Probiotics and Hemorrhoids: Definition And Best Strains
Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed blood vessels in the rectum or anus that can cause discomfort, pain, and rectal bleeding which affects about 1 in 20 Americans according to NIDDK.
Probiotics a type of live microorganism or yeast that contribute to a healthy gut environment and improve digestive health, which can manage hemorrhoids. Probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidus, can help prevent and treat hemorrhoids according to St. Luke's Medical Center. Bifidus refers to Bifidobacterium.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum or anus. Internal hemorrhoids are typically painless but may bleed, while external hemorrhoids can cause pain. They are similar to varicose veins which are enlarged and twisted veins, typically in the legs, that are caused by weakened valves and poor blood circulation.
Hemorrhoids can be caused by factors such as straining during bowel movements, chronic constipation, or pregnancy. Hemorrhoids can usually go away on their own within a few days, but larger hemorrhoids may require medical treatment. Common symptoms include rectal bleeding, pain, itching, and a feeling of fullness.
Best Probiotic Strains For Hemorrhoids?
The 3 best probiotic strains for improving Hemorrhoids are Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei Shirota and Bifidobacterium longum 35624 according to research.
- 1Lactobacillus Acidophilus: A 2023 review authored by VD Palumbo, found a possible relationship between altered gut microbiota and anorectal disorders. Dysbiosis, which refers to an imbalance in the gut microbiota, may play a role in promoting anorectal inflammation and dysmotility. Lactobacillus Acidophilus a strain mentioned in the review may reduce inflammation, normalize sphincter activity, and improving overall anorectal functionality.
- 2Lactobacillus Casei Shirota: A 2015 study authored by T Sakai, suggests that continuous consumption of fermented milk containing Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS) may alleviate constipation-related symptoms, provide satisfactory bowel habits, and lead to earlier recovery from hemorrhoids in women during the postpartum period. Incidence of hemorrhoids decreased in the probiotic group over the study period.
- 3Bifidobacterium longum 35624: A 2022 study authored by JM Sabaté, found treatment with Bifidobacterium longum 35624 for 30 days reduces disease severity and improves the quality of life in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. The study showed a significant decrease in IBS severity scores and an improvement in patient quality of life. Bifidobacterium longum 35624 had a positive impact on IBS symptoms which can be beneficial for patients with hemorrhoids.
Can Constipation Cause Hemorrhoids?
Yes, constipation can contribute to the development or worsening of hemorrhoids according to a 1994 study authored by JF Johanson. Straining during bowel movements, sitting on the toilet for long periods, and chronic diarrhea or constipation increase the risk of hemorrhoids.
Treating with constipation with probiotics may help prevent hemorrhoids, as both conditions are interlinked. Constipation, left untreated can lead to serious complications like, anal fissures, fecal impaction, and rectal issues.
Can Probiotics Make Hemorrhoids Worse?
Yes, Probiotics can make hemorrhoids worse when taking them for the first time for some people. Probiotics can sometimes cause constipation as a potential side effect which can cause hemorrhoids as previously mentioned.
Can Stress Cause Hemorrhoids?
Stress itself does not directly cause or worsen hemorrhoids, it can contribute to digestive problems such as cramps, diarrhea, and constipation according to Gastroconsa. Severe cases of diarrhea or constipation can potentially lead to hemorrhoids. The relationship between stress and hemorrhoids is often indirect, with stress-induced bowel distress playing a role in their development according to a 2021 study authored by S De Marco.
Can Pregnancy Cause Hemorrhoids?
Yes, Hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. Pregnant women are prone to getting hemorrhoids due to factors such as constipation, increased blood volume, and pressure on the rectal veins from the growing uterus. Hormonal progesterone changes during pregnancy can also contribute to the development of hemorrhoids according to a 2022 study authored by D Bužinskienė.
Can Eating Yogurt Help Hemorrhoids?
Yes, Yogurt rich in beneficial bacteria can improve digestion and aid in bowel movements which may help reduce hemorrhoid symptoms, promote faster healing, and potentially prevent recurrence. Yogurt rich in beneficial bacteria refers to yogurt that contains a high concentration of beneficial microorganisms that can support digestive health and improve gut flora.
How To Take Probiotics For Hemmorrhoids?
To take probiotics for Hemmorrhoids it is suggested to incorporate probiotics as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes other healthy lifestyle changes. It's best to take probiotics first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before eating any meals.
Dr. Sara Mesilhy has a Master’s degree in Gastroenterology and holds a membership with the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom. She completed her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at Cairo University and is currently part of the ProbioticReviewGirl medical team.