Hemorrhoids are more common than most of us might guess. We tend to struggle with them alone and keep the frustration and pain to ourselves out of embarrassment or shame.
But the odds are excellent that you already know multiple people who are also struggling with the same inflammation, itchiness and pain. It’s a common problem, which means that people before you discovered remedies that can bring you some relief.
This guide will explain what this ailment is and what causes symptomatic hemorrhoids. We’ll explore the many options for relief, and we’ll cover some practical methods for prevention in the future. Let’s get started.
What are Hemorrhoids?
Author’s note: Hemorrhoids, first and foremost, are a normal part of the human anatomy. They become a problem when they are enlarged and can cause inflammation, pain and other symptoms. For the sake of this post, when we refer to ‘hemorrhoids’, know that we are referring to symptomatic hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are estimated to affect one out of every 20 Americans, and statistics suggest over half of all American adults over 50 will experience this affliction. So, what are hemorrhoids, and how do you get them?
Hemorrhoids are blood vessels in the anus that have become enlarged. They can become irritated and inflamed by bowel movements.
There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids form in the rectum, the final portion of the large intestine, through which stool travels before exiting the anus. External hemorrhoids begin in the anus, where your feces leaves your body.
Symptoms of hemorrhoids can vary between the two types, but both can be painful, itchy and frustrating. Some people may even suffer from both internal and external hemorrhoids simultaneously, causing more discomfort and an increased need for relief. Though there is no way to cure hemorrhoids, you’ll be happy to know that there are remedies out there designed to minimize and eliminate your symptoms and get you back to living your best life.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
Both internal and external hemorrhoids can have similar symptoms, but some of the effects may differ as well.
Internal hemorrhoid symptoms are often painless, but they do bleed. External hemorrhoids can cause significant pain and discomfort. When your hemorrhoids are internal, they can also cause a feeling that your bowels have not been entirely emptied, and blood may appear with each movement. Both types of hemorrhoids cause swelling and itching, while bleeding commonly occurs with internal hemorrhoids.
These symptoms can make regular, everyday tasks uncomfortable for people who have hemorrhoids. For instance, sitting at your desk could cause a great deal of discomfort. Making a bowel movement or daily exercise can become painful.
Causes and Risk Factors of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are complications that arise from strained bowel movements. As you push harder to expel the stool from your system, pressure is placed on the blood vessels in your rectum and anus, causing them to swell. As such, constipation is one of the biggest causes of hemorrhoids, which can be linked to a poor diet.
Expectant mothers may also experience constipation leading to hemorrhoids, and obesity is a known trigger, especially for chronic hemorrhoids. As hemorrhoids can be linked to your diet, eating disorders can cause and exacerbate the condition. Sitting for extended amounts of time is also one of the more common causes of hemorrhoids as well.
Knowing what causes chronic hemorrhoids will help you find the at home remedies and medical treatments that will bring you relief.
How to Get Rid of Hemorrhoids and Find Relief
If you’re suffering from or have had a diagnosis of hemorrhoids, you want relief. The condition can be excruciatingly uncomfortable, especially when it’s chronic, and that’s no way to live. The great news is that both at-home and medical remedies can bring you the relief you desire and get you back to doing the things you love without pain.
Remedies for hemorrhoids range from over-the-counter medications and treatments to surgery. However, many sufferers prefer natural remedies which contain ingredients including herbs, minerals, amino acids and essential oils that can help soothe and don’t come with a lot of side effects or complications.
At-Home Remedies for Treating Hemorrhoids
There are a lot of at home remedies for hemorrhoids, but not all of them are going to work for everyone. In some cases, you may exacerbate the condition with some natural treatments, so you may wish to discuss them with your doctor first.
We’ve compiled a list below of the most popular external hemorrhoid treatments and internal hemorrhoid treatments available to you designed to treat and get rid of hemorrhoids.
At home remedies are an excellent place to start for hemorrhoid treatment. Whether you’re researching how to get rid of internal hemorrhoids or how to get rid of external hemorrhoids, give these fixes a try. Let’s go over some of these natural remedies for hemorrhoids that you can try at home for treating hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoid Creams and Ointments
This is how to get rid of hemorrhoids fast, or at least relieve their symptoms. There are numerous creams and topical ointments quickly obtained over-the-counter and are inexpensive solutions to many of your hemorrhoid symptoms.
They include hemorrhoid cream with lidocaine and hemorrhoid cream with hydrocortisone and or phenylephrine. These treatments can result in immediate relief, which is why they are among the most popular remedies. Known to help heal your hemorrhoids and reduce the swelling right away, this can be the simple solution you are looking for.
Further Reading: How Long Does it Take for Hemorrhoid Cream to Work?
Toilet paper can be a known irritant to those with chronic hemorrhoids. Wet wipes can be a fantastic alternative to toilet paper, even better because they help keep everything as clean as possible. You should, however, avoid wipes with irritants and harsh chemicals like alcohol or fragrance as they can exacerbate your condition.
Over-the-Counter Pain Medicines
Pain medications and anti-inflammatories can reduce the swelling and discomfort caused by hemorrhoids but they do come with side effects. You can develop a dependency on some painkillers, while others can cause constipation, making your hemorrhoids worse. Using these medications in moderation and after speaking with your doctor is advisable.
Stool softeners often come in the form of fiber supplements and can help relieve constipation. You can obtain these supplements in powder form, pills and drinks. Taken daily, your stool will loosen, making bowel movements much less strenuous and relieving pressure on the blood vessels in your anus and rectum. Fiber fulfills an important dietary need and comes with many other benefits.
Fiber supplements fill in where your diet is failing, so you can just as easily adjust your daily dietary intake to include more fiber. High fiber foods include apples, pears, strawberries, avocados, bananas, raspberries and more. Not only will the increased fiber help ease the pressure during bowel movements, but an increase in dietary fiber is also delicious.
Sitz baths are small tubs that fit over your toilet seat and allow the user to submerge the area in warm water infused with healing Epsom salts. A full-sized bath will work just as well. This treatment soothes the affected area while also gently cleansing, an important factor in healing and the perfect way to get rid of hemorrhoids naturally.
Aloe is a natural ingredient well-known for its healing effects, especially in skin care and anti-inflammatory applications. Aloe has a cool, gel-like consistency that calms inflammation and brings instant relief to hemorrhoids. Avoid aloe-infused products and stick to pure, natural aloe as aloe products often contain alcohol, which will irritate the area further.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural ingredient used widely to relieve symptoms of hemorrhoids such as itching, pain and burning. This remedy has also shown some signs of anti-bacterial action, which can help keep the affected area clean and promote healing. There are few known side effects for tea tree oil and it is a product many sufferers of hemorrhoids swear by.
Witch hazel is known to have properties that calm itching and pain and reduce swelling. As such, it’s an effective remedy against hemorrhoids. Witch hazel is an all-natural ingredient and is widely available anywhere natural remedies are sold. You may even be able to source some witch hazel-infused soothing wipes for added relief.
Medical Options for Getting Rid of Hemorrhoids
For some, home remedies may not be enough relief. After a diagnosis of chronic and severe cases of hemorrhoids, your doctor may suggest a stronger approach, especially if you’re at risk of developing cancerous or inflammatory tumors. There are several medical treatment options available for hemorrhoids, some of which may require a surgeon and recovery time. Let’s take a look at medical and surgical options for hemorrhoids.
- Rubber Band Ligation: This treatment involves wrapping a rubber band around your hemorrhoid so that blood flow is cut off. This causes the hemorrhoid to shrink rapidly and can bring quick relief to persistent inflammation.
- Cauterization or Coagulation: This treatment involves the use of heat or extreme light to cauterize and cut off the blood flow to your hemorrhoids. This will allow your hemorrhoids to shrink within days.
- Hemorrhoidectomy: A significant source of pain, a hemorrhoidectomy is hemorrhoid removal and is only used in the most severe cases. It involves a surgeon cutting the hemorrhoids from your body while you are anesthetized. This can result in many weeks of recovery.
- Hemorrhoid Stapling: Otherwise known as a stapled hemorrhoidopexy, hemorrhoid stapling involves a surgeon using a medical stapler to attach your hemorrhoids back inside your anus or rectum. This pulls them out of the way of bowel movements.
- Hemorrhoidal Artery Ligation and Recto Anal Repair: This procedure involves a surgeon cutting off the blood vessel from its blood supply. Hemorrhoids are then stitched out of the way, relieving any pain you may have felt during bowel movements.
How to Prevent Hemorrhoids and Future Flare Ups
No matter which remedy or treatment you choose to address your hemorrhoids, it’s important to think about prevention so that any hemorrhoids you’ve treated don’t flare up again.
Diet is the key place to start, as a fiber-rich diet will keep your stools loose and easy to pass without pressure. Hydration plays a part in regular and easy bowel movements as well. Try to avoid foods that can cause constipation like cheese and fatty meats.
If you have a desk job, consider a standing desk or getting up frequently for a short walk and stretch. Finally, never put off a bowel movement. When you have to go, you have to go. Holding it makes your stool harder and creates pressure in your anus and rectum.
It’s always a good idea to seek the advice of a medical professional when you’re struggling with hemorrhoids, but you definitely want to see a doctor when home remedies and treatments aren’t working. If you’re experiencing bleeding during your bowel movements, you’ll want an exam and diagnosis to ensure you’re not at risk of anemia.
In the meantime, find instant relief from Doctor Butler’s selection of natural hemorrhoid products. Find soothing flushable wipes, sprays, Epsom salts, creams and equipment to relieve the discomfort of hemorrhoids and to help make sitting more comfortable. Shop now and find the relief you’re looking for.