Hemorrhoids are one of the most obnoxious pathologies of the rectal area because they cause itching, pain, and irritation and sometimes fecal leakage. Despite the fact that their prevalence is unknown because most people do not report them, many scholars have linked them to the prejudiced quality of life both socially, economically, and physically for the victims.
Therefore, being a serious illness that often goes unreported, gastroenterologists have researched and revealed handy home care procedures that both prevent and cure hemorrhoids, and one of them is the sitz bath. As well, unless the conduction of home care procedures is appropriate, the results might be very off-putting.
What is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt is chemically different from table salt. Whereas table salt is sodium chloride, Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. In essence, Epsom salt contains three elements namely magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen and its chemical formula is MgSO4. Epsom salt is preferred to table salt when curing hemorrhoids. Mostly, both salts help alleviate the itching, pain, and irritation associated with hemorrhoids.
You can use table salt if Epsom salt is not available. Though Epsom salt is available at any pharmacy or drug store, and it just costs a couple of dollars. A study that was conducted by the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCPP) found that individuals who use Epsom salt or sea salt to prevent and cure hemorrhoids enjoyed better results than those who use table salt (control group), and that is why they recommended Epsom salt and sea salt.
Epsom Salt for Hemorrhoids
The benefits of the chemical elements of Epsom salt to the human body make it the most suitable salt for hemorrhoids. In particular, magnesium is a very useful element in most functions of the body including maintaining nerve and muscle function at par, boosting the immune system, and maintaining a regular heartbeat.
In fact, for you to respond to a pathological condition in your body, you must sense pain, irritation, and itching as in the case of hemorrhoids. Indeed, if pain is not detected, hemorrhoids may go undetected hence harming your body. Therefore, magnesium will increase sensitivity to pain, irritation, and itching due to increased nerve and muscle function. Hence, diminishing pain, irritation, and itching even with increased nerve sensitivity considered to be a great remedy for hemorrhoids.
It is as well apparent that itching and irritation associated with hemorrhoids might result in scratching the area hence exposing internal tissues (impaired tissue integrity). Unless the body’s immune system is healthy, this can lead to contamination by microorganisms hence resulting in infection. Infection could impair the intactness of wounds especially if you had hemorrhoids surgically removed. Therefore, magnesium in Epsom salt boosts the body’s immunity minimizing the chances of infection.
Increased circulation to the wound area if you had hemorrhoids surgically removed would hasten the healing process. Therefore, magnesium contributes to the increased blood flow to the hemorrhoids because it maintains a steady heartbeat.
Conversely, sulfur is a very useful mineral to the body. Specifically, sulfur is a vital component of amino acids that make up various body proteins such as tissue proteins, hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. It is also a crucial cell detoxifier.
If you had hemorrhoids surgically removed, sulfur would enhance the healing process through replication of basic cell and tissue proteins on top of the fact that the hormones and enzymes produced will maintain the standard functioning of the newly formed tissues at the wound site.
The antibodies produced will strengthen the body’s immunity hence preventing infection of the wounds.
Being a crucial cell detoxifier, sulfur will enhance the healing process because cells only take up new nutrients once the efflux of toxins and other impurities occur. As well, the removal of toxins and unnecessary substances from cells helps balance pressure which is the source of pain in the case of hemorrhoids. Accumulation of toxins in cells also triggers allergic reactions that result in itching and irritation. Therefore, sulfur will remove the toxins to prevent and cure the symptoms of hemorrhoids mentioned above.
Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) is readily absorbed into the body through the skin. Once it is in the body, the salt will disintegrate to its initial components (magnesium and sulfur) which will, in turn, serve their individual purposes in the body.
The Sitz Bath
A sitz bath is a warm saline water bath often done on wounds and areas on the skin that itch causing pain and irritation. This is where Epsom salt for hemorrhoids comes in. Epsom salt is added to warm water in reasonable quantities (usually half a cup) to make it saline.
A sitz bath can be done using a bathtub or a plastic sitz bath kit. By using the correct procedure when either using a tub or a plastic sitz bath kit, sit in the warm saline water for 20 minutes ensuring the itchy areas usually the perineum and pelvic area are in contact with it. You can do this on a daily basis as a personal hygiene program.
Do not cleanse the area with any soap or detergent as it may react with Epsom salt changing its medical characteristics.