Hemorrhoidal disease has been one of the most common human ailments. Hippocrates (460–377 BC) in the Hippocratic Corpus made reference to hemorrhoids and proposed medical and surgical treatments. Galen (131–201 AD) in De Medicina described hemorrhoid ligation and extirpation of hemorrhoids, as well as their complications. Maimonides (1235–1305 AD) in his Treatise on hemorrhoids noted the importance of diet and detailed a number of treatments to alleviate hemorrhoidal symptoms, including “fatty chicken broth.” He also recommended medicines to be applied as suppositories, creams, or enemas to eliminate or prevent symptoms.
– Getting to the Bottom of Drug Therapy for Hemorrhoids
The mention of hemorrhoids is often followed by humorous quips or agonizing patient embarrassment. As a disorder that is estimated to effect 50% of the population by age 50, the subject of hemorrhoids is no laughing matter.1 For the average American self-care of hemorrhoids likely involves going to a local pharmacy, buying a tube of Preparation HR, and spending time sitting on a foam donut. It is estimated that only one third of patients with hemorrhoids will ever see their physician for treatment, and then usually only after self-treatment has failed.