Good for you, Lucascage. I am so glad that you got the help you needed in time. I have to add, though, Lucascage, that there is no difference in the damage that straining can do during a bowel movement to create new hemorrhoids, and that of straining during lifting weights.
I understand your passion for weightlifting, having shared that passion. I only hope that you live your life hemorrhoid free, in spite of lifting, but you are ignoring the danger straining, in any form, can have on your rectal health. It is hard for me to remain silent when people write wanting to resume a lifestyle lifting weights after a hemorrhoidectomy.
These are the common causes of hemorrhoids:
1. straining at stool
2. excessive diarrhea
3. anything that causes increased pressure, such as giving birth, weight lifting and holding your stool to go.
4. Sitting on donuts or on the toilet for prolonged periods.
These are the different reasons for hemorrhoids, NOT just straining at stool. If you doctor has omitted any of the other causes, then he is sugar-coating the truth, for whatever reason. I don't know---maybe he wants to make money on you in the future on another surgery---or maybe he doesn't have the heart to tell you, and hopes you are one of those who don't get a hemorrhoid again from the exertion of weight lifting.
I feel a responsibility to tell this to you, Lucascage, to help you from making a mistake that has a high probability of giving you new hemorrhoids.
Just do a search on the internet, like AOL or yahoo, on "hemorrhoids and weightlifting" or "risk factors for hemorrhoids" and read for yourself that lifting weights IS a definite risk factor right along with straining at stools.
Now a risk factor doesn't mean it will turn into a hemorrhoid, but you are playing roulette with your rectal health.
Wow, so much of my energy and focus is spent on tailoring my diet/lifestyle to try to avoid ever having to deal with hemorrhoids/fissures again. In my opinion, weightlifting is a ticket back to Rectal Hell. The thought of a squat makes me cringe...
Tammy, in regard to your question about how my surgeon tested me for anal stenosis. It was a digital test. He inserted a finger and had me do muscle contractions, both trying to expel and holding in. It was done at my 12 week check up and was not painful...not pleasant surely, but not painful :-)
Remember, I told you about the bleeding I had back in August? I went back to the surgeon, very anxious that there was something seriously wrong. He did an exam with the anoscope and said that there is a tiny lip of scar tissue, just inside my rectum. Because scar tissue is so rigid, if I have a hard, or larger than normal bowel movement, it can cause the scar tissue to bleed. I figured out that the bleed in August was from almonds that I had added back into my daily diet.
The almonds are sharp and on the way out, rubbed the scar tissue, hence the bleed. I have eliminated almonds and popcorn.
Without examination with an anoscope, you are just guessing at what is causing your bleeding. Perhaps you have some scar tissue as well. When I was scoped at 3 months+, it was uncomfortable, but not painful.
You and I are similar in our approach to our health issues. We read everything we can get our hands on and analyze ( I tend to over-anylzye) the minutest details. I found that having the anoscope done gave me concrete information that I could deal with and move on from there.
I hope this helps you a bit.
Thanks Lucascage, and everyone for your support, it really means alot to me. I just came home from playing golf, (I walk the course), and my hems are in full bloom. Just applying the Prep H cooling gel was tough. I plan on calling the doc tomorrow and arranging an appointment to discuss the surgery.
Hopefully, he will be honest with me, and if not, I will find a different doc.
Lucascage - please keep me up to date on how your return to the gym goes. Also, any info you could relate regarding your recovery would be much appreciated.
I'll keep updating my story as it progresses.
With all this discussion about hemorrhoids and weightlifting, I have a question: Is upper-body lifting much of a risk factor to bring back hemorrhoids?
As I said in a previous post, I had the surgery more than seven months ago. I endured the typical post-operative pain (very bad) but nothing like the complications that some of you have been through. I was able to resume everything within a matter of two months. I have had no complications or recurrences. I have added fiber to my diet and I'm sure to drink lots of water. While I would never want to go through that again, I believe the ordeal has made me a more healthy person in the end.
As far as weightlifting, I stay away from the lower body and probably always will. I figure a pretty good running regimen will keep me in shape below the waist. Like runningal said, the thought of doing a squat makes me a little ill. But I lift about three times a week, working all areas above the waist.
My surgeon advised me that once I was completely healed, I could resume weightlifting without putting myself at any more risk than I would be if I wasn't lifting. Any skeptics?
msneb, guess who, me, I'm the skeptic. Don't take my word for it, go and do search on the internet on weightlifting and hemorrhoids. One of those sites I found with information actually was from one of my rectal surgeons, Dr. Magilen.
From what I understand, ANY weightlifting, and that means upper or lower, that causes exertion in the abdomen, can result in a hemorrhoid.
That got me thinking that would include crunches with weights, which would be similar motion to pushing to have a baby. I used to do crunches holding a 25-50 lb plate.
msneb, here's how to guess if you're in trouble: when you do your upper body, does any of your exercise have you exerting similar to having a baby? Or cause you great strain? I used to curl a 40 pound dumbbell, me, a 5'3" woman. That was more than many men in the gym could do, and I did it with one arm. That was upper body, and I can tell you that arm exercise DID put an exertion in my abdomen from the sheer weight and strain.
Don't kid yourself, msneb. Examine closely what you are doing. The medical sites I've read don't say lower body exercises, they say exertion from weightlifting, lumping everything in that category.
I remember doing lats with heavy weights and straining, and definitely putting exertion on my adbomen area, definitely straining. I'm sure if I did those again I might be courting hemorrhoid hell.
I'm not healed all the way yet, but I have wondered if it would be safe to even do dumbbell curls. Maybe on a curl bench, where your arms are on a slanted board, and all of the strain is on your biceps directly.
You have to realize that even picking up from the ground or from a rack a heavy weight is the kind of exertion that involves the abdomen and strains your body and rectal area.
Maybe repetitive arm exercises with light dumbbells that don't at all involve the abdomen I bet would be safe. I've got a dumbbell rack in my house full of weights just collecting dust. I can tell you I will never heft the heavy ones again.
I tried today without success to ride my recumbent bicycle. I got a grinding pain in my rectum as if scar tissue was grinding my sensitive insides. I had to stop. I am extremely disappointed about that, as it seems I might never be able to get on the bicycle again, if scar tissue can do that. I'm going to hit my treadmill instead for now.
Runninggal, thanks for the details on that stricture exam. I still don't feel ready for any invasive exams, though. Problem is I've been fighting some abscesses on the outer part of my sphincter which makes the area v e r y painful. I seem to have it kind of under control with this gotu kola herb, but I still have inner problems. You said you had a discharge for up to 3 months, and I am having actually pus discharge now, and am sore inside. While this is going on, I don't want anyone sticking anything in there!
One reason I think I am having more troubles than most is because my 2nd surgeon used a lot of separate figure 8 sutures to make sure the area didn't break again. My first surgeon used only a single runing stitch, which did break. I think all of these extra stitch work is what is making me take much longer to heal than others.
Tammy, oh my, abscesses? You poor girl. Of course I don't blame you for not wanting an invasive exam at this point. However, have you at least had a phone consult with your surgeon to let him know what you are experiencing?
How did you know what type of stitch your surgeon used? I too broke the entire line of stitches after the first surgery. On the second go-around, my surgeon told me that he took extra time and care to make sure that the stitches would hold. Thankfully, they did. I still think that if I had had adequate post-operative instructions, there is a good chance that the stitches would not have broken and I would not have had to go through that horrific second surgery.
reading your messages has giving me very valuable information. Thank You vary much for sharing your experiences. Let me tell you my story. I was scheduled for fistula surgery last tuesday 09/16. And notwithstanding that I specifically told my surgeon that I didn´t want my hemmos touched (since they have not giving me any major trouble) I woke up in my hospital room with the news that he decided to remove them anyway, he said that they were obstructing the fistula (which I doubt since the fistula and the hemms were in opposite locations).
Anyway, I am enduring what you all have gone thru.
I have two questions that I hope that you can give me advice on. First, last night I made the mistake of pushing too hard on the bm and bleed much more than in the previous ones, I also bleed althoug somewhat less in todays bm even thoug I didn't push hard at all. So my question is:How do you know if you have broken a stitch?
The second one is I developed a pus discharge since third day, is it very dificcult to cure the pus discharge? will i have to take antibiotics or an antibiotic cream will do?
Also, I have eaten only vegetables, fruit, cereal and fiber and the stool is very very soft shoud it have more consistency in order to avoid stenosis?
I will deeply appreciate tour comments in this.
Bless you all.
Jack01sport, you have to understand you can't push even a little tiny bit, not even one small soft push. Even one little push can cause you bleeding. Your stools should not only be soft, but they should flow out on their own, yet flow out, you should not be able to stop them coming out.
So your diet now is not adequate. You need to add something like a stool softener, such as colace, in sufficient quantity to get your stool to come out on its own DURING your healing process. This is only a temporary measure that you do during your healing. If not you risk breaking a stitch, or if not, just opening your closing wounds with each push.
Stool softeners make your stools come out on their own, when you get the urge. I had to learn not to push, and if the stool didn't come out, I had to get off the toilet, drink more water and wait sometimes for hours for the urgent call of nature when it would come out on its own. It can take up to 500 mg of colace a day to work for you; you need to experiment.
How much is too much blood? My doctors said call them if bleeding was half a cup of blood with each bm. But if you push some blood clots and bleeding is normal. Any concerns on bleeding you need to talk to your surgeon.
Nice trick your surgeon did on you, huh? The ol' "oh, had to do it they were in the way," routine. I tell you, you can't trust any surgeon with your body once they open you up and you're unconscious, geesh!
I learned that it is normal to have a discharge from your wounds for up to 3 months. It is healthy and you can't and shouldn't try to stop it. My typing is limited today as I have a sprained thumb. There is a lot of good postoperative advice in this message thread from many different people you will find helpful, including talk about anal discharge as you are having.
Don't confuse the pus I am talking about on my surgery this week with your discharge. For the first 2 months plus I had a yellowy discharge, as my surgeon told me would be normal. But last week I got a new thick, cheesy pus that is different, and that is what I was writing about being a problem.
Runninggal, the reason I know the type of stitches my surgeon used, plus that he used a harmonic scapel, is that I got a copy of his chart notes on the date of my surgery and, also a copy of the pathology report.
Just for my own records, I always get a copy of any test I have done, and also of the chart notes that the specialist, surgeon or doctor has for me on any special visit or procedure. By law, at least here in florida, a patient has the right to have a copy of all of his/her medical records. I wanted a copy of his chart notes to see exactly what he had done to me, and that is when I learned that the first surgeon had left in the hemorrhoid and just stitched over it.
I also learned that the 2nd surgeon who repaired it did mine this way (straight from his notes): "the hemorrhoid was excised (cut out), the base was cauterized for hemostasis (bleeding control), then the wound was closed with a running locking 3-0 vicryl; figure-of-eight 3-0 vicryls were used interrupted to reinforce the base to make sure it would not bleed."
The chart notes were also were I learned he found and cauterized a separate bleeding artery. Just out of curiousity you should ask your doctor's office to give you a copy of your surgeon's chart notes for your surgery. I had to pay $1 per page, for a total of $4 for 4 pages, but I found the insight into my surgery worth it. It helped me to figure out exactly what was going on inside of me. I also got the chart note from the 1st surgeon who botched up my surgery and that is where I learned what he had done.
Appt. on Oct. 6 to discuss surgery with doc.
Here's something I got off a bodybuilding site regarding lifting and hems:
Q: Do people who lift weights have a higher incidence of hemorrhoids than the general population?" If the answer is yes, is it a reflection of form or technique, or just the way it is?
A: The incidence is no higher that I know of. In most cases I'd say that the primary cause of the hemorrhoids (and varicose veins in general) is dietary--insufficient fiber and insufficient water intake, and the constipation that usually results from such deficiencies. (Constipation leads to the straining and increased pressure on veins that can lead to the enlarged vessels that produce hemorrhoids and varicose veins.) Such matters affect people who lift weights, and those who don't. But if people who lift weights are more health conscious than those who don't (which certainly isn't always the case), I'd expect the weight lifters to eat a higher fiber diet and drink more non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic liquids than those who don't train. In such cases, the health-minded weight trainees should experience far fewer problems with hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
If hemorrhoids and varicose veins already exist, I'd say that intensive squats and deadlifts could certainly irritate things (but not cause the original problems), especially if you're holding your breath during performance. When you hold your breath during intensive exertions you greatly increase blood pressure which would increase the chance of developing enlarged veins, and exacerbate the condition of already enlarged veins.
Follow a healthy fiber-rich diet, drink plenty of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic liquids, and never hold your breath as you train (keep your mouth open when you lift), and then you should avoid hemorrhoids and varicose veins. If you already suffer from these conditions, then a healthy fiber-rich diet, and plenty of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic liquids should help greatly to control or perhaps even correct the problems. Of course, I'm not a doctor, and you should discuss these matters with your doctor, to find the best solution for your particular situation.
srg914, I think the key to the information you gave is the disclaimer of the source, which writes, "of course, I am not a doctor..."
You can always find an opinion online that matches what you want to hear, but basically, since the majority of sources I have read, including my own surgeon, state that abdominal exertion, as that from weightlifting cause hemorrhiods, that is what I am going to believe, as I never want to risk this kind of surgery again.
Not to be harsh, but if you want to believe what you want to hear, then you are courting future trouble. On the flip side, I just found a web site that posts this information:
"Things that may cause hemorrhoids to occur are: bad diet, constipation, lack of exercise, sitting for long periods of time, obesity, pregnancy, and lifting weight. I know becauce I ended up with hemorrhoids lifting weight, In fact mine were from weight lifting in the gym. The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep the weight to down to a manageable weight so you don't put pressure and strain your anus. Exercise and increased fiber in the diet will help get rid of them."
So, who do you believe? I choose to believe my surgeon and the medical books I have read that lump in exertion from weight lifting. Having also lifted weights, I can see why, now that I know more about hemorrhiods.
There is no doubt you could find countless web sites that back up what you want to believe, and others that support that weight lifting exertion can cause hemorrhoids. Also, you have to question your source: a bodybuilding website, which of course would downplay any risks from weightlifting, as this would work against their business aim. I would guess their opinions on weightlifting and hemorrhoids to be slightly biased, don't you think? I choose not to take that risk, having had 2 hemorrhiodectomies in a row, and finding this a surgery I don't ever, EVER want to repeat.
You may feel the same afterwards, or you may feel your love of weightlifting is stronger and worth the risk of learning that weightlifting can give you hemorrhiods. I'm so glad, though, that you have made that appointment. I hope you are satisfied with what your surgeon tells you.
Tammy, when the various websites indicate that exercise is helpful in preventing hemorrhoids, what kind of exercise do they mean? Only aerobic exercise?
Would lifting lighter weights, such as in circuit training be o.k.? Where is the line drawn at what is too heavy? My hems bother me now when I do yardwork.
I'm not trying to be the poster boy for post hemorrhoidectomy weight lifting. I'm just trying to find some sort of happy medium between maintaing my fitness and not developing hems again.
Getting back to the surgery, does anyone have any experience regarding laser vs. traditional?
I've read differing opinions, some say the laser is more accurate and less post-op pain. Others say post-op pain is the same as traditional. Any comments on harmonic scalpel. The majority of what I've read would lead me to believe this is the better choice.
I've just found this board thru a Google search and it's been very informative reading! I'm recovering fairly well from a hemorrhoidectomy I had a week ago. As an IBS sufferer as well, I wanted to share my story with Steve especially to help him make a decision.
First, I've suffered from IBS for almost 20 years now, but it's been managable for the last 5 years because I finally found a good GI specialist who put me on Metamucil and a powder called Questran daily. Questran was originally prescribed for people with high cholesterol but they found it had benificial effects on IBS sufferers as well. For me it's been a wonder as it calms and moderates gastric spasms. However, either the Questran (or, more likely, 20 years of IBS) led to bleeding hemorrhoids which I've had now on and off for about 4 years. I pretty much ignored the hemorrhoids for the most part, since they weren't painful and would come and go. However in the last 2 years the bleeding became almost at every BM.
A frightful visit to the ER eventually forced me to address my hemorrhoids. I had been feeling very fatigued and had noticed an irregular heart rhythm for a while (but I had also just had my first baby with my wife and wasn't getting any sleep)- when one day my heartrate shot up to 240 beats/minute. My friend called 911 and I was rushed to the hospital where they discovered that I was severely anemic. The anemia had stressed my heart to the point where eventually it kicked into a super-fast rhythm called SVT. I was admitted, was given 3 units of blood, had a colonoscopy (no problems other than the hemorrhoids)- and eventually met with a surgeon to examine my hemorrhoids. After 3 appointments of using a syringe method to irritate the hemorrhoids into healing- to no avail- I asked for (yes you heard right- asked for the surgery).
Post-op hasn't been so bad for me. I was on Vicadin for the first night- then switched to Tylenol the next day. My first bm was within 12 hours and fairly uneventful (lucky me!). However, I stopped taking the Questran fearing it would clog me up and upped my dosage of Metamucil to twice daily, and this caused me to have the runs within the second day. Now I was in a good deal of pain and couldn't sleep from getting up to go to the bathroom at nite so stupid me decided to take half an Immodium to quiet things down a bit. BAD MISTAKE. The following day I had a doosey of a hard bm which had me pounding the walls, screaming and imagining this must be very much like giving birth. After that I tweaked my formula to taking Questran in the morning and Metamucil at morning and nite an this is helping to allow for mostly comfortable bms. I made the mistake of taking an Advil 2 days ago- plus went walking and playing with my baby and wife and today am seeing more bleeding so I obviously need to be more careful. Perhaps because my hemorrhoids were internal only and didn't hurt much prior to surgery, my recovery has been fairly fast and (fingers crossed), uneventful.
My main reason for posting is to encourage Steve to go through with the surgery. If you are experiencing bleeding you can be setting yourself up for life-threatening issues with your heart. That is a gamble you shouldn't take. If I had known a year ago what I know now I would have got the surgery in a heartbeat. (no pun intended).