Probiotics and Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoid Management and the Gut Microbiome Connection
Probiotics often pop up in the media as a smart way to keep your digestive system healthy. You might be wondering whether they’re just a trendy fad or something that could make a real difference in your gut health.
If you’re struggling with a hemorrhoid problem, you might be especially eager to learn whether there’s a connection between probiotics and hemorrhoids. You’ll be glad to know that adding probiotics to your routine may, indeed, be useful for improving your condition.
Hemorrhoids and Constipation
For many people, their hemorrhoids have a lot to do with their bathroom habits. Irregular bowel patterns put stress and strain on the rectum, and that can lead to developing hemorrhoids.
People with constipation aren’t able to pass bowel movements very often. When they are able to go, their stools may be large, hard and dry. Trying to move that material can be difficult. As they bear down, the blood vessels in the rectal area can become inflamed. That’s when a hemorrhoid problem can begin.
Continued constipation can make it hard for hemorrhoids to heal. Rather, the more often someone is straining in the bathroom, the more severe the hemorrhoid issue can become.
What Are Probiotics?
Some people rely on probiotics to help ease their constipation concerns.
Probiotics are microbes that support gut health. Most of the time, when people talk about probiotics, they’re thinking about beneficial bacteria. There are yeasts that can serve as probiotics, too, though.
Your digestive system is teeming with microbes. That’s normal and essential. You need good microbes to digest your food and keep your system in balance.
Some people choose to add to their collection of beneficial gut microbes by taking probiotic supplements or eating probiotic-rich foods and drinks. Good sources of these healthy bacteria or yeasts include yogurt, kombucha and sauerkraut.
Probiotics and Constipation
Research focused specifically on the connection between probiotics and constipation has been limited, but it does seem to suggest that taking probiotics might help.
One meta-analysis that reviewed studies related to chronic idiopathic constipation found that using probiotics helped increase people’s weekly bowel movements. On average, the test subjects started having 1.49 more bowel movements each week.
In another literature review, researchers found a similar increase in weekly bowel movements among people who took probiotic supplements.
They also discovered that taking probiotics seemed to help material move through the digestive system more quickly. In general, people on a probiotic regimen experienced about a 12-hour reduction in travel time through the gut.
The researchers also observed that people who were on probiotics found it easier to have bowel movements because their stools were softer.
Before You Begin: What to Know About Taking Probiotics for Hemorrhoids
If your hemorrhoid situation is affected by constipation, this research suggests that a supplementation routine might help you. By getting your constipation problem under control, you might be able to reduce your current hemorrhoids or keep new ones from developing.
There are many strains of probiotic bacteria available. Some research indicates that Bifidobacterium may be a particularly effective variety for dealing with constipation. That’s not a guarantee, though, and more research is required before medical professionals can definitively say that this is the most effective strain for constipation woes.
Some experts advise that you may need to try a few different types of probiotics to see what works best for your body. If the first variety doesn't seem to be making a significant difference, you can try introducing another strain.
Healthcare Help for Probiotics and Hemorrhoids
It can be a good idea to consult a professional for help during this process. In fact, it’s always a smart choice to talk to your doctor or another healthcare provider before beginning a probiotic routine. A registered dietician (RD) is one type of professional who may have valuable insights into the connection between probiotics and hemorrhoids.
Also, the next time you visit your doctor, make sure to mention your probiotics when asked what medications or supplements you’re taking.
Overall Hemorrhoid Treatment
Taking probiotics should be just one component of your hemorrhoid treatment plan.
You can support your healing process with other lifestyle changes. Examples include drinking more water and eating high-fiber foods. Losing weight and staying active might help as well. In addition, most experts recommend limiting how long you sit on the toilet during a bathroom session.
If you have severe or recurring hemorrhoids, you may need a more targeted approach to hemorrhoid care. One option that can be handled in your doctor’s office is rubber band ligation.
Your doctor may use the Adler Ligator (AL 9000) to place a small band around a hemorrhoid. This will stop blood flow to the area so that the hemorrhoid will dry up and fall off.
Talk to your doctor about your options for hemorrhoid care. Together, you can develop a comprehensive plan that addresses your specific hemorrhoid needs.
Probiotics and Hemorrhoids
If you’re dealing with hemorrhoids — or you want to guard against them — adding probiotics to your daily routine might help. You can get probiotics from supplements, food or drinks. Talk to your doctor about making a hemorrhoid treatment plan and whether it should include probiotics.
If you have hemorrhoids that need more than a daily dose of probiotics, then you’ll benefit from meeting with a colorectal specialist who’s well-versed in hemorrhoid care. You can use our provider finder to locate a specialist who uses the Adler Ligator for effective, minimally invasive hemorrhoid removal.
As with all medical issues, your physician is the ultimate source as to what procedure best fits your needs. Discuss all options and get a second opinion if you have any doubts. These articles are intended to be a source of general information only.