.
Treatment For Acid Reflux
- First, precautions and restrictions must be made in your dietary behavior. It would be best to abstain from trigger food substances such as dairy products, fatty foods, spicy foods, white bread, acidic foods, and citrus fruits.
- Doctors often recommend lifestyle changes such as weight loss. The weight reduction will make your stomach more spacious, and instead of acids being forced to flow backward, they will remain inside, preventing acid reflux.
- Prescribed drugs and counter medications can be taken to neutralize the stomach acids. A typical example is proton pump inhibitors that reduce the production of acids inside your body.
- Even though precautions and minor changes will help a lot on a short-term basis, getting a surgical procedure is the only permanent solution to rid yourself of GERD. You can consult your doctor, who will advise you with the proper treatment details and recommend one best suited for your situation.
Treatment For Hemorrhoids
- The best way to prevent hemorrhoid disease is to ensure that you add enough fiber to your diet. It is recommended to eat an excessive amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. High fiber intake will strengthen your digestive system, prevent chronic constipation, and soften stool, making it easier to pass.
- For temporary relief, stool softeners and hemorrhoid creams can also be used. Apart from that, warm baths are also proven to help with the pain. It will be much more beneficial if you add Epsom salts.
- Suppose oral painkillers do not seem to work for you, and you feel as if you have exhausted all the other options, but the pain remains. In that case, it is time to speak to a medical professional who will judge the severity of your situation. A surgical procedure or hemorrhoidectomy may need to be performed immediately if it’s serious.
Read also: Does Pumpkin Cause Acid Reflux?
Are Acid Reflux And Hemorrhoids Related Summary
Any disease or illness that lasts for an unusual amount of time and continues to cause pain of any kind requires your undivided attention. Not only will it make your life difficult if left neglected, but it can also become much more severe and life-threatening.
For example, heartburn may not concern you much, but if it’s not treated in time, it can lead to Barrett’s esophagus and even cause esophageal cancer. Several scientifically proven methods help with both acid reflux and hemorrhoids. Whether they are connected or not, if you experience symptoms of either, it requires immediate treatment.