Doctors plead with embarrassed haemorrhoids sufferers not to put frozen potatoes up their bums

sliced potatoes
File this one under "an old wive's tale". Photo credit: Getty.

In further advice we never thought we'd have to give, doctors are warning people against inserting frozen potatoes into their bums. 

No, it's not some sort of sexual thing - or at least, not entirely - but instead a rumoured home remedy for haemorrhoids people are tackling without medical advice.

An online Reader's Digest article claims the potato is a "surprisingly effective home remedy" for the condition. 

"The tuber acts as a soothing astringent." 

Similarly, Wales Online encourages readers to freeze a whole potato slice "and leave it inside for 30 seconds". Yes, that means inside your anus. 

"Repeat the process for three to five days." 

Now doctors are urging embarrassed sufferers not to follow the advice of these not-so-reliable sources, and instead seek actual medical advice when faced with piles. 

UK doctor Diana Gall told the Sun that many people try dangerous home remedies for embarrassing conditions, rather than face a medical professional. 

"Piles can be an irritating condition and sufferers are sometimes too embarrassed to get professional help, turning to old wives' tales instead," she said. 

"There is no medical evidence that putting frozen potatoes inside the anus can help cure piles, so I would urge caution to anyone thinking of doing it.

"Piles often go away on their own after a few days, but there are some tried and trusted ways to keep them at bay."

Haemorrhoids are a common ailment which often affect women during pregnancy. They're also often the result of long spells of sitting down, constipation, a low-fibre diet and obesity. 

Dr Gall says she would instead encourage people to drink plenty of fluids, maintain a fibre-rich diet and try having regular warm baths to ease itching and pain.