Can Hemorrhoids Be Prevented
You can help prevent hemorrhoids by
- Eating foods that are high in fiber
- Taking a stool softener or a fiber supplement
- Drinking enough fluids every day
- Not straining during bowel movements
- Not sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Drink Plenty Of Water
Another simple way to prevent hemorrhoids is by drinking plenty of water on a daily basis. Healthy bowel movements are achieved with adequate hydration. Drinking plenty of water will keep your body hydrated and will help to prevent constipation and straining during movements. Most healthy adults require at least six to eight cups of water every day to keep the digestive system running efficiently. In addition, the water is good for your overall health and well-being.
Add Fiber To Your Diet
The American Gastroenterological Association suggests that drinking water and eating enough fiber are the two biggest ways to treat hemorrhoid flare-ups. Fiber has a consistent beneficial effect, says Janelle Gurguis-Blake, MD. Increased fiber in your diet can cause stools to soften and makes them easier to pass, reducing the pressure on your hemorrhoids. Boost fiber either by eating high-fiber foods or by taking a fiber supplement , or both. Just make sure that you also drink plenty of fluids. High-fiber foods include broccoli, beans, wheat and oat bran, whole grains, and fruit.
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Relieve Pain And Itching
- Take non-prescription pain relievers. Acetaminophen can help with pain. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help with pain and swelling.
- Apply ice several times a day for 10 minutes at a time. Follow this by placing a warm compress on the anal area for another 10 to 20 minutes.
- Take a sitz bath. Fill your bathtub with just enough warm water to cover the anal area. Do this several times a day, especially after you have had a bowel movement. Soak for about 15 minutes at a time. Be careful! If the water is too warm, it can burn you.
Use non-prescription medicines as recommended by your doctor or pharmacist. See the Medications section of this topic for information on non-prescription ointments, creams, and suppositories.
Procedures For Hemorrhoids Treatment
Some hemorrhoids can’t be managed with conservative treatments alone, either because symptoms persist or because an internal hemorrhoid has prolapsed. Fortunately, a number of minimally invasive hemorrhoid treatments are available that are less painful than traditional hemorrhoid removal and allow a quicker recovery. These procedures are generally performed in a surgeon’s office or as outpatient surgery in a hospital.
Band it. The most commonly used hemorrhoid treatment in the United States is rubber band ligation, in which a small elastic band is placed around the base of a hemorrhoid . The band causes the hemorrhoid to shrink and the surrounding tissue to scar as it heals, holding the hemorrhoid in place. It takes two to four procedures, done six to eight weeks apart, to completely eliminate the hemorrhoid. Complications, which are rare, include mild pain or tightness , bleeding, and infection. Other office procedures include laser or infrared coagulation, sclerotherapy, and cryosurgery. They all work on the same principle as rubber band ligation but are not quite as effective in preventing recurrence. Side effects and recurrence vary with the procedure, so consult your physician about what’s best for your situation.
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Go When You Need To Go
This sounds like common-sense advice, but too many people ignore it. If you delay using the bathroom, your stool may become hard and dry in your bowel, which makes it harder to pass. If you strain to pass stool, your risk for developing hemorrhoids increases.
Speaking of straining, dont force a bowel movement when you dont need to go, either. Straining increases the pressure on your venous cushions, which leads to hemorrhoids. In particular, straining can turn internal hemorrhoids into external ones.
How Do Hemorrhoids Go Away
There are a number of over-the-counter treatment options that can help the itching, pain, and discomfort. First, you should talk to your doctor if you think you are experiencing hemorrhoid symptoms. They may recommend some of the following:
- A stool softener can help reduce straining. This can help prevent hemorrhoids and makes it less painful to pass stool when you have them.
- Laxatives are helpful if you are not having regular bowel movements.
- Topical medications can reduce the discomfort and pain, and help shrink the hemorrhoids.
- You can also soak daily in a warm bath or a sitz bath .
It can take anywhere from a few days to over a week for the swelling to go down and the symptoms to go away. If your symptoms do not get better with these treatments, your doctor may suggest an in-office procedure to remove your hemorrhoids. These procedures are usually done using a local anesthetic, but depending on the procedure may cause some pain and discomfort following the procedure.
A common misconception is that once you have hemorrhoids they never go away. In fact, they can go away! Explore all the options, which focus on avoiding constipation and hard bowel movements. If youre having pain, topical treatment can be given as well. If nothing helps, there are small procedural options that a gastroenterologist or a surgeon can offer to treat your hemorrhoids. Dr. Kumar
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Easy Ways To Add Fiber
The tips below offer some simple ways to add more high-fiber foods to your meals.
Start your day with a high-fiber breakfast. Eat a wheat bran cereal along with a sliced banana. Or, try peanut butter on whole-wheat toast.
Eat carrot sticks for snacks. Theyre easy to prepare, taste great, and are low in calories.
Use whole-grain breads instead of white bread for sandwiches.
Eat fruits for treats. Try an apple and some raisins instead of a candy bar.
Be Careful When It Comes To Laxatives
When youre constipated, some fiber supplements, particularly psyllium capsules, have a track record of helping get you more regular, which can prevent painful hemorrhoids. As far as laxatives go, they can help as long as you choose the correct ones. The safest laxatives are those that work with your body rather than those that stimulate or simulate normal physiological activities, Kussin says. Some laxatives work by stimulating intestinal contraction to move the contents along. This might increase hemorrhoid pressures and cause symptoms. To prevent hemorrhoids or to treat hemorrhoids that are active, Kussin suggests osmotic laxatives that simply increase the amount of water in the gut and reduce constipation.
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What Should I Eat If I Have Hemorrhoids
Your doctor may recommend that you eat more foods that are high in fiber. Eating foods that are high in fiber can make stools softer and easier to pass and can help treat and prevent hemorrhoids. Drinking water and other liquids, such as fruit juices and clear soups, can help the fiber in your diet work better. Ask your doctor about how much you should drink each day based on your health and activity level and where you live.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a dietary fiber intake of 14 grams per 1,000 calories consumed. For example, for a 2,000-calorie diet, the fiber recommendation is 28 grams per day.
The amount of fiber in a food is listed on the foods nutrition facts label. Some fiber-rich foods are listed in the table below.
|Fiber Rich Foods|
Avoid Making Hemorrhoids Worse
- Blot the anus gently with white toilet paper moistened with water or a cleansing agent after bowel movements. Baby wipes or other pre-moistened towels are also useful for this purpose.
- Avoid rubbing the anal area. You can rinse off in the shower or on a bidet instead of wiping yourself with toilet paper. After cleansing, gently pat the anal area dry with a soft, absorbent towel or cloth.
- Use soaps that contain no perfumes or dyes.
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How To Treat Hemorrhoid Flare Ups
If you do get hemorrhoids, there are a few things that they can do to keep them from getting worse.
- You can put ice on them or use a hemorrhoid ice pack
- A painkiller may be appropriate if okayed by your doctor
- Never scratch as this can inflame them big time
- Make sure that you choose cotton or soft and looser underwear if possible
- Apply witch-hazel along side a hemorrhoid cream or using an over-the-counter wipe with witch hazel to soothe the pain and itch with
- Fill your tub with a few inches of warm water and soak there for about 15-20 minutes at a time.
These recommendations tend to help greatly when used in combination.
Consume Lots Of Fiber:
If you have infrequent bowel movements, then you are more likely to suffer from hemorrhoids. To fight this problem, you can choose the easiest way of filling yourself up with fiber diet such as eating more legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This fiber will add bulk to your stool and make it easy to pass putting the least pressure on your rectum and preventing piles.
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Less Time Less Force Less Pressure
Its important to understand that the more localized and prolonged the pressure in the anal canal is, the more redirected the blood flow is to that region. It makes sense that in both sitting and/or exercising, which engages that musculature, this can indeed be a problem. For instance, with bowel movements, the days of reading the newspaper or now checking all your social media accounts should be limited. Less time, less force, and less pressure will minimize the blood flow to your anus and/or will allow the proper mechanism to function. Actually, the act of wiping in a standing position, re-directs the blood flow out of hemorrhoids, which will decrease the distention. Just a reminder that the more blood flow there is, the more stretching of the skin or hemorrhoids, which means the more sequelae can occur, like bleeding, clotting, and painall leading to difficulty during both defecation and anal intercourse.
Simple Ways To Prevent Hemorrhoids From Forming
For some people, hemorrhoids are a daily part of life. They can be painful and get in the way of daily activities. While common to have, they become a problem if they start to cause painful irritation or itchiness or begin to bleed. Thankfully, there are some simple ways to prevent hemorrhoids from interrupting your daily life.
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How Are Hemorrhoids Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider diagnoses hemorrhoids based on symptoms and a physical exam. You may also have:
- Digital rectal exam: Your provider inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for swollen veins.
- Anoscopy: Your provider uses an anoscope to view the lining of the anus and rectum.
- Sigmoidoscopy: Your provider uses a sigmoidoscope to view inside the lower part of the colon and rectum. Procedure types include flexible sigmoidoscopy and rigid sigmoidoscopy .
These tests may be uncomfortable but arent painful. They typically take place in a doctors office or outpatient center without anesthesia. You go home the same day.
Your provider may perform a colonoscopy to confirm findings from other tests or check for signs of colon cancer. This outpatient procedure requires anesthesia.
Work Wonders With Witch Hazel
A dab of witch hazel applied to the rectum with a cotton ball is one of the very best remedies available for external hemorrhoids, especially if theres bleeding, says Marvin Schuster, MD. Witch hazel causes the blood vessels to shrink and contract. While anything cold, even water, can help kill the pain of hemorrhoids, icy cold witch hazel provides even more relief. Chill a bottle of witch hazel in an ice bucket or the refrigerator. Then take a cotton ball, soak it in the witch hazel, and apply it against your hemorrhoids until its no longer cold, then repeat, suggests Schuster.
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How Can You Control Piles
We often come out with a question seeking answers as to what can be those effective ways that can help you control those painful symptoms of piles. So here is the answer. These are 5 effective ways in which you can control piles.
Best surgery for piles: Laser surgery is considered to be the best option to get rid of piles in severe cases that require proper treatment. You will experience minimal or no bleeding while the laser procedure, quick recovery period, less chances of infection and negligible pain during this procedure. Know the ways to prevent piles below.
The Best And Worst Things You Can Do For Hemorrhoids
Sameet Shah, D.O. contributes to topics such as Gastroenterology.
Near the top of the list of health issues people avoid talking about is hemorrhoids, even to doctors. Theyre uncomfortable, theyre unattractive, they bleed, and they make going to the bathroom a challenge. Theyre also very common. In fact, about half of people have had a bout with hemorrhoids by the time they reach 50 years old.
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Hemorrhoidectomy Versus Fixative Procedures For Internal Hemorrhoids
- Fixative procedures are usually tried before surgery if hemorrhoids are small and stick out of the anus during a bowel movement but return to their normal position afterward .
- Hemorrhoidectomy may provide better long-term results than fixative procedures. But surgery requires a longer recovery time, is usually more painful, and has a greater risk of complications.
- Fixative procedures are the preferred treatment for people older than age 70 and for people in poor health.
You can help prevent the irritating and painful symptoms of hemorrhoids.
If You’re Pregnant Lie On Your Left Side
Pregnant women are particularly prone to hemorrhoids, in part because the uterus sits directly on the blood vessels that drain the hemorrhoidal veins, says Lewis R. Townsend, MD. A special hemorrhoid remedy if you are pregnant is to lie on your left side for about 20 minutes every 4 to 6 hours, he says. This helps decrease pressure on the main vein, draining the lower half of the body.
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What Are The Types Of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids can happen inside or outside the rectum. The type depends on where the swollen vein develops. Types include:
- External: Swollen veins form underneath the skin around the anus. Your anus is the canal where poop comes out. External hemorrhoids can be itchy and painful. Occasionally, they bleed. Sometimes they fill with blood that can clot. This is not dangerous, but can result in pain and swelling.
- Internal: Swollen veins form inside the rectum. Your rectum is the part of the digestive system that connects the colon to the anus. Internal hemorrhoids may bleed, but they usually arent painful.
- Prolapsed: Both internal and external hemorrhoids can prolapse, meaning they stretch and bulge outside of the anus. These hemorrhoids may bleed or cause pain.
What Natural Home Remedies Soothe Or Cure Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoid symptoms of pain and itching can be treated at home by doing the following.
Warm Sitz Baths
- Sitting in a few inches of warm water three times a day for 15 to 20 minutes may help decrease the inflammation of the hemorrhoids.
- It is important to dry off the anal area completely after each Sitz bath to minimize irritation of the skin surrounding the anus.
- Increased fluid intake and dietary fiber will decrease the potential for constipation and lessen the pressure on the rectum and anus during a bowel movement, minimizing further swelling, discomfort, and bleeding. Dietary fiber supplements also may help bulk up the stools
- Stool softeners may help. A health-care professional or a pharmacist are good resources to discuss their use.
- Individuals with hemorrhoids should not sit for long periods of time and may benefit from sitting on an air or rubber donut available at most local pharmacies.
- Exercise is helpful in relieving constipation and in decreasing pressure on the hemorrhoidal veins. Individuals should be encouraged to have a bowel movement as soon as possible after the urge arises and not sit on the toilet for long periods of time. Once that urge passes, stools can become constipated and straining with a bowel movement may occur.
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How Do Healthcare Providers Treat Hemorrhoids
You should see your healthcare provider if symptoms get worse or interfere with your daily life or sleep. Also seek help if signs dont improve after a week of at-home treatments. Your provider may treat hemorrhoids with:
- Rubber band ligation: A small rubber band placed around the base of a hemorrhoid cuts off blood supply to the vein.
- Electrocoagulation: An electric current stops blood flow to a hemorrhoid.
- Infrared coagulation: A small probe inserted into the rectum transmits heat to get rid of the hemorrhoid.
- Sclerotherapy: A chemical injected into the swollen vein destroys hemorrhoid tissue.
Surgical treatments include:
- Hemorrhoidectomy: Surgery removes large external hemorrhoids or prolapsed internal ones.
- Hemorrhoid stapling: A stapling instrument removes an internal hemorrhoid. Or it pulls a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid back inside the anus and holds it there.
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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