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Ask Dr. Gott 7/14

Squatting, washing clear up hemorrhoids

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Posted: July 13, 2007 2:58 p.m.
Updated: July 28, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am writing in regard to the letter from the man who found that defecating on paper towels relieved his hemorrhoids.
There is quite a bit of sense to this. I developed severe hemorrhoids in my teens, possibly due to chronic constipation. The pain was terrible, and at times they bled so much I would have to wear women's sanitary pads in my underwear.
    When I was 23, I went on an extended trip to the Middle East: Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. They do not have toilets there. You squat over an open hole in the floor and wash yourself with your hand using a pitcher of water provided. (That is why it is considered improper to eat with your left hand or offer it to someone in greeting.) My hemorrhoids cleared up entirely. Washing (instead of using tissue) helped as well, since it did not irritate the inflamed tissues.
    Later, I found out that in squatting to defecate, much less pressure is needed to evacuate the bowel, decreasing the blood pressure in the perineal area. (I later went on to become an registered nurse, so I know somewhat of what I speak.)
    The hemorrhoids seldom return, and when they do, I return to squatting for a week or so.
    DEAR READER: Thank you for sharing a safe and effective therapy for hemorrhoids.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Constipation and Diarrhea." Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

DEAR DR. GOTT: My husband and I are 74 and 73 years old. We wonder if supplement pills (such as glucosamine, fish oil and flax oil) keep one from losing weight. We both have been on Weight Watchers. We count all points that we consume daily. We both dropped 5 and 6 pounds the first week. Not one ounce since then. I've been on Weight Watchers on and off for many years. We have always done well before the above-mentioned pills. Can you advise us? We are only 25 and 30 pounds overweight but would like to get rid of the fat. Eating healthfully is wonderful for many reasons. Fruit, vegetables, small amounts of meats, salads and reduced-fat dressings are our best way of feeling healthy. We exercise daily.
    DEAR READER: I do not believe that your alternative therapy is associated with a weight problem.
 
Doctor Gott is a retired physician and the author of the new book "Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Diet," available at most chain and independent bookstores.
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