Hemorrhoids in truckers: an overview. TRUCKERS! Do you know that you have a higher risk of developing hemorrhoids (piles) than almost any other worker? This is because you are sitting in a confined space for hours on end, which in turn causes increased abdominal pressure, the root cause of hemorrhoids. Plus, those endless hours in your truck commonly cause the main predisposing factor for your hemorrhoid complications – constipation!
If it weren’t for your willingness to face the elements and spend hours and hours on the road in your truck, and often away from home, the rest of us would suffer in more ways than we could count … if we found out! or not! If it weren’t for “the stuff” he brings us in his truck, we’d do it without tools, furniture, toys, gifts, cars, building supplies, medicine, clothing, food, and so on. Unfortunately, we often take it for granted.
Office workers also often sit for hours, but have the freedom to get up and stretch or use the bathroom or take a break at least every two hours at no cost to them less. You, on the other hand, have to make the decision to get your truck off the road (in a safe place, of course), get out of that monster, and dedicate some of your precious time that translates, for you, into money.
What are hemorrhoids?
Most of us, except truckers, know very little about trucking, and unfortunately, most of us, including truckers, know very little about hemorrhoids. What are these annoying “little” things, anyway?
Hemorrhoids are basically varicose veins of the rectum and / or anus. That means the blood vessels are swollen, crooked, and irritated. If they are inside the rectum, they are called “internal” and are not visible without a medical instrument. If they are around the anus, they are called “external” and look like red or even purple balls.
What Causes Truckers To Get Hemorrhoids?
In the case of truckers, it is sitting hour after hour, day after day in one place that causes pressure to build up in the lower intestine. Blood vessels respond to pressure by thickening and twisting.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids in truckers?
How will you know you have hemorrhoids? Your doctor will tell you for sure, but the following symptoms usually indicate hemorrhoids:
– Bright red blood on toilet paper or stool.
– Itching and burning around the anus.
– Painful bowel movements (if the pain is sudden and severe, you may have developed a complication called a “thrombus” or worse, “strangulation” (which is exactly what it sounds like) Call your doctor immediately.
-Feeling that the intestine is not empty after defecating.
– Tenderness around the anus.
– swelling around the anus
– A lump around the anus that may appear as a purple ball.
– Sensation of sitting on something.
What Causes Hemorrhoid Outbreaks in Truckers?
The factor that contributes the most to the aggravation of hemorrhoids is constipation. Truckers are prone to hemorrhoids due to increased abdominal pressure caused by sitting too much. Road Warriors are also prone to constipation due to:
Irregular bowel habits (can’t stop anywhere)
Inadequate fluid intake
Low fiber intake (tasty, but often fatty food)
How can truckers deal with hemorrhoids on and off the road?
There are many steps you can take to alleviate your symptoms while you are in your truck and when you are not. Truckers as a group are a friendly bunch and not given to complaining. However, hemorrhoids need to be treated because they will only get worse. Surgery can be avoided in the future by treating hemorrhoids now.
It is true that some of the things you need to do will not be easy for you because they will require you to change some of the ways you “do business.” However, I trust you understand that if you don’t pay the price now, you will pay a higher price later. In addition, we are going to make it as easy as possible for you.
Let’s talk about intestinal clothing first.
Avoid constipation at all costs! Do this by increasing your fiber intake. That means fruits and vegetables, boys and girls! Also eat whole wheat beans and breads, cereals, and pasta. Read the labels and go for the fiber! (Start slowly though because adding it too quickly can cause gas.)
Establish a regular bowel movement pattern. For example, 20-30 minutes after meals give your intestines a chance to do its job. It’s difficult and expensive to get your truck off the road, so you need to teach your guts some good habits.
When you feel the urge to have a bowel movement, do it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the stool settles in the colon, where it loses water, making it hard and dry. This is inconvenient at first, but once you’ve followed the above suggestion and established a pattern, you’ll bet better.
Do not strain or push when you are evacuating. If you keep your stools soft, you won’t have to.
For the same reason, do not rush to pass stool. On the other hand, don’t linger on the toilet. Do your business and get up. Use stool softeners if necessary, but no laxatives!
Some nutritional tips:
As we already said, increase your fiber intake (fruits, vegetables, beans, whole wheat, bran)
Carry a bag of fresh fruit / vegetable chunks and whole grain crackers in the truck. Eat these while you drive!
Increase your water consumption. However, don’t load up on other types of liquids: coffee has caffeine; soft drinks have sugar (or chemicals if they are dietary); juices are too concentrated; the alcohol is drying up. Stick to the water. You will learn to love it. (And your bladder will get used to the extra fluid too, so you won’t always have to urinate every hour!)
Keep a food diary that lists foods and symptoms to find out which foods are bothering you. That way, you can avoid foods that clearly irritate your hemorrhoids.
Avoid lifting heavy objects. If you must, don’t hold your breath. Too much pressure built up!
Wear cotton underwear to stay dry and nice.
Change positions as often as possible. Move your butt frequently. Get out there and stretch whenever you can. Instead of sitting through your entire lunch break (you’ve had enough of a sitting already), get up and stretch, squat down, take a short walk … anything to get your circulation moving.
Keep your anal area scrupulously clean. Do not use scented soaps or wipes. Gently pat the area dry; Do not rub!
If you have an outbreak:
- Apply ice frequently. You have room on your truck for an insulated container. Pack some commercial ice packs and refreeze overnight.
- Apply moist heat at least during the nights when you finish your day.
- Take a sitz bath (that just means soaking your butt in warm water).
- Sleep on your side to relieve pressure.
- Place pads next to the anal skin that have been soaked in witch hazel.
- Use over-the-counter (OTC) creams, suppositories, and ointments.
- Use pain relievers such as tylenol or motrin if necessary.
Do not despair! You can get your life back. The steps listed above require a bit of effort at first, but will get easier. I promise, and I also promise that your effort will be rewarded! Happy truck!