Brace yourselves for ‘Brown Monday!’ Clinic warns of spike in haemorrhoids following festive overindulgence

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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  • Indulging in excessive amounts of cake, meat and alcohol could cause piles 
  • Clinic warns festive period creates perfect storm for piles and sees cases spike

Forget blue Monday this January, it’s ‘Brown Monday’ you want to watch out for with doctors warning of a spike in haemorrhoids driven by Christmas gluttony.

Dr Ross Perry, who specialises in haemorrhoids at London based clinic Cosmedics, says he has seen a growing number of post-Christmas piles each year.

He warned that people filling up on extra helpings of meat, chocolate, cheese and booze as part of the festive cheer could be making themselves vulnerable to future bowel problems.

This includes sitting on the toilet more, constipation, or the flare up of dormant piles.

‘Brown Friday’ has already become a phenomenon in America with the excess eating of Thanksgiving leading to a record number of plumbers being called to unblock toilets the following day.

The change in bowel habits over Christmas after overeating meat, cakes, chocolate and drinking alcohol is the ‘perfect storm’ for haemorrhoids

Now, the UK is bracing for its own ‘Brown Monday’ with a predicted rise in post-Christmas bowel problems.

Dr Perry says a whopping 20 per cent more people seek treatment for bowel problems after overindulging during the festive period compared to other time of the year. 

The UK’s ‘Brown Monday’ appears to be getting worse with approximately 30 per cent more customers at the clinic seeking help with haemorrhoids year-on-year, warns Dr Perry. 

Constipation, pushing too hard when pooing, heavy lifting and pregnancy are some of the causes of haemorrhoids, also known as piles, which take the form of lumps in and around the anus, according to the NHS.

But the festive period creates a ‘perfect storm’ for haemorrhoid formation, according to Dr Perry.

‘We tend to eat more heavy, fattier foods, and more of it over Christmas,’ he says.

‘We also tend to have less fruit and vegetables and more alcohol, which creates more dehydration, which again increases the whole cycle of constipation.’

Although it’s a condition that many people suffer with all year round, it can be exacerbated by overeating leading to a change in bowel habits, says Dr Perry.

Bright red blood after you poo, an itchy anus and lumps around your anus are signs you may be suffering from haemorrhoids.

For some the lumps are temporary and get better after a few days once their diet and bowel habits, go back to normal, but Dr Perry warns that for some people it can get worse.

However, there are things you can do to treat them, such as using cream to ease itchiness and pain, and even surgery to get the piles cut out, the NHS says.

But prevention is the best cure, and Dr Perry says the key to avoiding getting haemorrhoids in the first place is to have a balanced diet. 

‘If you are overeating a lot of cakes, meat, and other stodgy food, then you are going to ideally balance it out with more water and fibre in fruits and vegetables,’ Dr Perry says.

‘We tend to overeat more of the savoury foods at the expense of the vegetables and that’s the problem basically,’ he adds.

What are piles (haemorrhoids) and what are the symptoms? 

Piles, also known as haemorrhoids, are lumps inside and around your anus.

Normally they can get better on their own after a few days, but there are things you can do to treat them, such as surgery and cream to ease the pain.

Symptoms include:

  • Bright red blood after you poo
  • An itchy anus
  • Feeling like you still need to poo after going to the toilet
  • Mucus in your underwear or on toilet paper after wiping your bottom
  • Lumps around your anus
  • Pain around your anus

What causes piles?

  • Constipation
  • Pushing too hard when pooing
  • Heavy lifting
  • Pregnancy

 Source: NHS



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