What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can be described as enlarged or swollen blood vessels (also known as varicose) located around the anus and lower rectum. The rectum, which is the end of the bowel, leads to the anus. This is where fecal matter can leave the body.
Everybody has hemorrhoidal tissue that is made up of blood vessels and connective tissue. Some muscle also makes up some of it. Although these “cushions”, don’t always get enlarged or distended as a result of ageing, it becomes more common to see hemorrhoids (also known as piles).
What causes hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can occur in many ways. The most common cause is straining to make a stool movement. Hemorrhoids can also be caused by lifting heavy objects and other activities that could cause strain. Other contributing factors include increased blood pressure and being overweight.
Here are some Hemorrhoid Remedies that You Can Make at Home
You can take several steps at home to relieve the discomfort of hemorrhoids.
- For 15 to 20 minutes, take a sitz bath two to three times a day. Warm water is sufficient to cover your hips, but not your buttocks. This can reduce itching and irritation. A sitz bath can be taken a few inches in a regular bathtub. However, small tubs that fit over the toilet seats can also be purchased at pharmacies. To avoid irritation, dry the area with a gentle pat.
- Ice packs can be applied to the affected area to reduce swelling and pain.
- Don’t push too hard or strain while passing a bowel movement.
- After each bowel movement, clean your anus by gently patting with moistened pads such as baby wipes. Further irritation can be caused by using hard, dry toilet papers, which could contain fragrance.
- You can keep the area clean by taking a bath or showering each day with warm water. Gently pat dry the area after you have finished bathing. To dry the area, you can use a hair dryer.
- To reduce hemorrhoids swelling and prevent new ones from forming, it is better to sit on cushions than on hard surfaces.
- As needed, you can take OTC pain relievers (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) as well as aspirin.
Choosing Hemorrhoid Treatment?
A number of OTC creams, ointments, and pads that contain hydrocortisone or witch hazel are available to help relieve pain, swelling, and itching caused by hemorrhoids. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends that patients use over-the-counter products for at least one week. If symptoms persist for more than a week, consult your doctor. (3
Hydrocortisone creams and suppositories can make the skin weaker and thinner. They should be stopped for no more than one week. Contact your healthcare provider if any of these creams causes a rash, dry skin or blistering.
Preventing constipation can be done with a fiber supplement such as Metamucil (psyllium) or a stool softener such as Citrucel, (methylcellulose).
Avoid using laxatives as they can cause diarrhea and worsen hemorrhoid symptoms.