Discover the Best Flavonoids for Hemorrhoids
Posted on 07 March 2022 by Maryanne Johnson
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If you’re looking for an effective way to help prevent or improve the symptoms of hemorrhoids, turning to flavonoids found in nature might be the best move you could make.
Hemorrhoids occur when blood vessels in and around the anus are weakened, and blood pools in those weakened areas, causing swelling, pain and discomfort, itching, and other unwelcome symptoms.
Some risk factors include obesity, sitting too long, pregnancy, lifting heavy objects, constipation or diarrhea, and a lack of proper diet and exercise, all of which can put pressure on blood vessels or can contribute to vein weakness.
Damage from free radicals, called oxidative stress, can also contribute, because collagen – which makes up much of the structural elements of blood vessel walls – is considered an attractive target by the ravaging cells called free radicals. When collagen cells are damaged and weakened, cells around it often respond in kind, creating an area that is no longer strong and pliable, and more likely to develop a hemorrhoid.
Harvesting help from nature
Flavonoids are a natural solution to help not only address pesky, problematic hemorrhoid symptoms now, but also potentially prevent new hemorrhoids later, without wasting time on the temporary fixes that most chemically-based hemorrhoid treatments provide.
There are 6,000 different types of flavonoids, a group of phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables, according to experts, and many of these powerful plant-based chemicals have long been used to help ease the symptoms of a variety of different health problems including hemorrhoids, a painful, often embarrassing issue.
Two flavonoids in particular, both from citrus, have been shown in studies to help improve hemorrhoid symptoms and potentially keep future hemorrhoids at bay. Let’s take a closer look.
Does diosmin work for hemorrhoids?
One flavonoid that is believed to boast benefits for hemorrhoids is diosmin, which is best known for helping to reduce inflammation, easing the swelling associated with hemorrhoids. According to WebMD, additional diosmin benefitsinclude its role as an antioxidant, which can protect cells that make up vein walls from damage caused by oxidative stress, potentially reducing the risk of hemorrhoids.
A 2012 review looked at 24 different clinical trials looking at the effectiveness of flavonoids such as diosmin on hemorrhoid symptoms. Researchers found that the swelling, itching, and bleeding associated with hemorrhoids were reduced.
Bleeding occurs when the thin surface of a swollen, already inflamed area is irritated – usually by bowel movements – causing the skin to crack and bleed. (Bleeding can also occur if a thrombosed hemorrhoid bursts, and although the amounts of blood are more copious, the bursting of the hemorrhoid and release of the blood clot usually brings welcome relief from the pain and pressure.) 1
Diosmin 500 mg. tablets are considered the standard dose to take to reap both hemorrhoid and varicose vein benefits. In most formulas, however, diosmin is used along with hesperidin, as both citrus-based flavonoids offer different benefits that could improve vein function.
Diosmin side effects may include headache, abdominal and stomach pain, and gastrointestinal issues including diarrhea.
Does hesperidin work for hemorrhoids?
Hesperidin is another flavonoid, a bioflavonoid also found in citrus fruits including oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and tangerines, that is believed to offer a range of different benefits that could help alleviate hemorrhoids.
It has been shown in some studies – including one study that appeared in the 2011 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2 - to help improve vascular function by protecting the endothelium, the collagen-rich membrane lining the inside of blood vessels.
Hesperidin does so by acting as an antioxidant, which protects collagen cells that make up the important membrane from free radical damage that can weaken cells and cell function so the vessel lining works less effectively.
The endothelium is made up of cells that release substances that control the relaxation and contraction of blood vessels. When veins contract and relax normally, the move not only sends blood moving through the body more smoothly, it also acts as a form of exercise that strengthens blood vessels. When endothelial function slows, so does blood flow through blood vessels, which can create pockets of pooled blood that are among the reasons hemorrhoids form.
Hesperidin side effects are mild, and can include headache, stomach upset, and/or diarrhea.
HemRid harnesses hesperidin power
One company whose mission is to not only soothe existing hemorrhoid symptoms but also stop pesky hemorrhoids before they become a problem has recognized hesperidin’s benefits and includes the flavonoid in its natural formulas.
HemRid, one of the most recognized natural treatment options for hemorrhoids on the market right now, offers several different product strength options, but each features hesperidin derived from citrus peels.
HemRid prides itself on the effectiveness of its blend of natural ingredients that work in synergy to help relieve existing hemorrhoid symptoms while strengthening blood vessels, which could help prevent future outbreaks.
Daflon unites both power-packed flavonoids
Daflon is a chemically-derived flavonoid made up of both hesperidin (10 percent) and diosmin (90 percent).
Because Daflon contains both hesperidin and diosmin, it works in two different ways to help improve hemorrhoid symptoms, including by improving blood vessel strength and blood circulation, which helps prevent hemorrhoids from forming, but also by helping to reduce inflammation, alleviating existing hemorrhoid symptoms.
According to Dr. Josh Axe, co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, Daflon is used “mostly in Europe, usually to treat varicose veins, poor circulation and hemorrhoids.” 3
While Daflon is not yet approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, the compound, created by the French lab Laboratoires Servier, has been under study in other countries for its benefits in treating hemorrhoids for at least two decades.
Does Daflon work for hemorrhoids?
One 2002 study from Saudi Arabia that featured subjects suffering from both external and thrombosed hemorrhoids found “significant” improvement of hemorrhoid symptoms including pain, itching, and mucus discharge, finding the flavonoid-based drug “very safe and effective.” 4
Daflon 500 mg. tablets are considered a standard dose, and it was used in a 2001 clinical trial as a treatment for chronic vein insufficiency, which occurs when blood vessels aren’t strong enough or aren’t working effectively, and blood can’t move from the legs back to the heart as it should, and instead pools, causing varicose veins. 5
Hemorrhoids are essentially a cousin of varicose veins, but they instead form when blood pools in and around the anus.
The trial, which appeared in the journal Angiology, found that Daflon was an effective treatment option for varicose veins because it reduced inflammation and swelling and helped improve vein function, reducing the appearance of varicose veins as well.
Potential Daflon side effects include gastrointestinal and neurovegetative disorders as well as some drug interactions.
Other formulas use bigger flavonoid mix
Some of the other treatment options on the market – including HemRid, which features a proprietary blend of flavonoid-dense natural ingredients - add additional flavonoids to increase the treatment’s effectiveness in addressing hemorrhoids as well as hemorrhoid symptoms.
One 2018 study that appeared in the International Journal of Colorectal Disease found that a mixture of flavonoids including diosmin, troxerutin, rutin, hesperidin, and quercetin was an effective treatment option to control the bleeding associated with hemorrhoids. 6