How To Treat Hemorrhoids
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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.
Hemorrhoid Pain Relief At Home
You dont need to see a doctor immediately if you experience hemorrhoid pain unless it is so severe you become concerned.
Most hemorrhoids can be treated at home.
One at-home treatment option is a sitz bath or lukewarm bath.
It can be place directly on your toilet seat and makes it easy to soak and alleviate discomfort.
If you dont have a sitz bath available, you can soak in a bathtub filled with a few inches of warm water and the Better Bath Better Body hemorrhoid Soak.
Doing this for increments of fifteen minutes two to three times a day can reduce inflammation and irritation.
On the other hand, placing a small cold pack can dull the pain and bring down the swelling as well.
Over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help with the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
If you must sit for extended periods, sit on a pillow to reduce swelling. Additionally, taking breaks from sitting can help.
While all of these at-home treatments are great options to alleviate pain, prevention is the best way to handle hemorrhoids.
Eat plenty of fiber and drink lots of water. Be sure to follow proper hygiene after bowel movements.
Do your best to avoid scratching and wear loose clothing and underwear made of cotton.
There are many different causes of hemorrhoids. Determining what factors are causing your hemorrhoids are a very important step in getting rid of hemorrhoids for good.
Getting Restful Sleep Without Triggering Hemorrhoid Pain
Depending on your preferred sleeping position, your hemorrhoid pain can make it difficult for you to get a good nights rest. In addition to clean cotton underwear and loose-fitting pajamas, we recommend you sleep on your stomach to reduce anal pain and place a pillow under your hips to prevent yourself from rolling over onto your back.
A full-body sitz bath right before bed may also ease discomfort, help you feel more relaxed, and make it easier for you to fall asleep. In addition, reading or listening to soothing music may take your mind off your hemorrhoids and your discomfort, which may help you get to sleep faster.
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Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute Is Centered Around Treating Diseases Of The Colon Rectum And Anus
Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute has been in practice since 1990 as a free standing, private practice located in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. We are known for our efficiency and patient care, in a more relaxed office-based setting. Our doctors are known regionally for their expertise and are active in teaching surgical residents and other physicians. We are also a major sponsor of The Rumpshaker 5K, a race that promotes awareness about colorectal cancer. Check out our website for more information, or give us a call to make an appointment at 458-5000, or email us at .
Consider Having A Clot Removed
External hemorrhoids can result in extremely painful blood clots, and while theyre not dangerous, they can take a couple of weeks to resolve on their own. If yours scores high on your personal pain scale, a doctor can remove a thrombosed hemorrhoid with a relatively simple in-office procedure under local anesthetic in about 10 minutes. Keep in mind: The first 24 to 48 hours are typically the most painfuland the best time to have a clot removed, says Dr. Ky.
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How To Get Rid Of Internal Hemorrhoid Pain
Internal hemorrhoids are located in the lower rectal region where we do not have many nerves that can sense pain.
While internal hemorrhoids are typically not painful, protruding hemorrhoids can be.
These protruding or prolapsed hemorrhoids form when internal hemorrhoids fall through the anal opening.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids can lead to pain, discomfort, and itching.
Another factor of pain associated with protruding hemorrhoids is the occurrence of pruritus ani, or the itching and irritation of the anal opening.
Pruritus ani is when bacteria and mucus collects around the anal opening.
This itching and irritation can also be painful if you are constantly attempting to relieve it by scratching or persistent wiping with toilet paper.
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Soak It Off In A Sitz Bath
A sitz bath comes from the German word sitzen, meaning sit, and it refers to a 10 to 15 minute soak in warm water that comes just up to your bottom and hips. Sitz baths can relieve irritation and itching as well as spasm of your anal sphincter muscles, says Dr. Thomas. Take a shallow soak in your bathtub or buy a small plastic tub from your pharmacy to give yourself a portable sitz bath two to three times a day.
What Is The Medical Treatment For Hemorrhoids
- Many creams, ointments, and suppositories are available for symptom relief and may be used for comfort. However, they do not “cure” hemorrhoids. Often they contain a numbing medication or a corticosteroid to decrease inflammation and swelling.
Prolapsed Internal Hemorrhoids Treatment
- Most prolapsed internal hemorrhoids can be pushed back into the anus, but occasionally your health-care professional may need to reduce them by gently pushing them with constant pressure.
- If the hemorrhoids remain swollen and trapped outside the anus and they are not treated, the hemorrhoid tissue may not receive enough blood and can become infected. In such situations, surgery may be required to resolve the problem.
Thrombosed Hemorrhoids Treatment
- Thrombosed external hemorrhoids can be painful and are associated with a hard lump that is felt at the anus and cannot be pushed back inside. Most often the clot within the hemorrhoid will need to be removed with a small incision.
- After local anesthetic is placed under the skin surrounding the hemorrhoid, a scalpel is used to cut into the area and the clot is removed. There is almost instant relief of the sharp pain but a dull ache may continue.
- There may be some mild bleeding from the hemorrhoid for a couple of days. Sitz baths and over-the-counter pain medications may be recommended.
- The use of a rubber or air rubber donut may help with the pain, and preventing constipation is a priority.
Internal Hemorrhoid Treatment
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Hemorrhoid Remedies You Can Try On Your Own At Home
There are several steps you can take at home to ease the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids:
- Take a sitz bath two to three times daily for 15 to 20 minutes. Sit in warm water, covering just your hips and buttocks. This can help reduce itching and irritation. You can take a sitz bath in a few inches of water in a regular tub, but small tubs that fit over toilet seats are also available for this purpose at pharmacies. Following a sitz bath, gently pat the area dry to avoid further irritation.
- Use ice packs on the area to relieve swelling and pain.
- Don’t push too hard or strain while passing a bowel movement.
- Clean your anus after each bowel movement by gently patting with moistened pads, such as baby wipes. Using hard, dry toilet paper, which may contain fragrance, can cause further irritation.
- Keep the area clean by bathing or showering daily with warm water. After bathing, gently pat the area dry. You can even use a hair dryer to dry the area.
- Sit on cushions rather than hard surfaces to help lessen the swelling of hemorrhoids and keep new ones from forming.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin as needed.
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Is Hemorrhoid Banding Painful
The procedure of rubber band ligation, also known as banding, is painful.
Your doctor will work with you to keep pain to a minimum.
For severe pain during the procedure, your doctor can inject a medication to numb the area .
Pain is likely to last 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.
Take a look at our guide on laser hemorrhoid surgery for a different option.
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Use Simple Toilet Paper
Scented and coloured toilet paper contain extra chemicals that could irritate sensitive areas. Dampen plain, white, unscented toilet paper or use a moist towelette when you need to wipe. Follow up by applying an unscented moisturizer with a facial tissue.
Here are seven tips for healthy bowel movements.
Increasing Your Fibre Intake
You can gradually increase the amount of fibre in your diet by eating foods including:
- fresh fruit and vegetables
- nuts and seeds
Commercial fibre supplements are also available and can be useful if you think you are not getting enough of the above foods in your diet.
Make sure you increase your fibre gradually so your digestive system has time to adapt.
Its also important to increase your fluid intake at the same time. This is because fibre in the stools acts like a sponge, absorbing moisture from the body. Try to drink lots of water. Cutting down on sugary drinks will also help you to cut down on calories that cause weight gain.
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Whom Do Hemorrhoids Affect
Although most people think hemorrhoids are abnormal, almost everyone has them. Hemorrhoids help control bowel movements. Hemorrhoids cause problems and can be considered abnormal or a disease only when the hemorrhoidal clumps of vessels enlarge.
Hemorrhoids occur in almost everyone, and an estimated 75% of people will experience enlarged hemorrhoids at some point. However only about 4% will go to a doctor because of hemorrhoid problems. Hemorrhoids that cause problems are found equally in men and women, and their prevalence peaks between 45 and 65 years of age.
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.
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How Do They Occur
Veins in the rectum and around the anus tend to swell under pressure. Hemorrhoids can result from too much pressure on these veins. You may put pressure on these veins by:
- straining to have a bowel movement when you are constipated
- waiting too long to have a bowel movement
- sitting for a long time on the toilet, which causes strain on the anal area
- coughing and sneezing often
- sitting for a long while
Hemorrhoids may also develop from:
- injury to the anus, for example, from anal intercourse
- some liver diseases
Flare-ups of hemorrhoids may occur during periods of stress. Some people inherit a tendency to have hemorrhoids.
Pregnant women should try to avoid becoming constipated because they are more likely to have hemorrhoids during pregnancy. In the last trimester of pregnancy, the enlarged uterus may press on blood vessels and cause hemorrhoids. Also, the strain of childbirth sometimes causes hemorrhoids after the birth.
How To Get Rid Of Hemorrhoids: Diagnosis And Treatments
Most individuals who have hemorrhoids discover them by either
- feeling the lump of an external hemorrhoid when they wipe themselves after a bowel movement,
- noting drops of blood in the toilet bowl or on the toilet paper, or
- feeling a prolapsing hemorrhoid after bowel movements.
With a history of symptoms, a physician can begin diagnosis on the basis of a careful examination of the anus and anal area. Although the physician should try his or her best to identify the hemorrhoids, it is perhaps more important to exclude other causes of hemorrhoid-like symptoms that require different treatment such as
- anal fissures,
This is true whether or not hemorrhoids are found during anoscopy.
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Over The Counter Medications For Hemorrhoids
- Brand names listed as examples do not imply better quality over other brands. Generic equivalents may also exist.
- Use only as directed on the package, unless your healthcare provider instructs you to do otherwise.
- OTCs may interact with other medications or be potentially harmful if you have certain medical conditions. Talk to your pharmacist about options that are right for you.
Are External Hemorrhoids Always Painful
While external hemorrhoids arent always painful, they generally get worse over time.
Painless hemorrhoids often go undetected.
Painless hemorrhoids are mostly associated with internal hemorrhoids, but small external hemorrhoids can present with no pain as well.
Internal hemorrhoids can become very painful when they protrude from the anus. These prolapsed internal hemorrhoids can cause big problems if they do not retract back into the anus.
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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.
How Are Bleeding Hemorrhoids Treated At Home
A bleeding hemorrhoid is usually a sign of irritation or damage to the wall of the hemorrhoid. This should resolve on its own over time, but there are several things you can do at home to speed up the process and soothe any discomfort.
However, if theres no clear source of bleeding or if the bleeding doesnt go away within a week, see your doctor.
Experts note that hemorrhoids are often self-diagnosed, which can be dangerous. Many medical conditions, including cancer and inflammatory bowel disease , can have similar symptoms. For this reason, its important to receive a proper diagnosis from your doctor.
If you have been diagnosed with a hemorrhoid thats itchy or painful, start by gently cleaning the area and reducing inflammation. These strategies can help:
Next, try to soften your stools to keep your digestive system in good working order and reduce your risk of further irritation or damage to a bleeding hemorrhoid. Here are some tips:
If youre still noticing blood or a lot of discomfort after a week of home treatments, you may need to revisit your doctor for additional treatment.
If home treatments arent providing any relief, there are several surgical treatments that can help. Many of them can be done in the office and dont require general anesthesia.
If your bleeding hemorrhoids are larger or more severe, your doctor may recommend more advanced treatment, such as more extensive surgery.
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Its Crucial To Rule Out Other Problems Besides Hemorrhoids
Most people who have hemorrhoids discover them by either feeling the lump of an external hemorrhoid when they wipe after a bowel movement noticing drops of blood in the toilet bowl or on toilet paper or
feeling a prolapsing hemorrhoid after bowel movements.
With a history of symptoms, physicians like those of us at Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute, can make an accurate diagnosis on the basis of an examination of the anus and anal area. We want to identify the hemorrhoids, but its also very important that we rule out other causes of hemorrhoid-like symptoms, such as: anal fissures, fistulae, bowel disorders like ulcerative colitis, blood coagulation disorders, perianal skin diseases, infections, and tumors.
We want to stress that you should not assume that rectal bleeding is due to hemorrhoids, especially if you are over 40 years of age. Rectal bleeding can occur with other diseases, including colorectal cancer and anal cancer. If you have bleeding along with a noticeable change in bowel habits or if your stools change in color or consistency, consult your doctor. These types of stools can signal more extensive bleeding elsewhere in your digestive tract. Seek emergency care if you experience large amounts of rectal bleeding, lightheadedness, dizziness or faintness.
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