What Are Home Treatments For Hemorrhoids
You can try the following home treatments:
- Blot the anus gently after bowel movements with white toilet paper moistened with water or a cleansing agent, such as Balneol. You can also use moistened baby wipes or medicated pads, such as Tucks.
- Avoid rubbing the anal area. And avoid soaps with perfumes or dyes.
- Use hemorrhoid ointments, such as Preparation H.
- Don’t strain while you are having a bowel movement.
- Apply ice several times a day. Also try applying moist heat several times a day, or sit in warm water .
- Eat more fiber, and drink more water.
- Take stool softeners.
You can also take nonprescription pain relievers. Acetaminophen can help with pain. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen and naproxen , can help with pain and swelling. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
These treatments cure most small and some large internal hemorrhoids. They aren’t used for external hemorrhoids. They work by cutting off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid, which makes the hemorrhoid shrink or go away.
There are different ways to do this:
- Rubber band ligation. This is the most successful nonsurgical procedure. It is the one most often used for small and medium hemorrhoids. It involves tying off hemorrhoids with rubber bands.
- Coagulation. This procedure involves using heat, a laser, or an electrical current to create scar tissue around the hemorrhoids. Infrared photocoagulation uses infrared light to do this.
When Should You Call Your Doctor
Common symptoms of hemorrhoids may be a sign of other serious health problems. Colon or rectal cancer and other conditions have many of the same symptoms as hemorrhoids. Call your doctor if you have symptoms like these:
- Stools are black or tarry.
- A lump or bulge that is not tender and does not go away develops at the anal opening.
If you have hemorrhoids, call your doctor if:
- Moderate rectal pain lasts longer than 1 week after home treatment.
- Pain or swelling is severe.
- Tissue from inside the body bulges from the anus and does not return to normal after 3 to 7 days of home treatment.
- A lump inside the anus becomes bigger or more painful.
If rectal bleeding becomes heavy or changes colour , or if stools change size, shape, or colour , be sure to see your doctor.
Symptoms Of Prolapsed Internal Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids prolapse when their blood vessels swell and extend from their location in the rectum through the anus. In the anal canal, the hemorrhoid is exposed to the trauma of passing stool, particularly hard stools associated with constipation. The trauma can cause bleeding and sometimes pain when stool passes.
The presence of
- inflammation, and
- constant moisture
can lead to anal itchiness , and occasionally the constant feeling of needing to have a bowel movement. The prolapsing hemorrhoid usually returns into the anal canal or rectum on its own or can be pushed back inside with a finger, but falls out again with the next bowel movement.
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What Causes Internal And External Hemorrhoids And Simple Ways To Treat Them
Hemorrhoids are usually caused by increased pressure due to pregnancy, being overweight, or straining during bowel movements. By midlife, hemorrhoids often become an ongoing complaint. By age 50, about half the population has experienced one or more of the classic symptoms, which include rectal pain, itching, bleeding, and possibly prolapse . Although hemorrhoids are rarely dangerous, they can be a recurrent and painful intrusion. Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do about hemorrhoids.
What Are First Degree Hemorrhoids
A first-degree internal hemorrhoid bulges into the anal canal during bowel movements. A second-degree internal hemorrhoid bulges from the anus during bowel movements, then goes back inside by itself. A third-degree hemorrhoid bulges from the anus during bowel movements and must be pushed back in with a finger.
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Hemorrhoids Treatment: Rubber Band Ligation
The principle of rubber band ligation is to encircle the base of the hemorrhoidal clump with a tight rubber band. The tissue cut off by the rubber band dies, and is replaced by an ulcer that heals with scarring.
A similar procedure was described in 460 BC by the Greek physician Hippocrates:
And hemorrhoids you may treat by transfixing them with a needle and tying them with very thick and woolen thread, for application, and do not foment until they drop off, and always leave one behind and when the patient recovers, let him be put on a course of Hellebore.
Rubber band ligation can be used with first-, second-, and third-degree hemorrhoids, and may be more effective than sclerotherapy. Symptoms frequently recur several years later, but usually can be treated with further ligation.
The most common complication of ligation is pain. However, bleeding one or two weeks after ligation or bacterial infection in the tissues surrounding the hemorrhoids may occur.
What Are The Symptoms
The most common symptoms of both internal and external hemorrhoids include:
- Bleeding during bowel movements. You might see streaks of bright red blood on toilet paper after you strain to have a bowel movement.
- Rectal pain. It may be painful to clean the anal area.
With internal hemorrhoids, you may see bright red streaks of blood on toilet paper or bright red blood in the toilet bowl after you have a normal bowel movement. You may see blood on the surface of the stool.
Internal hemorrhoids often are small, swollen veins in the wall of the anal canal. But they can be large, sagging veins that bulge out of the anus all the time. They can be painful if they bulge out and are squeezed by the anal muscles. They may be very painful if the blood supply to the hemorrhoid is cut off. If hemorrhoids bulge out, you also may see mucus on the toilet paper or stool.
External hemorrhoids can get irritated and clot under the skin, causing a hard painful lump. This is called a thrombosed, or clotted, hemorrhoid.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get hemorrhoids?
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What lifestyle changes can I make to keep from getting hemorrhoids again?
- When will symptoms improve?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
An estimated 15 million Americans have sought treatments for hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. But many more suffer needlessly. Dont be too embarrassed to talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms. If hemorrhoids cause pain or discomfort, your provider has treatments that can help. You can also take steps to keep hemorrhoids from coming back.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/18/2021.
Three Types Of Prolapsed Hemorrhoids
If the prolapsed hemorrhoid retracts back into the anus on its own then its considered second degree. If the only way for the hemorrhoid to get back into the anus is with manual manipulation, then it falls into the third degree category.
And finally, if the hemorrhoid cant even be manually manipulated back into the anus, well then you have a third degree prolapsed hemorrhoid.
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What Do External And Internal Hemorrhoids Look Like
Normal hemorrhoidal tissue cannot be seen since they must first swell and become inflamed or develop a clot to cause symptoms. One can see swollen external hemorrhoids or internal prolapsed hemorrhoids exposed outside the anus but internal hemorrhoids cannot be seen because they remain inside the anus. A thrombosed hemorrhoid will appear as a lump at the anal verge, protruding from the anus, and will be dark bluish in color because of the blood clot contained inside the swollen blood vessel. Non-thrombosed hemorrhoids will appear as a rubbery lump. Often more than one swollen hemorrhoid appears at the same time.
From Earthcliniccom Users Describe Some Potential Side Effects Of Using Apple Cider Vinegar For Hemorrhoids:
I have tried apple cider vinegar undiluted using a cotton ball. The pain of the sting was excruciating but I thought I have to tolerate if I have to get any results. but the result I got was that the ACV burnt my skin and caused it to get infected.
ACV doesnt seem to be doing anything at all, other than making them more tender. Ive been applying to one hem to see if there was any improvement. Nothing after four days at all. Perhaps mine have just been there for too long.
I agree. I take ACV orally and tried it topically for hemmorhoid type problem. It was the worst thing I could ever have done. Intense burning and swelling caused a normally 3 day issue into an extreme 1 week issue in which sitting was almost impossible. If anyone tries this, I would be very careful and wash the ACV off with any sign of uncomfortable burn.
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Personal Stories About Treating Hemorrhoids
These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.
I have had hemorrhoids for many years, but they have never bothered me much. Once in a while they hurt or bleed, and I know that it’s time to pay more attention to my diet and drink some extra water. My new doctor and I talked about them during my last visit. She asked if I had ever considered having them treated, and we talked about the pros and cons of my options. I decided that since they don’t bother me very much, and because I know what to do if they flare up, I will just keep managing them as I have been. I can always have treatment later if they get worse.
John, age 40
Because I sit all day at work, my hemorrhoids can be a big inconvenience. I get plenty of fiber and water in my diet, but they are still bothering me. My doctor and I agreed that it would be reasonable for me to try the rubber band treatment. I will still have to watch what I eat and drink to keep my stools soft, but I hope that the treatment will take care of most of the pain so I can be more comfortable at work.
Genevieve, age 50
Ricardo, age 38
Barbara, age 47
Testimonials: Warnings About The Side Effects From Using Apple Cider Vinegar To Treat Hemorrhoids
As with any home remedy, its a good idea to approach the use of ACV to treat your hemorrhoids with caution. Youre likely already experiencing considerable discomfort from the hemorrhoids themselves, and want to ensure the remedy you use relieves your symptoms, rather than making them worse.
Learning about the experience others have had with ACV can help you determine if its the right option for you. Below are some descriptions of the outcomes others have encountered after using ACV.
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Hemorrhoid Home Remedies: Warm Sitz Bath
A sitz bath refers to sitting in a few inches of warm water three times a day for 15 to 20 minutes. A sitz bath may help decrease the inflammation of hemorrhoids. Drying off the anal area completely after each sitz bath is important for minimizing moisture that irritates the skin surrounding your rectal area.
Gradually Increase Your Fiber Intake
Most of us dont get in enough fiber everyday, but adding more high-fiber foods like beans, broccoli, whole grains, and fresh fruit to your diet can help you avoid constipation and stay regular. This in turn reduces the chances that youll find yourself straining and further irritating your hemorrhoids, says Dr. Thomas. Aim for 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day, and consider taking a fiber supplement that contains psyllium or methylcellulose to help you hit your daily goal. If youre typically low on fiber-rich foods, though, take your timesuddenly upping your intake may make you gassy.
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What Can I Do To Reduce My Hemorrhoids
You can try to reduce hemorrhoids or prevent them from developing in several ways. Eat a diet full of fiber-rich foods, like vegetables and fruits. Drink plenty of water to help keep your stools soft and your bowel movements regular. Avoid straining when using the toilet. Avoid sitting on the toilet for long periods of time.
Clearing Up The Hemorrhoid Misconceptions
Hemorrhoids arent a problem in and of themselves. In fact, theyre a natural part of the body theyre the blood vessels in and around your anus and rectum. In other words, everybody has hemorrhoids all the time. The problem is when a hemorrhoid becomes swollen or irritated. When that happens, you get itching, pain, aches, and bleeding, which can range from mild to heavy.
Hemorrhoids affect men with the same frequency as they do women, yet for some reason we seem to associate them more with men.
You cant get cancer from hemorrhoids. However, if left untreated, hemorrhoids can lead to certain ongoing health issues that are no bueno.
Contrary to popular belief, topical treatments like Preparation H and witch hazel wont make your hemorrhoid go away.
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How To Treat Hemorrhoids
National statistics show that hemorrhoids affect about 1 in 20 Americans and about half of adults older than 50. So, theres a good chance that once you reach 50, youll have to deal with hemorrhoids at one point or another.
Hemorrhoid tissues are veins and blood vessels inside and outside the anus that swell slightly during bowel movements. If you exert too much pressure, they may stay enlarged and inflamed. If you have hemorrhoids, you know what problems this can cause.
How To Treat Bleeding Hemorrhoids
Though its not a very pleasant topic to think about, the fact is that hemorrhoids are one of the most common gastrointestinal problems. The National Institutes of Health estimates that about 1 in 20 Americans will develop hemorrhoids at some point during their life. For most people, though, getting hemorrhoids is a temporary problem that isnt much of a cause for concern. Sometimes the problem is more severe and the hemorrhoids cause rectal bleeding in those cases, a more proactive treatment approach is usually necessary.
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When Hemorrhoid Surgery May Be Necessary
Very few people fewer than 10 percent of all adults who see a doctor because of symptomatic hemorrhoids will require a surgical operation.
Surgery to remove hemorrhoids is called a hemorrhoidectomy.
Your doctor may recommend a hemorrhoidectomy if:
- You have large external hemorrhoids
- You have both internal and external hemorrhoids
- An internal hemorrhoid has prolapsed
In a hemorrhoidectomy, the doctor makes a small incision to remove the hemorrhoid and surrounding tissue before closing the wound with stitches.
A hemorrhoidectomy is performed in an operating room and can be done under general anesthesia, in which you are unconscious and unable to feel pain.
It can also be done with a spinal anesthetic block while you are awake , or with a combination of relaxing and sedating drugs given intravenously and a local anesthetic injected around the anus.
Hemorrhoidectomy is associated with postoperative pain, but the procedure is successful for 95 percent of cases.
More recently, another option aimed at avoiding the postoperative pain of a hemorrhoidectomy has become available, called a stapled hemorrhoidopexy. A circular stapling device pulls the hemorrhoidal tissue upward and to its normal position, stapling it in place. The staples eventually fall out over time.
There are many options for the treatment of hemorrhoids. Its best to discuss the benefits and risks of each of these with your doctor in order to come up with the treatment plan that is best for your particular case.
Why Are Internal Prolapsed Hemorrhoids At A Greater Risk Of Becoming Thrombosed
Whether internal or external, if your hemorrhoid is prolapsed it is at a greater risk of becoming thrombosed. When outside the anus the hemorrhoids blood supply can be cut off or limited by the anal sphincter limiting blood flow.
Since thrombosis occurs as a result of a lack of blood flow, these types of hemorrhoids are particularly susceptible to this painful condition.
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When To Seek Medical Care For Hemorrhoids
When to call the doctor
- Bleeding from the rectum or anus is never normal and although hemorrhoids are the most common reason to have blood in the stool, it should be discussed with your primary health-care professional. Other causes ofrectal bleeding exist and can be serious. Inflammatory bowel disease and cancers of the colon can present with rectal bleeding. Blood in the stool should never be ignored.
- Medical care should be sought urgently if a person is taking anticoagulation medications such as warfarin , dabigatran , rivaroxiban , apixaban , clopidogrel , prasugrel or enoxaparin .
- Individuals who have associated symptoms such as lightheadedness and weakness may have significant blood loss and may require more urgent care.
- Hemorrhoids do not cause abdominal pain should this pain be present with bleeding, medical care should be sought immediately.
- Prolapsed hemorrhoids that cannot be pushed back through the anus require medical care.
- Thrombosed external hemorrhoids may cause significant pain and medical care may be necessary to remove the clot.