Preventing And Treating Haemorrhoids
Haemorrhoid symptoms often settle down after a few days, without needing treatment. Haemorrhoids that occur during pregnancy often get better after giving birth.
However, making lifestyle changes to reduce the strain on the blood vessels in and around your anus is often recommended. These can include:
- gradually increasing the amount of fibre in your diet good sources of fibre include fruit, vegetables, wholegrain rice, wholewheat pasta and bread, pulses and beans, seeds, nuts and oats
- drinking plenty of fluid particularly water, but avoiding or cutting down on caffeine and alcohol
- not delaying going to the toilet ignoring the urge to empty your bowels can make your stools harder and drier, which can lead to straining when you do go to the toilet
- avoiding medication that causes constipation such as painkillers that contain codeine
- losing weight
- exercising regularly can help prevent constipation, reduce your blood pressure and help you lose weight
These measures can also reduce the risk of haemorrhoids returning, or even developing in the first place.
Medication that you apply directly to your back passage or tablets bought from a pharmacy or prescribed by your GP may ease your symptoms and make it easier for you to pass stools.
Surgery carried out under general anaesthetic is sometimes used to remove or shrink large or external haemorrhoids.
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.
How Are Hemorrhoids Treated
Your healthcare provider will create a care plan for you based on:
- Your age, overall health, and past health
- How serious your case is
- Whether you have internal hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoids, or both
- How well you handle certain medicines, treatments, or therapies
- If your condition is expected to get worse
- What you would like to do
The main goal of treatment is to reduce your symptoms. This may be done by:
- Sitting in plain, warm water in a bathtub several times a day
- Using ice packs to reduce swelling
- Using hemorrhoid creams or medicines inserted into your rectum
Your healthcare provider may also suggest that you add more fiber and fluids to your diet to help soften your stools. Having softer stools means you don’t have to strain during bowel movements. This reduces the pressure on your hemorrhoids.
Adding more fiber to your diet means eating more:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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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.
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
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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.
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
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When Is A Sitz Bath Used
A sitz bath doesnt require a doctors prescription. Some people use sitz baths regularly as a way to cleanse the perineum. In addition to its use in cleansing, the sitz baths warm water increases blood flow to the perineal area. This can promote faster healing. A sitz bath also relieves:
Both children and adults can use sitz baths. Parents should always supervise their children during a sitz bath.
Doctors sometimes prescribe medications or other additives to put in a sitz bath. An example is povidone-iodine, which has antibacterial properties. Adding table salt, vinegar, or baking soda to the water can also create a soothing solution. But you may take a sitz bath using only warm water.
Can Internal Hemorrhoids Cause Abdominal Pain
Internal hemorrhoids often display no symptoms at all. The only symptom of internal hemorrhoids is bleeding after a bowel movement.
If you are experiencing abdominal pain, there is likely an underlying health condition causing this symptom.
Talk to a doctor for proper diagnosis of abdominal pain.
Check out this hemorrhoid bleeding guide for all the details on hemorrhoid bleeding.
Hemorrhoids burst and bleed and can be quite messy and painful.
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Drink Plenty Of Water
Dehydration is a potential problem associated with constipation, since fluids or water is needed for fiber to travel smoothly through the digestive system. When you dont get enough water, bowel movements become hard and difficult to pass, and this will enlarge hemorrhoids and increase pelvic pressure.
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2003 indicated that fluid loss and fluid restriction can increase constipation, which worsens hemorrhoid symptoms. When considering how to make hemorrhoids go away fast, it is recommended to drink at least one glass of water during each meal or snack daily.
Medicines For Treating Piles
Theres a range of medicines that can help to relieve the symptoms of piles. Always read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine and ask your pharmacist for advice if you have any questions.
- If youre passing hard poo, a fibre supplement such as ispaghula husk or mild laxative such as lactulose will soften it.
- Over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol, may help to ease any pain from piles. Dont take painkillers that have an opioid in them , as these could make you constipated and add to your problems.
- Soothing creams, ointments and suppositories may ease any pain and itchiness from piles. There are lots of different products available over the counter. Some contain a local anaesthetic such as lidocaine. Only use these for a few days as they may affect the sensitivity of your skin ask your pharmacist for more information.
- Products that contain corticosteroids, such as Anusol HC and Proctosedyl, may reduce swelling and pain. Dont use these for more than a week as they can damage the skin around your anus. Most are available over the counter and others on prescription.
It can sometimes take up to a month for self-help measures and medicines to work. If your symptoms dont improve after this time, contact your GP. They may refer you to a specialist.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Why do I have hemorrhoids?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I can do that can relieve or prevent hemorrhoids?
- I saw blood on toilet paper. Is this serious?
- Are having hemorrhoids a sign of another health condition?
- Will I always have hemorrhoids?
- Is there medicine I can take for hemorrhoids? Are there side effects?
Are Hemorrhoid Creams Safe During Pregnancy
According to the Mayo Clinic, you can use pads soaked with witch hazel, like Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads, to relieve hemorrhoid symptoms during pregnancy. It may also be safe to use an OTC hydrocortisone cream. Its best to talk to your doctor and ask what they recommend before using any hemorrhoid remedy, but there are safe options to use during pregnancy.
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How Are Bleeding Hemorrhoids Treated
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 there is 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. Its important to receive a proper diagnosis from your doctor.
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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What Could Be Causing You Diarrhea
Most people experience diarrhea due to an infection or food intolerance, but stress can cause a bout of runs, too. If youre experiencing nervousness and bowel problems, which is sometimes referred to as nervousness diarrhea there are treatments available that can help curb your symptoms.
In many cases, diarrhea is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. If youre at all worried about your symptoms or the frequency of bowel movements, consult with your doctor for further evaluation. Prolonged stress can lead to irritable bowel syndrome as well as other conditions like abdominal pain/cramping and loose stool in some people.
Many treatment options exist for chronic diarrhea, depending on the cause, but if you suspect that stress may be causing temporary bouts of frequent bowel movements, there are also remedies available to help curb those side effects and get back to feeling better.
Talk with your health care provider about what may be best suited for your specific needs, you need it!
How Long Does Thrombosed Hemorrhoid Pain Last
Thrombosed hemorrhoids can be very painful. How long the pain lasts depends on what action you take to treat these hemorrhoids.
A surgical procedure is often performed within three days of the onset of thrombosed hemorrhoids.
While you may still experience pain after hemorrhoid surgery, you should notice a substantial difference.
Pain of thrombosed hemorrhoids should subside within seven to ten days when no treatment is provided.
Make sure you do not lift anything heavy after your surgery . A very common procedure for thrombosed hemorrhoids is called banding.
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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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What Are The Symptoms Of Haemorrhoids
If you have haemorrhoids you may notice bright red blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet when you have a bowel motion . There may be some itchiness, discomfort or pain around the anus. Sometimes there can be a noticeable lump that sticks out of the anus.
Many people experience no symptoms or very mild symptoms that disappear after a couple of days. For other people, haemorrhoids are more painful.
Haemorrhoids are classified into 4 different types based on their size and how severe they are:
- First degree haemorrhoids often bleed a little bit when you pass a bowel motion, but stay inside the anus and are not usually very painful.
- Second degree haemorrhoids bleed and stick out of the anus when you pass a bowel motion. Once the bowel motion is over, they disappear back inside the anus by themselves.
- Third degree haemorrhoids have to be physically pushed back inside the anus after passing a bowel motion. They may be painful if they are large.
- Fourth degree haemorrhoids are larger lumps that stick out of the anus permanently, and cannot be placed back inside. The blood inside these haemorrhoids may clot and the lumps can become very painful.
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How Do You Treat External Hemorrhoids Diagnosis
External hemorrhoids appear as bumps and/or dark areas surrounding the anus. If the lump is tender, it suggests that the hemorrhoid is thrombosed. Any lump needs to be carefully followed, however, and should not be assumed to be a hemorrhoid since there are rare cancers of the anal area that may masquerade as hemorrhoids.
What Can You Do For Relief
If you have hemorrhoids, lifestyle changes may help them heal faster. One cause of hemorrhoids is straining during bowel movements. Adding more high-fiber foods to your diet, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, can help soften your stool and make it easier to pass.
You should also drink plenty of water to help relieve constipation and reduce straining during bowel movements.
Here are some additional things that may help relieve symptoms:
- Minimize the time you sit on the toilet.
- When you feel the urge to move your bowels, go as soon as possible.
- Put your feet on a small stool during bowel movements to change the position of your rectum.
- If youre pregnant, sleep on your side. This will help relieve some of the pressure around your anus.
- Ask your doctor about taking a stool softener or a fiber supplement, such as psyllium or methylcellulose . A tablespoon of mineral oil added to food can also help soften stools.
- Keep the anal area clean. Take regular showers, and use moist wipes to clean the area around your anus after you pass a bowel movement.
- Use a sitz bath or sit in a warm tub for a few minutes to bathe the anal area.
You may also try using over-the-counter topical medications to ease discomfort, such as phenylephrine hemorrhoidal gel . These products are used if the hemorrhoids are bulging and inflamed.
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