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 right, drinking lots of water, and exercising more, the symptoms go away.

In May 2009, I moved from my 19-year-old home 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 prescription ointment and suppositories, and the bleeding stopped and the pain subsided. In a matter of 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 full of helpful but fun tips. Visit 001yourtranslationservice.com and follow the links to their natural hemorrhoid treatment page.

I experimented with herbal supplements, took sitz baths, ate bran, psyllium fiber, and fruits and vegetables, drank even more water, and began exercising regularly. It all helped a bit, 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 dug deeper into research on topics such as 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 liquid consistency delights the intestines by facilitating digestion (no more belching and bloating)

– Enzymes to digest food are activated by chewing.

– Food is digested in the order it is eaten.

– Eating easily digestible foods starts the digestive process (start with water or juice, then soup, salad, vegetables, etc.)

– Drinking before lunch is good. If you must drink with your meal, drink warm water with fresh lemon juice.

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

– The fruit should be eaten alone, at least 1 hour before a meal or two hours after; it is digested quickly 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 moves, so does your digestive system, and it’s okay to walk after a meal; in fact, it helps.

A website provided the key that opened the door to my own permanent recovery. On puristat.com, I discovered his colon cleansing detox diet. It is a very easy eating plan to follow. The basics 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 protein during any meal.

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

4. Drink half your body weight in ounces per day (for example, a 150-pound person would drink 75 ounces or 9-10 glasses) preferably purified water, but green teas, juices, and warm water are also good.

That is all. The website also offers 10 easy-to-follow digestion tips that make sense.

In addition to changing what, how and when I eat, I make sure to be more active. I go for a walk for 20 to 30 minutes after lunch. I work out three times a week in my condo gym: cardio on the elliptical, stretching, free weights, core-strengthening exercises, and more stretching. That is my basic routine.

When the weather permits, I take longer walks, explore my neighborhood, or walk in a park near the river. I take the stairs when I can, walk around 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 reduced 3 inches off my waist simply by losing fat and strengthening muscle tone. I am stronger and fitter; I look good and I feel great. To quote the character of Billy Crystal from Saturday Night Live, “When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you look wonderful!”

Basically I am addicted to television. 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, get more exercise, eliminate hemorrhoid pain, and get fit, strong, and sexy, you can too!

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