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November 2009 Mayo Clinic Health Letter Highlights Self-Care Tips for Hemorrhoids, Interactive Video Games Improve Health and Heart Failure Treatments
Date:11/13/2009

often can be managed with self-care measures. Options include:

Topical over-the-counter remedies: Nonprescription hemorrhoid creams, suppositories containing hydrocortisone or pads containing witch hazel or a topical numbing agent may provide relief. They shouldn't be used longer than a week unless directed by a doctor.

Cleanliness in anal area: Taking a warm sitz bath several times a day can be helpful. A sitz bath, where only the hips and buttocks are immersed, can be done in a regular bathtub or using a plastic tub that fits over the toilet. The tubs are readily available from medical supply stores and pharmacies.

Swelling relief: Ice packs or cold compresses on the anus can relieve swelling.

Pain relievers: Nonprescription pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) may provide relief.

Hydration and fiber: Softening and bulking up stool for easier passage is helpful. Strategies include drinking six to eight glasses of water or other nonalcoholic beverages daily, eating high-fiber foods, and taking fiber supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel.

In addition, it's best to head for the bathroom when the urge occurs and to avoid straining or breath-holding when passing stools, as this strains the veins in the lower rectum.

When self-care measures don't work, a doctor can discuss several minimally invasive surgical procedures for consideration.

Interactive Video Games Have a Role in Good Health

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Advanced interactive games are making inroads as health and wellness tools, according to the November issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Researchers are finding that interactive game systems are especially helpful for people with chronic health conditions. Playing the games increases physical activity and can even improve the ability
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SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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