This month I would like to share the pain and suffering I have experienced for the good part of 2013. It is embarrassing and disgusting at the same time. But I will tell you the story anyways, because I believe many of you will greatly benefit from what happened to me and how I dealt with it. It was one of the most difficult times of my life. I suffered from pain, cried in despair, and lost the hope of living the life filled with joy and happiness. Constant pain and burning sensation caused me to depressed, so depressed that I didn’t want to do or eat anything resulting in the significant loss of the body weight.
As some of you may already know, I am very slim. People often tell me that I am too skinny and that I need to eat more to gain weight. I used to get annoyed by the comment, but now I care less. I am perfectly comfortable and happy with the way I am, except for the fact that it is very hard to find the clothes for my size, especially a pair of pants. But loosing more weight off of an already skinny body was unacceptable and very alarming to me. I knew I had to do something. I really wanted to eat more and actually enjoy the food I love. But I just could not do it, not because I suffered from permanent neurological brain damage that prevented me from eating, not because I believed eating less is better for my condition, it was because I was scared shitless and worried about bowel movements bursting my hemorrhoid, turning a toilet bowl into a sea of bloody mess.
“So how the heck did you even end up getting a hemorrhoid?” you may ask. I asked myself the exact same question. And I had my own theories, just like many of our new patients who come through the Hen Sen Herbs’s door with their own theories as to why they are sick. Some of them simply want to prove that their theories are right and demand Juli (the herbalist) to agree with them. They refuse to make changes in terms of diet and lifestyle and expect a miracle cure from the herbs. They ignore Juli’s suggestions, argue with her to defend their ground and blame herbs for unsatisfactory results, or even worse they self-diagnose and end up prescribing themselves highly toxic herbs. Science and research oriented people usually fall in this category. They do research after research on the internet as well as in print publications until they find the perfect cure (idea) that is inline with their beliefs and theories.
Well, I acted like one of them in the attempt to treat my hemorrhoid myself. When it comes to healing, theories and beliefs are dangerous until they are proven right. Self-diagnosis is just as dangerous unless you are an herbalist with years of experience. Traditional Chinese medicine is all based on the clinical history of trial and error of the past herbalists over thousands of years. They kept meticulous records of what worked and what did not. In the process of developing a prescription for a particular illness, numerous adjustments were made to make the prescription more effective. However, it was also true that many of the dangerous experimental prescriptions were tested on prisoners and others alike and many of them died or became severely ill. Even an Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, became a victim (or willing victim – he was obsessed with acquiring immortality and fell prey to those who offered him supposed elixirs). He died after ingesting mercury pills made by his alchemists and court physicians (herbalists).
So, what were my theories and supposed solutions? I am dumb enough to know that it is dangerous to concoct my own hemorrhoid busting herbal remedies. Instead, I focused on finding causes of my hemorrhoid. I theorized that elimination of the causes would cure it. The first thought that came to my mind was to limit my diet even further. I said to myself, “Maybe my diet is not good enough, I’d better change it.” Since I preach to patients all the time, my diet has been very good for the most part. But every once in a while, I allow myself to indulge in rich, heavy and obviously acidic food that can potentially screw up my digestive system. I enjoy occasional coffee with a slice of cake, chocolate chip cookies whenever I feel good and relaxed, so I gave up everything.
When eliminating my occasional indulgence and living like a monk didn’t help tame down the hemorrhoid, I started blaming the high level of physical and emotional stress I was going through everyday. As if 10 -12 hours of office work plus extra 4 -5 hours of labor work at night (making herbal pills) was not enough, my 3 young children demanded another 2 -3 hours of my time everyday. I was beat up, exhausted both mentally and physically. No immediate solution in sight in terms of changing my lifestyle, nowhere to hide or run from my responsibility as a father, and no point feeling sorry for myself, I started looking for solution in metaphysical world, which I will not discuss here.
In the mean time, my hemorrhoid was progressively getting worse. Tissues around the anus were so sore and swollen and there was no room for the stools to pass. Even a soft and small stool caused an unbelievable amount of pain. My body was shaking so hard, my face turning red, abdominal muscle tensing up as hard as rock, tears coming out of my eyes, and sweat being squeezed out of every single pore of my skin. I dreaded every time I had to go to bathroom. Many times the water in the toilet bowl turns pure red from dripping blood from a bursting hemorrhoid. After a while I became desensitized to the sight of blood, but never the pain. Yet, I was still stubbornly refusing to ask Juli for help in order to test my own theories, beliefs and some folk remedies such as:
1. Bacterial infection? I tried 3-4 different OTC herbs to combat, thinking it was a infection causing hemorroid. Of course it had nothing to do with it and I continued to suffer.
2. Acidic food? While on the trip, I had big typical American breakfasts – eggs, beacon strips, greasy biscuits and a few sausages. I was well aware that sausage patties were loaded with artificial flavor (aka M.S.G.). That evening, extreme burning sensation and excruciating pain in the rectum took control of me, and I was literally moaning and crying face down in my bed for a several hours. I have no doubt that acidic food aggravate the conditions. However, eliminating acidic food did not improve the condition immediately.
3. Overheated digestive system? I began eating more vegetables, such as Chinese Mustard green soup (see last month’s issue) to cool down the digestive system. It was definitely cooling and helped keep the stool soft, thus less pain during the bowel movement. But it did not effectively take away the pain or the swelling.
4. Stress? There is no question about the negative impact it has on the overall health, but no direct correlation to the hemorrhoid in my case.
5. External remedy? I’d tried Chinese Folk remedy – External application of the solution made from garlic chives, in my opinion, is one of the most effective folk remedies available. It seems to soothe and reduce inflammation of the hemorrhoid externally. Recommended both before and after bowel movement. It will definitely help soothe the affected area temporarily, but you must still treat internal problem first in order to eliminate the inflammation permanently.
Internal is the key.
Several months before my hemorrhoid got out of control, Juli suspected that I was having allergic reaction to the herb particles in the air I was breathing while I was grinding the herbs for our herbal pills. And, I noticed a hemorrhoid flared up every time my lungs were exposed to the particles 2 -3 days in a row. When she suggested that I take AE to help reduce the overall inflammation caused by allergic reaction to the herb particles, I completely dismissed the idea because I was busy testing my own theories and very closed-minded to the new suggestions.
Finally out of despair, I begged Juli to write a prescription for hemorrhoid and started taking AE religiously. To my surprise, I noticed immediate reduction of swelling within a few days, and the most of the pain was gone. No more bleeding. My digestion immediately improved also. It seems that inflammation from allergic reaction was blocking my digestive system which in turn caused “Excessive Damp Heat” in the lower burner. (Later I learned from Juli it was the direct cause of the hemorrhoid).
So here is my suggestion on treating a hemorrhoid:
1. Stick with healthy easy-to-digest diet consist mainly of vegetable. Absolutely no acidic food, drink or spices to prevent further aggravation.
2. Consult Juli and get herb prescription for hemorrhoid to treat a severe imbalance. Hemorrhoid is caused by excessive damp heat in the lower burner.
3. Take AE to reduce inflammation caused by allergic reaction (your case may be different).
4. Use external treatment in conjunction with herbs: such as Garlic chive, or hemorrhoid cream from Hen Sen Herbs.
My experience tells me that Excessive Damp Heat in the lower burner can be easily cleared by herbs. Hemorrhoids can be treated in a matter of a week as long as you know how to prevent it. So, talk to Juli and get a package of herbs and figure out what possibly causing Excessive Damp Heat in the lower burner.
– Kaz Isgoai