Hemorrhoids are one of the most painful and unpleasant things to deal with. With all the healing benefits of the sauna, it seems like it would be a good option for treating hemorrhoids. But is a sauna really good for hemorrhoids?
The sauna is good for hemorrhoids because the heat has the potential to improve blood circulation. However, it may not be the best option for hemorrhoids because of the excessive pressure caused by prolonged sitting. Dehydration is always a potential concern in the sauna, but it could also exacerbate the hemorrhoids if you don’t drink enough water.
Read on to learn more about whether the sauna is good for hemorrhoids and how you can treat them.
Can the sauna help with hemorrhoids?
There are countless benefits when using a sauna, but is treating hemorrhoids one of them?
Saunas can help with hemorrhoids by removing metabolic waste and toxins through sweating. Much like recovering from physical sports, saunas help increase blood circulation and expedite recuperation.
The heat and steam of the sauna help relax the body and relieve muscle tension. This is helpful for hemorrhoids because the sauna has healing capabilities that other methods may not have.
The sauna is also beneficial for the skin. It helps remove impurities from the body through sweating—cleaning the body of any toxins.
Typical causes of hemorrhoids
There can be a number of reasons why one might develop a hemorrhoid; let’s go over some of the main reasons why.
Typical causes of hemorrhoids include:
- Obesity – Excessive weight gain is associated with a higher probability of hemorrhoids. With the lack of physical activity and inflamed intestinal linings, the rectal tube becomes weakened.
- Constipation – Food plays a big role when it comes to getting hemorrhoids. Foods such as dairy, meats, pizza, and low-fiber foods can all cause irritation in the stomach lining and cause hemorrhoids.
- Pregnancy – During pregnancy, the increased blood circulation around the pelvic floor leads to inflammation around the rectal area. And the pressure from the uterus can also cause the veins surrounding it to swell.
- Aging – Hemorrhoids are mostly caused by constipation, and as you get older, the tissue around the rectum begins to weaken. It becomes harder to digest low-fiber foods, causing irritation and blood clots.
Regular safe exercise and a proper diet are key when it comes to avoiding hemorrhoids. See a doctor if the problem persists and is causing chronic pain.
Typical remedies for hemorrhoids
The last thing anyone wants is a hemorrhoid, but they happen to most people during their lifetime.
Traditional remedies for hemorrhoids are:
- Witch hazel – Witch hazel is a natural astringent that is great for soothing hemorrhoids. Products such as Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads provide immediate relief and are a good option for protecting infected areas.
- Sitz bath – A popular choice when it comes to pain relief, a sitz bath consists of sitting in a warm, shallow bath. It helps improve blood flow to the area and is good for relieving irritation and itchiness.
- Hemorrhoid cream – Hemorrhoid creams such as Preparation H are often recommended for temporary relief. Application is easy and effective, shrinking the hemorrhoid for quick recovery.
While these are the most common treatment methods for hemorrhoids, others include visiting the sauna.
Which type of sauna works best to improve hemorrhoids?
As mentioned earlier, saunas can be a great way to recover from hemorrhoids. But which type of sauna is best?
All types of saunas will help provide some immediate relief to the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids. Infrared saunas are the most effective in helping to heal them, however, because of the penetrative nature of the infrared waves used to heat the body directly.
Infrared saunas work with dry heat, which is ideal for relaxation and helps improve circulation. However, it’s important to know that you’re physically healthy enough to use an infrared sauna. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are likely causes for inexperienced users or unhealthy individuals.
Steam rooms provide a different experience than infrared saunas. Steam rooms are good for the skin, so any external hemorrhoids will benefit from the steam. But unlike the infrared sauna, the bacteria in the air are more present due to the steam.
So as beneficial as saunas and steam rooms can be, there are some precautions to take before treating hemorrhoids.
Traditional sauna and hemorrhoids
Steeped in deep history, traditional saunas are used as a spiritual space where one can relax and develop meaningful connections with loved ones. In Finland, people will use saunas on a daily basis for several hours at a time.
Truly traditional saunas are built close to nature and use wood fires and heated stones to warm the room, while water is poured onto the stones to create steam.
Traditional saunas can be effective for a genuine experience and a holistic approach to treating hemorrhoids. However, with a hemorrhoid, it is best to take precautionary measures because traditional saunas don’t have the same standards as infrared saunas or steam rooms.
There may be an influx of temperature, a lack of sanitation, and quality inconsistency.
Infrared sauna and hemorrhoids
The overall benefits of an infrared sauna are pain relief, improvement of cardiovascular health, and lowered blood pressure.
The direct, penetrative heat of the infrared waves stimulates the tissue and reduces inflammation, which can provide both immediate hemorrhoid relief and help speed up healing times.
That said, you should use infrared saunas for hemorrhoids in moderation. Make sure you’re well hydrated and that you’ve consulted your doctor to find out if using an infrared sauna is safe and recommended.
Typically infrared saunas are kept between 120-140°, so you shouldn’t sit in the sauna for more than 15-20 minutes, especially if the temperature is higher.
Steam rooms and hemorrhoids
Steam rooms are unique because they use humidity as the main heat source.
You can use steam rooms to clear congestion, promote skin health, and loosen stiff joints. The heat and humidity will also help improve blood circulation, improving healing and recovery time for hemorrhoids.
The hot and humid air has many healing properties similar to that of infrared saunas. However, steam rooms have their own helpful qualities and precautions.
Steam rooms can potentially be more unsanitary than infrared saunas because they are kept at a lower temperature to prevent heat exhaustion, dehydration, and sudden death. At a lower heat, the bacteria in the room may not be killed off as efficiently as in an infrared sauna.
Saunas and steam rooms are effective ways to recover and heal from hemorrhoids.
They can help remove toxins and improve circulation. Plus, sauna and steam room sessions can complement any remedy when it comes to treating hemorrhoids.
However, special care should be taken when using saunas excessively. Dehydration, heat exhaustion, and bacterial infections can worsen your hemorrhoid symptoms.
Always talk to your healthcare provider to find out if using a sauna or steam room is helpful and safe for your hemorrhoids.