About four years ago, I went in for a colonoscopy. My doc said it was time, what with my age and all.
The buttologist had some good news: “No polyps,” he said. “But you’ve got hemorrhoids.”
Yeah…well, I didn’t need him to tell me that. I’ve had them on and off for years. They haven’t really increased since I’ve been biking, but they’re more noticeable.
Sometimes, I’ll finish a ride, and in just a few minutes I’m ready to grab the good ‘ol Preparation H. That works very well, by the way. But within a few days, I have to go for it again.
I wonder if biking has anything to do with it?
Not directly, apparently. I consulted the usual well-regarded online sources of medical info (Web MD, Mayo Clinic, etc.), and they all say one of the causes of hemorrhoids can be sitting for long periods of time. But the only kind of sitting they cite is sitting on the toilet. Sitting on a bike saddle isn’t mentioned — nor are other sitting activities, like sitting in an office chair, or a fishing boat, or at a card table. It’s the sitting that puts pressure on the veins that swell, causing hemorrhoids. I supposed sitting on a bike for several hours at a time would have an effect.
The medicos also recommend getting up and walking around periodically, to take the strain off the buttosky. Does standing to pedal count? I’m sure that stopping for a rest once in a while would work.
Well, it’s not something I’m going to get all worked up about. In my case, it’s not much of a problem, and as long as that Prep H is in the medicine cabinet, I’m good.
I wonder, though — does this sensitive subject affect any Bike Noob readers? Are you having more serious symptoms than I am? How are you dealing with it — if at all?