Hemorrhoids can appear in anyone and at any age. With this disease, veins in the rectum or around the anus enlarge. Hemorrhoids are the result of increased pressure on veins in the pelvis and rectum, usually associated with constipation, diarrhea, or excessive straining when passing stools. Sometimes hemorrhoids can develop due to obesity, heavy lifting, or pressure on the veins in the lower abdomen during pregnancy. Fortunately, in most cases, you can get rid of external hemorrhoids on your own, without medical attention. There are various ways that you can relieve the pain, discomfort, and itching of hemorrhoids.
Part 1 of 3: Relieving Hemorrhoid Pain
Step 1. Take a warm bath
Warm water can help relieve hemorrhoid pain. Take a full bath of warm water or take a sitz bath (in the latter case, you can draw water into a basin and immerse only the anus). Keep the water warm and add 2-3 tablespoons (60-90 grams) of Epsom salts to a full bath or 2-3 teaspoons (20-30 grams) of Epsom salts to a sitz bath. You can take a bath 2-3 times a day.
Keep the area affected by hemorrhoids clean. Be careful when using the toilet, shower or bath. You can do without soap, as it can irritate the affected area. To relieve pain and not cause more irritation, you can apply Setafil Cleansing Lotion to the affected area. After showering, gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel
Step 2. Apply compresses
Apply an ice pack or cold compress to relieve pain. Take a clean cotton face washcloth, moisten it with cold water and apply to the sore spot for 10-15 minutes. You can apply a cold compress as often as you like throughout the day.
If you are using an ice pack, place a cloth under it so it does not come into contact with bare skin. Do not apply ice directly to your skin to avoid damaging it
Step 3. Use gels and lotions for pain and itching
After soaking and drying the affected area, apply some aloe vera gel or anti-itch lotion to it. Look for a remedy with petroleum jelly, mineral oil, shark liver oil, or phenylephrine. Phenylephrine has a decongestant effect and helps to reduce hemorrhoids. You can also apply aloe vera gel to your hemorrhoids.
- If the hemorrhoids are severely painful and uncomfortable, apply some baby tooth gel to the affected area. The tooth gel contains an antiseptic to reduce pain and discomfort.
- Do not use steroid creams as they can damage the delicate tissue around the hemorrhoids.
Step 4. Relieve hemorrhoid symptoms with an astringent
Moisten a cotton pad with witch hazel extract and apply to the sore spot after a bowel movement. Apply witch hazel extract as often as you like, at least 4-5 times a day. For a longer duration, you can moisten a swab with it and place it under your underwear.
Witch hazel helps relieve itching, discomfort, irritation and burning from hemorrhoids. In addition, it reduces swelling
Part 2 of 3: Improving Diet and Lifestyle
Step 1. Eat more dietary fiber
Gradually add fiber to your diet, as the dramatic increase in fiber can cause gas and bloating. While everyone needs their own percentage of fiber in the diet, try to get up to 25 grams per day if you are a woman and 30 grams per day if you are a man. Dietary fiber softens the stool and makes it easier for it to pass through the intestines. Different fiber has different effects on the body, so try to include wheat bran and other grains in your diet that will soften stools.
- Fiber supplements help reduce bleeding, irritation, and inflammation in hemorrhoids.
- If you experience bloating and gas production, you may be eating too much fiber.
- You can increase your fiber intake by eating whole grains, peeled fruits, green leafy vegetables, beans, and other legumes.
- You can also get dietary fiber along with yogurt, which contains active cultures and probiotics.
Step 2. Eat smaller meals and drink water
Choose smaller, more nutritious foods and eat throughout the day. By doing so, you will facilitate the digestive system and provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to heal hemorrhoids. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
The liquid softens the stool and makes it easier for it to pass through the intestines
Step 3. Exercise regularly
Choose less intense exercise, such as swimming, dancing, yoga, and walking, and avoid strength training such as lifting weights. Moderate exercise will help reduce inflammation and thus ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids. In addition, this exercise will improve overall health and promote regular bowel movements.
- Try pelvic floor exercises.
- Among other things, exercise can help reduce the pressure on the veins, which contributes to hemorrhoid pain.
Step 4. Decrease the pressure while sitting
It may be worth getting a small foam or donut pillow to sit on. Such a pillow will help to relieve pressure on the sore spot. Try not to sit on hard surfaces.
Direct pressure on hemorrhoids can increase swelling and cause new nodes to form
Step 5. Go to the restroom regularly
If possible, try to use the restroom at the same time every day, so that no one bothers you. This will help you strain less when you have a bowel movement. Regular bowel movements are a clear sign of good health.
- Do not strain too much when defecating. Let your gut do the bulk of the work. If all else fails, wait about an hour and try again.
- You can also place your feet on a low chair with your knees above your pelvis.
Part 3 of 3: Treating External Hemorrhoids
Step 1. Choose the right laxative
Regular bowel movements are important when treating hemorrhoids. Do not strain when defecating, as this is a common cause of hemorrhoids. Instead, try temporarily taking a bulking laxative or stool softener. These remedies soften the stool and reduce the pressure needed to pass it, which helps the hemorrhoids heal. Although you may have regular bowel movements due to dietary fiber, you can also take one of the following:
- Laxatives that increase the volume of intestinal masses. These laxatives contain dietary fiber (usually psyllium, or psyllium husk), which increases stool mass and makes it easier to move through the intestines.
- Stool softeners. Such remedies make the stool more moist, which makes it easier for it to pass through the intestines. Most stool softeners contain sodium docusate, which moisturizes and softens the stool.
- Lubricating laxatives. These agents lubricate the walls of the intestines and rectum, making it easier for the stool to pass. Most of them contain mineral oil. Usually, lubricating laxatives are taken for a short time; they are not recommended for a long time.
- Avoid stimulant laxatives such as senna leaves, cascara (buckthorn), aloe, and bisacodyl. Such agents irritate the inner surface of the intestine, which is harmful for hemorrhoids.
Step 2. Look for signs of external hemorrhoids
Bleeding and discomfort during bowel movements are common symptoms of external hemorrhoids. You may also find signs of external hemorrhoids when cleaning after using the restroom. Hemorrhoids are tender swelling around the anus, often grape-like in size and shape when they first appear. Hemorrhoids can be accompanied by pain and itching. Usually, people notice blood stains on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.
If you are not sure if you have internal or external hemorrhoids, consider how you feel. Usually, internal hemorrhoids are not felt, but the nodes may swell and protrude out through the anus. As a rule, only bleeding during a bowel movement indicates internal hemorrhoids
Step 3. Know when to see your doctor
In most cases, external hemorrhoids go away or at least decrease after 2–3 days. If hemorrhoids last longer than 3-5 days, contact your doctor. You should also see your doctor if hemorrhoids are accompanied by pain or bleeding. During the examination, the doctor will be able to diagnose internal or external hemorrhoids.
If rectal bleeding is not related to hemorrhoids, your doctor will likely order an additional test, such as a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, as this symptom is one of the signs of rectal cancer
Step 4. Take a course of treatment
If the hemorrhoids have not cleared up on their own and are not treated with home remedies, your doctor may recommend minimally invasive surgery. The most common methods of such surgery include the following:
- ligation: in this case, the base of the hemorrhoids is pulled with a rubber band, which prevents blood flow;
- injections (sclerotherapy): in this method, a solution is injected, which causes the hemorrhoids to shrink;
- cauterization: this method consists in cauterization of hemorrhoids;
- Hemorrhoidectomy: Hemorrhoids are surgically removed on an outpatient basis (although sometimes it is required to stay in the hospital one night after surgery).
- After using the restroom, use wet baby wipes instead of toilet paper.
- Ice packs can help reduce swelling, but should not be used for too long. Apply an ice pack for 5-10 minutes at a time.