I developed hemorrhoids when I was 20 years old. Occasional flare-ups happen when my stress levels are high and I eat too much junk food and too little fiber. After a few days of eating well, drinking plenty of water, and exercising more, the symptoms go away.

In May of 2009, I moved from my house of 19 years to a condo. I did a lot of renovation work and I love my new place. But even good stress can cause problems. In October I had a severe outbreak of hemorrhoids. Only this time, nothing helped. I finally got some prescription ointment and suppositories, and the bleeding stopped and the pain subsided. Within days, it started again and got worse.

I did some research on the internet. There is a lot of good information and medical advice out there. I found a site that was packed with helpful yet fun tips. Visit 001yourtranslationservice.com and follow the links to their natural hemorrhoids treatment page.

I experimented with herbal supplements, took sitz baths, ate bran, psyllium fiber, and fruits and vegetables, drank even more water, and started exercising regularly. Everything helped a little but nothing stopped the pain or cured the condition.

Terrified at the prospect of surgery, refusing to spend hundreds of dollars on so-called miracle cures, I delved into research on topics like constipation, colon health, and digestion. Did you know that:

– Eating a lot of fiber relieves constipation, but not drinking enough water causes it

– Eating regularly (at the same time every day) keeps you digesting and eliminating regularly

– Chewing food to an almost runny consistency delights the intestines by facilitating digestion (no more burping and bloating)

– Enzymes to digest food are activated when you chew

– Food is digested in the order in which it is eaten

– Eating easy-to-digest foods starts the digestive process (start with water or juice, then soup, salad, vegetables, etc.)

– Drinking before the meal is good. If you must drink with your meal, take a sip of warm water with fresh lemon juice

– Our digestive system has to work harder to digest certain food combinations – the worst is meat plus potatoes, rice, pasta or bread. It is better to eat meat with vegetables or pasta, potatoes or other starches with vegetables.

– Fruit should be eaten alone – at least 1 hour before a meal or two hours after – it is quickly digested and can interfere with the digestion of other foods

– Dairy products should be avoided as they can cause constipation, which aggravates hemorrhoids.

– Caffeine, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, fried and processed foods do the same

– Exercise is crucial for good digestion: if your body is moving, so is your digestive system, and it’s okay to walk after a meal; in fact, it helps.

A website provided the key that unlocked the door to my own permanent recovery. At puristat.com, I discovered their colon cleansing detox diet. It is a very easy eating plan to follow. The basic concepts are as follows:

1. Eat only fruit until noon. Any kind, as much as you want, but only fruit.

2. Do not combine starches with proteins during any meal

3. Do not eat anything for two to three hours before bed

4. Drink half your body weight in ounces daily (eg, a 150 lb person would drink 75 ounces or 9-10 glasses), preferably purified water, but green teas, juices, and plain water are also good tibia.

That’s it. The website also provides 10 tips for easy digestion that are easy to follow and make sense.

In addition to changing what, how and when I eat, I intend to be more active. I’m going for a 20-30 minute walk after lunch. I work out three times a week at my condo gym: cardio on the elliptical machine, stretching, free weights, core exercises, and more stretching. That’s my basic routine.

When the weather permits, I take longer walks, explore my neighborhood, or walk in a nearby riverside park. I take the stairs when I can, walk through the office, get off the bus a couple of stops early, and walk home. Small changes add up to big gains.

I lost over 15 pounds in 3 months and have shed 3 inches from my waist simply by losing fat and building muscle tone. I am stronger and fitter; I look good and I feel great. To quote Billy Crystal’s character from Saturday Night Live, “When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you look wonderful.”

I’m basically a couch potato. I work full time in the corporate world and do freelance writing and editing. My favorite hobbies are reading and watching movies or television. But if I can do it: change my eating habits, exercise more, banish hemorrhoid pain, and get fit, strong, and sexy, then so can you!

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