Hemorrhoids, which are also called piles, can be uncomfortable, annoying and many times embarrassing. Hemorrhoids are basically mass of swollen veins inside the rectum or bulge outside the anus. Both kinds can become itchy and painful, and they can also bleed. By themselves, hemorrhoids are rarely serious, but they can be extremely troublesome. In some instances, they may mask a more serious disorder, such as colon or rectal cancer. Hemorrhoids frequently develop in women during pregnancy when the presence of the fetus causes increased pressure on the rectal area. According to “The American College of Gastroenterology” hemorrhoids are very common and by age 50, nearly half of Americans have hemorrhoids. Nearly 5% of the US population (15,000,000 people) has sought medical care for symptomatic hemorrhoids. Many more have problems are associated with hemorrhoids, which never seek formal medical attention.
It is essential to have knowledge about hemorrhoids as in most of the cases people don’t realize that they are suffering with hemorrhoids until it’s too late. In this post you will find information on hemorrhoids, associated symptoms and treatment measures.
- Painless bleeding during bowel movements — you might notice small amounts of bright red blood on your toilet tissue or in the toilet bowl
- Itching or irritation in your anal region
- Pain or discomfort
- Hemorrhoids protruding from your anus
- Swelling around your anus
- A sensitive or painful lump near your anus
- Leakage of feces
External hemorrhoids are dilated veins covered by the skin near the anal opening. They may be felt as bumps or lumps near the outside of the anus, and become painful when they are swollen with blood.
Internal hemorrhoids are dilated veins that form inside the rectum and above the anal opening, and are therefore termed as “internal”. However, in some situations they may enlarge and protrude (prolapse) out of the anus.
How can I treat hemorrhoids through home remedies?
There’s no reason to live with the pain caused by hemorrhoids. Give these natural remedies a try, but if your condition doesn’t improve within seven days or worsens, or bleeding occurs, see your doctor.
Fight back with fiber: The number one way to prevent and treat hemorrhoids is to add fiber to your diet. Fiber will help you avoid constipation, soften your stool, and relieve the pressure on your hemorrhoids.
It is recommended to consume about 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Good sources of fiber are bran, whole grain foods, potatoes, beans, and fresh fruits. To really get things moving, eat more cabbage, corn, parsnips, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peas, asparagus, carrot, and kale.
Slim down: Being overweight is often a consequence of an inactive lifestyle and poor diet. Changing these two aspects of your life will improve your health, including the condition of your hemorrhoids.
Flush it out:
style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; color: black; font-size: 10pt; mso-themecolor: text1;"> Six to eight glasses of liquid each day will flush out your digestive system. Stay away from alcohol because it draws water from your body and causes constipation.
Use a sitz bath with warm water: If your hemorrhoids are inflamed, soaking in a few inches of warm water with your knees raised will ease your pain. Try three 15 minute soaks a day to soothe your uncomfortable symptoms. Don’t make the water too hot, and don’t add anything like bubble bath or Epson salts to the water as these substances can irritate swollen veins. You can relax in your tub or find Sitz Baths at your local pharmacy for a reasonable price.
Practice proper bathroom etiquette: Straining during a bowel movement is one of the major causes of hemorrhoids. To prevent this, take a footstool into the bathroom and prop up your feet. If you don’t have a stool, anything that raises your feet at least a few inches will help.
Before having a bowel movement, try gently lubricating the area, inside and out, with a water-based lubricant, like K-Y jelly (not petroleum jelly), to ease irritation.
Although you shouldn’t rush the process, don’t take too long either. Enjoying your favorite magazine for more than a few minutes will increase the pressure on the veins in your rectum. The longer you sit, the more your veins are likely to swell.
Last, but not the least, clean well. If the area is particularly sensitive after a bowel movement, wipe with a soft, mist tissue or baby wipes instead of regular toilet tissue paper.
Stay active: Hemorrhoids should not restrict your normal exercise routine. In fact, it’s more important than ever for you to exercise every day for two reasons, first of all, moving around instead of sitting takes pressure off the veins in your rectum. And secondly, exercise helps prevent constipation, one of the main causes of hemorrhoids. Just avoid heavy lifting and any activity that causes you strain to the area in pain.
Cool the heat: If your hemorrhoids are painfully swollen, take this is an excuse to rest. Stay in bed for a few hours with an ice pack on your anal area.
Reach for over the counter help: There are several products you can use for hemorrhoids relief. Bulk stool softeners are helpful, but stay away from laxatives. Diarrhea is just as bad for hemorrhoids as constipation. If you choose a commercial product, these are some helpful medicines:
Hydrocortisone- relieves inflammation and itching.
Anesthetics (benzocaine, pramoxine) -can numb the pain
Vasoconstrictors (ephedrine, phenylephrine) – reduce swelling and relieve itching.
Astringents (witch hazel, zinc oxide) – helps shrink blood vessels.
Counter irritants (camphor)- soothe and comfort the area
Aloe vera gel -reduces irritation
You can also take oral medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) temporarily to help relieve your discomfort.
These self-care measures may relieve the symptoms and provide you some relief, but they won’t make the hemorrhoid disappear. Consult with your doctor if you have severe pain or bleeding and don’t get relief within a week.