What Is A Hemorrhoid
An external hemorrhoid results from enlarged veins in the rectum that are pushed outside of the anal sphincter and therefore get pinched off by the sphincter, creating small blood-filled sacks. You may notice discomfort during bowel movements or when sitting. More specifically, you may experience small amounts of blood when you wipe, itchiness, burning, or swelling around your anus.
External hemorrhoids can be extremely uncomfortable, especially if youre pregnant or postpartum, but theyre something that affect a huge percentage of the population.
There are internal hemorrhoids as well, but these arent usually painful and therefore dont necessarily require any intervention. In fact, you likely wont even know you have them. So, we wont focus on those here.
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How Do Doctors Treat Hemorrhoids
Doctors treat hemorrhoids with procedures during an office visit or in an outpatient center or a hospital.
Office treatments include the following:
- Rubber band ligation. Rubber band ligation is a procedure that doctors use to treat bleeding or prolapsing internal hemorrhoids. A doctor places a special rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid. The band cuts off the blood supply. The banded part of the hemorrhoid shrivels and falls off, most often within a week. Scar tissue forms in the remaining part of the hemorrhoid, often shrinking the hemorrhoid. Only a doctor should perform this procedureyou should never try this treatment yourself.
- Sclerotherapy. A doctor injects a solution into an internal hemorrhoid, which causes scar tissue to form. The scar tissue cuts off the blood supply, often shrinking the hemorrhoid.
- Infrared photocoagulation. A doctor uses a tool that directs infrared light at an internal hemorrhoid. Heat created by the infrared light causes scar tissue to form, which cuts off the blood supply, often shrinking the hemorrhoid.
- Electrocoagulation. A doctor uses a tool that sends an electric current into an internal hemorrhoid. The electric current causes scar tissue to form, which cuts off the blood supply, often shrinking the hemorrhoid.
Outpatient center or hospital treatments include the following:
Sometimes complications of hemorrhoids also require treatment.
Home Remedies And Lifestyle
Generations have used home remedies to shrink hemorrhoids and prevent them from returning. Some treat the hemorrhoid directly, while others are aimed at alleviating the bowel irregularities that are often at the heart of the problem.
The following remedies can provide significant relief of acute hemorrhoid symptoms:
- Ice packs can relieve local inflammation and pain, but should never be placed directly on skin or left on for longer than 10 minutes.
- A sitz bath, in which a person sits in a tub of warm water for 10 to 20 minutes, can help reduce itching and irritation. Epsom salts or baking soda is often added to help alleviate inflammation.
- Witch hazel may decrease bleeding and prevent infection by acting as an astringent. You can dab it on gently with a cotton ball or even add a couple of tablespoons to a sitz bath.
- Aloe vera gel, vitamin E oil, and coconut oil are natural remedies that can help soothe and shrink minor external hemorrhoids. Avoid creams or lotions that contain these products and opt instead for the pure refined oil.
Good anal hygiene is also essential to avoid further injury and infection.
This can include a perianal irrigation bottle to squeeze warm water onto the anus after a bowel movement and disposable baby wipes to gently dab the area clean.
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Why Do Hemorrhoids Bleed
Straining or passing a particularly hard stool can damage the surface of a hemorrhoid, causing it to bleed. This can happen with both internal and external hemorrhoids. In some cases, a thrombosed hemorrhoid can burst if it becomes too full, resulting in bleeding.
Blood from a hemorrhoid will look bright red on a piece of toilet paper.
Quick Read Why Do I Get Hemorrhoids
- Hemorrhoids, also called the piles, are swollen veins in your anus or rectum.
- They can cause pain, irritation and bleeding but sometimes have no symptoms.
- Repeated straining during bowel movements is a common cause.
- Piles usually go away on their own, but over-the-counter creams or sitz baths can help.
- Consume more water and fiber and avoid lingering on the toilet.
By the time you turn 50, more than half of your peers will have experienced hemorrhoids at least once in their lives, proving that misery does indeed love company.
Hemorrhoids are extremely common, says Ashley Schmaing, a physician assistant at the Gastroenterology Clinic at Harborview Medical Center. And even then, the true prevalence is unknown because not everyone reports them to their healthcare provider or can even tell that they have them.
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How A Doctor Can Help
Doctors can recommend medical treatments and procedures that can reduce or get rid of hemorrhoids. Some of these procedures can be done right in a doctors office and involve very little discomfort.
- Medicated creams/ointments. If an OTC hemorrhoid cream isnt enough, doctors can prescribe stronger creams and ointments.
- Minimally-invasive procedures. There are some minimally-invasive procedures that a doctor can do in their office or in an ambulatory surgery center that typically doesnt require anesthesia or long recovery times. Some of these procedures include rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy injections, and laser/infrared coagulation treatments.
- Thrombectomy. For severe cases that develop blood clots and cause a lot of pain, your doctor can perform an external hemorrhoid thrombectomy to remove the hemorrhoid. Thrombectomies are most effective when performed no more than 72 hours after severe symptoms emerge.
- Surgery. There are several surgical options available when other treatments and procedures havent worked or if you have very large hemorrhoids. If youve struggled to find relief, talk to your doctor to learn if surgery is right for you.
Can Natural Home Remedies Treat And Prevent Hemorrhoids
Regardless of the size or swelling of a hemorrhoid, no treatment is required if symptoms do not exist. Prevention is perhaps the most effective treatment. Diet and adequate hydration are very important to maintain normal bowel movements. Hemorrhoid symptoms can occur with the passage of hard stool and constipation, as well as diarrhea and frequent bowel movements. People with constipation may require a high-fiber diet, adequate hydration, and stool softeners. Those with too frequent bowel movements may require antidiarrheal medications and diet adjustments. These preventive measures decrease the amount of straining that is required to have a bowel movement, thus decreasing the pressure within the blood vessels to prevent swelling. The internal hemorrhoid always stays protruded or prolapsed and is at risk for thrombosis or strangulation should the anal muscles go into spasm.
Grade 1 hemorrhoids are treated symptomatically. There can be some spasm of the anal muscles. Warm sitz baths, sitting in a warm tub for 20 minutes, two or three times a day may be helpful. Avoiding spicy food may also prevent anal itching. Over-the-counter medications may be helpful.
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What Are Common Side Effects Of Hemorrhoid Medicine
Hemorrhoid medications are generally considered safe drugs, however, as with all medications, there is the potential for side effects. If you decide to use a treatment that contains steroids, it is not advised to continue its use for more than one week as it can lead to skin damage.
Here are some side effects to look out for when using hemorrhoid medications, including creams and gels:
- Skin irritation at the site of application
- Rectal bleeding
- Severe irritation inside or around the rectum
- Allergic reaction, including rash, hives, or swelling of the lips
- Increased blood pressure
- Headache, dizziness, and nausea
Although side effects with these medications are rare, and this is not a comprehensive list, please speak to your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any signs of a negative reaction.
Use Aloe Vera To Get Rid Of Hemorrhoids
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and many beneficial properties. It is an effective natural ingredient and is effective on hemorrhoids. The anti-inflammatory property of aloe vera gives relief and resolves the symptoms fast. Cut a stripe of the aloe vera leave. Take out the gel and freeze it for a while. Apply the cold gel on the inflamed area for more effective results you can cold compress too. For external ones, you can just apply the gel extracted from aloe leaves.
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Natural Treatment & Remedies:
Sometimes the pain of hemorrhoids becomes so irritating that it becomes difficult to stay in full consciousness. To find instant relief you need to undergo some natural remedies to ease yourself out in this awkward situation.
1. ICE CUBES:
You can use ice cubes. You can insert the ice cube in your anal to stop the swelling. This will give you a light relief from itching and burning also! It will help to shrink the hemorrhoids and will give you instant relief.
2. CLEAN THE HEMORRHOIDS AREA:
Clean up the anal area as much as possible. Every time you go to washroom, try to use warm water. And use mild soap to wash the area. Always use clean white clothes to dab the problematic area dry.
3. CHANGE YOUR UNDERGARMENTS:
If bleeding occurs frequently in the anal section you need to change the underwear or panties. The dirt can cause new dilemma in your hemorrhoids problem. You can use panty liners to avoid changing undergarments frequently. Obviously try to use the cotton panty liners which will help to soothe your irritation.
4. EFFECTIVE SITZ BATH:
This method is recommended by everyone. It is really an effective way to temporarily get rid of hemorrhoid pain. You can use your bath tub or you can buy one sitz bathtub which usually can be placed over the toilet sit.
5. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR:
6. ALOE VERA GEL:
7. TEA TREE & OLIVE OIL MIXTURE:
8. HONEY-LEMON- WATER SOLUTION:
Add one tsp of fresh lemon juice Add one tablespoon of honey
IS ITS TIME FOR MEDICATION?
When To Seek Medical Help
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What Are The Best Home Remedies For Hemorrhoids
If youd prefer to avoid medication, or youd like to complement your treatment with at-home remedies, here are some ways you can alleviate your hemorrhoids at home:
- Sitz baths: A regular sitz bath can relieve itching and irritation. Fill a tub with three to four inches of warm water and sit in it with your knees bent for about 10 to 15 minutes. Gently pat yourself dry with a towel afterwards. For an extra soothing effect, try adding Epsom salts to the bath.
- Fiber supplements: These reduce hemorrhoid bleeding, inflammation, and enlargement by drawing water into your stool to make it easier to pass. A psyllium husk fiber supplement, such as Metamucil or a generic equivalent, is a good choice, although psyllium may cause gas or bloating. In that case, try a supplement containing wheat dextrin or methylcellulose .
- Cold compress: Applying ice packs to the anus for 10-15 minutes can help reduce swelling and reduce discomfort. To avoid ice burns always place ice in a cloth or paper towel, and never apply it directly to the skin.
- Aloe vera: Aloe vera has been used in many cultures for centuries to treat hemorrhoids due to its believed anti-inflammatory properties. Given the sensitivity of the area, only use pure aloe vera to treat hemorrhoids, and perform a patch test 24-48 hours on your inner wrist prior to application to check there is no allergic reaction.
How To Get Rid Of Hemorrhoids Fast Naturally At Home
Hemorrhoids can be very uncomfortable. Whether it is external or internal hemorrhoids, bowel movements are very difficult with the condition.
It has to be treated soon so that our daily activities are not affected. Home remedies for hemorrhoids treat the condition very well and give a soothing effect too.
Find out how to get rid of Hemorrhoids Fast Naturally at home by keeping reading the article below!
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An External Or Thrombosed Hemorrhoid
Thrombosed external hemorrhoids are a painful condition. These occurs when a blood clot develops in a hemorrhoidal blood vessel causing swelling and inflammation.
- When a blood clot occurs in a hemorrhoid, the hemorrhoid will become even more swollen. This swelling leads to increased pain.
- The pain is usually worse with bowel movements and may increase with sitting.
A thrombosed external hemorrhoid may resolve on its own however, this condition often needs medical care. Bleeding with a bowel movement is never normal and should prompt a visit to a health-care professional. While hemorrhoids are the most common cause of bleeding with a bowel movement, there may be other reasons for bleeding including inflammatory bowel disease, infection, and tumors.
Hemorrhoids are not arteries or veins, but instead are normal blood vessels called sinusoids that are located in the walls that surround the rectum and anus. When the venous pressure within these blood vessels increases, the hemorrhoids swell and dilate, because it is more difficult for blood to empty from them. This leads to the most common symptoms of bleeding and swelling.
Common situations that increase pressure within the hemorrhoidal blood vessels and lead to abnormalities include the following.
- Straining to have a bowel movement. This may be due to constipation or diarrhea.
- Prolonged sitting, including on the toilet
- Lack of exercise
What Are The Symptoms Of External Hemorrhoids
Unlike internal hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoids are located in an area with nerve endings, which can make them easier to identify but also significantly more uncomfortable. Patients with external hemorrhoids usually report experiencing acute pain or discomfort, especially during bowel movements. However, these symptoms may flare up only every so often, making it difficult to tell whether the discomfort is actually hemorrhoid-related.
Many of those with external hemorrhoids also have symptoms of internal hemorrhoids. While a licensed physician is the only one who can give you a dependable diagnosis, these are some symptoms that typically indicate an external hemorrhoid problem:
- Mild but consistent itching around the rectal area
- Pain around the anal area, ranging from mild to severe
- Swelling around the anus
You may also notice your external hemorrhoids particularly swell when bearing down during a bowel movement. Be sure to limit your time on the toilet to two minutes as additional straining can worsen your external hemorrhoids. If you find that you frequently have to strain to pass bowel movements, try to increase your fiber and water intake. Eating foods with fiber is the most beneficial way to get this carbohydrate, but you can also take fiber supplements. The recommended intake is 20 to 30 grams per day.
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Do I Need To See A Doctor
Its best to see a doctor if youre noticing blood. While it could be due to a hemorrhoid, it could also be a sign of something more serious, such as colorectal cancer.
A doctor will likely start by confirming that hemorrhoids are the source of the blood youve noticed. To do this, theyll either examine the area for external hemorrhoids or insert a gloved finger to check for internal hemorrhoids.
If its still not clear where the bloods coming from, they may recommend a colonoscopy, which involves inserting a small, lighted camera into your colon while you are sedated. This will help them check for any signs of other conditions that could be causing the bleeding.
Make sure to tell them if you have any of the following symptoms in addition to bleeding:
- changes in stool consistency or color
- changes in bowel movement habits
- weight loss
Surgical Treatment For Hemorrhoids
Today, many minimally invasive surgical options are available to treat hemorrhoids. Your physician will refer you to a surgeon if conservative treatments dont address your symptoms or if you arent a candidate for in-office procedures.
Common surgical procedures to treat hemorrhoids include:
- Hemorrhoidectomy. Large external hemorrhoids or prolapsed hemorrhoids may need to be removed by a surgeon.
- Hemorrhoid stapling. A special stapling tool can remove internal hemorrhoids and pull prolapsed hemorrhoids back into the anus.
If you struggle with recurrent hemorrhoids, talk to your doctor about ways you can treat and prevent them, says Dr. Hackworth.
Need a doctor? Find a Riverside gastroenterology provider near you.
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What Medications And Other Products Treat Hemorrhoids
Medications are used to control symptoms by softening the stool, decreasing the inflammation of the hemorrhoids, and treating the pain. Stool softeners work by increasing the water and fat content within the stool allowing it to be passed more easily. Docusate sodium is the most often recommended drug in this class .
Inflammation can be controlled with over-the-counter creams or suppositories. Some brand ingredients include low dose topical anesthetics to help with symptoms. Others contain astringents that help shrink the swollen tissues. Both may contain low dose steroids to decrease inflammation. People with diabetes should check with their pharmacist or health care professional before using OTC hemorrhoid treatments. If the medication contains a vasoconstrictor it may elevate blood sugar levels if absorbed in large amounts. Prescription-strength lidocaine or hydrocortisone may be offered by the health care professional.
Grade 2 and 3 hemorrhoids are initially treated the same way, using techniques to destroy hemorrhoids. These include injecting the hemorrhoid vein to make it sclerose or harden, using rubber bands to choke off the blood supply and make the hemorrhoidal tissue shrivel, or other procedures that cause the mucosa to shrivel and die.