Hemorrhoids are a painful and often embarrassing problem. Many people find it difficult to talk about this painful condition, but it is actually a common problem among adults. If you’re living with hemorrhoids, the good news is there are a variety of treatments available, both home remedies and medical treatments, that can significantly decrease the pain and discomfort.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids can either be internal or external. Internal hemorrhoids are typically not seen or felt, unless they are severe. However, external hemorrhoids can be seen and felt outside of the rectum. Although the symptoms of hemorrhoids may vary from person to person, there are a few common symptoms, including:
- Bleeding – You may notice bright red blood on toilet paper, the outside of stool or dripping into the toilet
- Itching – This is a common complaint, due to the mucus that often seeps from hemorrhoids
- Skin irritation from the mucus
- Discomfort – You may feel the urge to have an urge to pass stool following a bowel movement, which is caused by the hemorrhoid bulging in the intestine
- Pain – Internal hemorrhoids are typically not painful, but external hemorrhoids may become painful if they swell and become external. You may also experience slight pain and/or discomfort while sitting.
Cause of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are typically associated with straining during bowel movements, constipation and/or pregnancy. These conditions often cause an increase in pressure on the hemorrhoid veins, which cause them to swell. Some people with liver disease may also develop hemorrhoids, due to the pressure of an enlarged liver.
Treatment of Hemorrhoids
If you are experiencing a hemorrhoid flare-up, you’ll want immediate relief, which can usually be accomplished with simple home remedies. Hemorrhoid treatment will depend on the severity of them, however, some of the most common and effective treatments include:
Hot sitz bath, which involves immersing the pelvic region in warm water. Doing this three times a day and/or after each bowel movement for about 15 minutes will help to relieve the pain and reduce the swelling.
Cut out caffeine. LA Colon says that for some people caffeine can make hemorrhoids worse. Caffeine stimulates your digestive system. It can cause diarrhea or constipation, leading to irritation and even possibly re-opening hemorrhoids that were on their way to healing.
Laxatives may help relieve hemorrhoids if they are caused by constipation. If you have watery stools, do not use a laxative as it may worsen the condition.
Applying ice directly on the hemorrhoid will help to reduce the swelling and soothe the area.
Witch hazel applied directly to the hemorrhoid can help relieve the itching, burning and irritation. It’s also a mild astringent, which means it can help reduce the inflammation going on in the veins. You can apply witch hazel as often as necessary.
Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties and it’s both a demulcent and emollient. When applied on hemorrhoids, it may help soothe the discomfort and aid in healing. This also is a mild astringent that can help shrink the inflamed veins. And because it contains anthraquinone, it can help soften up anything in the intestines which should help reduce further strain on hemorrhoids.
If you find that you continue to experience pain and/or frequent discomfort after trying one or more of the home remedies, you should talk with your doctor about recommendations for relieving the pain. If your hemorrhoids are severe and/or you have frequent flare-ups of external hemorrhoids, your doctor may recommend surgery.
While there may not be a definite way to prevent hemorrhoids, there are several things you can do that may help to reduce the risk of developing hemorrhoids. Eating a well-balanced diet that is high in fiber may help prevent constipation, avoid straining during bowel movements, avoid sitting for long periods of time and regular exercise may help prevent hemorrhoids.