By Josh Redd, DC on April 12, 2017
Hemorrhoids are an embarrassing subject but they can make you miserable. Although the issue tends to run in families, there are steps you can take to relieve and prevent hemorrhoids. When you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid, addressing root causes of hemorrhoids can also help you manage your autoimmune thyroid disease.
Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the anus and rectum that cause pain from sitting, squatting, going to the bathroom, and other ordinary things. In addition to pain, other symptoms include bleeding, the urge for a bowel movement, itching, and irritation.
Root causes of hemorrhoids with Hashimoto’s low thyroid
The most common cause of hemorrhoids is a diet low in fiber. Most Americans eat less than half the daily recommended amount of fiber.
Recommendation has gone up from 5–7 servings a day to 7–10. A serving is a half cup of vegetables and fruits or a cup of leafy greens. So a good day of sufficient fiber might look like four cups of salad and three cups of other vegetables and fruits. Or three cups of spinach, kale, or collard greens, and three to four cups of vegetables and fruits.
Be careful to eat modest amounts of low-glycemic fruit like berries so you don't spike your blood sugar and cause inflammation that can make hemorrhoid pain worse.
Ways to increase vegetables in your diet include:
- Prepping and storing veggies to add to meals
- Ordering salads with meals when eating out
- Making big batches of veggies soups and stews
- Keeping a container “salad bar” in your fridge
- Veggie smoothies
- Snacking on raw veggies
Also, drink plenty of water and exercise daily to further prevent constipation.
Some people experience gastric discomfort from eating a lot of produce. If this happen to you you may need to take digestive enzymes with your meals or have more serious issues that require more concerted gut healing. Ask my office about ways to help repair your gut function.
Eating an ample and diverse amount of vegetables goes beyond helping relieve constipation and hemorrhoids. This diet creates a more healthy gut bacteria environment, which in turn supports immune health. This is a vital component of your work to manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Still constipated even with plenty of fiber?
If you eat plenty of fiber and are still constipated, then you will have to look for other causes. Possibilities are listed below.
Low thyroid function.
Low thyroid function and autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism
cause constipation. Managing your autoimmune thyroid condition is fundamental to addressing constipation and hemorrhoids. This means looking at food intolerances, inflammation, chemical sensitivities, and other diet and lifestyle factors that influence autoimmune Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Poor brain function can lead to hemorrhoids. If your brain is degenerating too fast or doesn't function properly, the vagus nerve
, a large nerve between the brain and the gut, is not properly activated. An active vagus nerve signals the intestines to contract and move food along, preventing constipation.
Poor vagus nerve function also inhibits secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and enzymes, which lead to constipation. Poor vagus nerve function also fails to keep the tissues of the rectum and anus healthy so as to avoid hemorrhoids.
Fortunately, we can activate the vagus nerve with exercises
such as gargling vigorously and frequently, singing loudly, or stimulating the gag reflex.
Hashimoto’s low thyroid that is not managed can deteriorate brain function. By working to manage Hashimoto’s you can likewise influence constipation and hemorrhoids.
A leaky gut and gut inflammation contributes to constipation. The gut has its own nervous system, called the enteric nervous system. When gut health is bad, the enteric nervous system does not function properly and constipation can result.
Additionally, poor gut health and bad gut bacteria impact brain health in a way that can, thanks to the communication highway of the vagus nerve, set the stage for constipation and hemorrhoids due to faulty brain-gut interaction.
Addressing gut health, leaky gut, and gut bacteria is fundamental to managing Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism as well.
Toilet pedestals and non-surgical treatments
The “Squatty Potty
” movement is another ally against hemorrhoids. Elevating your feet when you sit on the toilet helps prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. Also, be aware of non-surgical solutions for hemorrhoids, such as treatments that use an electrical current
A variety of factors can cause hemorrhoids, however make sure and address diet and health of the digestive tract, brain, and immune system. Ask my office for more advice about hemorrhoids or Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto's Low Thyroid Disease
, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto's Low Thyroid Disease
, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center
with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto's disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto's, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here