Lets face it, hemorrhoids are a pain in the butt, literally. They can be so painful that it is difficult to sit down, stand, walk, or go to the bathroom.
It is actually a fairly common problem for people to experience, but it is often not discussed. Because they are painful, when people get them they want to get rid of them as fast as they possibly can so they can get back to living a normal life.
But in order to really help alleviate them, you must first know the different factors that cause them.
Reasons for Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are a result of varicose veins that form in the anal area. Some of the most common reasons why people develop hemorrhoids are a result of lifestyle choices, problems with constipation and diarrhea, or pregnancy.
Some of these issues can be easily addressed and hemorrhoids often resolve on their own.
But in the meantime, they can be very painful, making it hard to enjoy life, and especially difficult for a person to go to the bathroom.
Healing Power of Water
Water has extreme healing powers for the human body. For people with hemorrhoids, it is especially important for a number of reasons.
First of all, water can help to keep you hydrated. When you are hydrated, your body can help to move fluid, blood, and toxins through your body more efficiently.
This also includes your ability to have a bowel movement, which can become difficult at times when you have a hemorrhoid.
Secondly, water is great for soaking the area. You can either use a sitz bath to soak the area, or you can use the bathtub to soak in instead. The benefit of the bathtub, is if you are soaking the area in warm bath water, the rest of you body can also benefit from it and be more relaxed.
If needing to apply cool water to the area though, a sitz bath works better than a bathtub for this as it lets you keep the rest of your body temperature comfortable instead of freezing.
Lastly, when you are done soaking the area, make sure you pat your bum dry. Excess moisture left on the skin can irritate it and exacerbate the problem.
Practice Good Hygiene
This should go without saying, but when taking care of the area, make sure you wash your hands before and afterwards with warm water and antibacterial soap.
This is important to help stop the spread of germs. Also take extra care to make sure when you go to the bathroom, you take the time to clean yourself well.
It might be tempting to not wipe as much, as it is painful, but this can leave bacteria behind and cause an infection.
If you do not already shower daily, while you have a hemorrhoid, make it a point to shower daily, or at least clean the area daily with warm water and soap. Opt for washing the area with a gentle wash cloth, and afterwards make sure you pat the skin dry, not rub it.
This will help to keep the area from being irritated and making the infected area worse.
Apple Cider Vinegar
When it comes to home remedies, apple cider vinegar is usually a go to for most things. This is the case for hemorrhoids too. Look for an unrefined apple cider vinegar that has the least amount of processing possible.
Bragg is a great brand that make high quality apple cider vinegar. If you have an external hemorrhoid, you can put a little bit on a cotton ball and gently apply it to the affected area.
Whether you have internal or external hemorrhoids, drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar at least once a day can help to heal your gut health, making it easier on your body to heal from the hemorrhoids.
If drinking it straight is too strong for you, you can mix it with a little water to help dilute the smell and taste.
Reach for the Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is usually found at the pharmacy near the rubbing alcohol and peroxide. Double check the bottle to make sure that is what you are grabbing and not the other, as it will be applied topically, and that is one place you do not want any unpleasant surprises.
Put a few drops onto a cotton ball and then gently apply it to the affected area.
The witch hazel can help to dry up the hemorrhoid, causing it to shrink in size. It can also be very soothing to the area, and help to relieve some discomfort that may come from having hemorrhoids.
For many people with hemorrhoids it can be difficult to go to the bathroom. Having even a “normal” bowel movement can be painful, but one when you are constipated and also dealing with hemorrhoids is even more painful.
Taking fiber supplements, like psyllium husks can help to soften your stool and make it possible for you to be able to go more easily.
Along the same lines, it is important that no matter how painful it may be at first, if you need to go to the bathroom, by all means go. Holding it in can cause other problems with your ability to go later on and is not healthy.
More important than taking a fiber supplement, is eating a diet that is high in fiber. Fruits and vegetable, and whole grains are all great ways to be fiber into your diet.
Like the supplement, it can help you to soften your stool making it easier for you to be able to go to the bathroom.
Similar to the previous mention of soaking the area in a cool sitz bath, is the use of cold therapy to treat the area.
You can use a cold compress to help relieve pain and swelling to the area as a result of the hemorrhoids. The cold might also help to shrink that hemorrhoid, making it heal faster, and making it easier to continue about your day as you normally would.
This is one of those times though that you do not need to use heat therapy outside of soaking in the bathtub if it helps to bring you relief.
Similar to the use of witch hazel or apple cider vinegar, you can get over the counter cleansing pads to help address your hemorrhoids.
Most of these pads are similar to an infant baby wipe in texture, but have a delicate cleansing solution meant to help relieve some of the symptoms associated with having hemorrhoids.
When using these cleaning pads, first clean after using the bathroom as normal. Then use a pad to wipe the area and bring some relief.
Over the Counter Ointments and Pain Relievers
The majority of people have seen the advertisements and tubes of Preparation-H in the pharmacy. These ointments, and similar products, are applied to the area.
It can help to relieve pain, itching, a burning feeling. And also serves as a protective barrier to help keep moisture from bothering the hemorrhoid.
Other ointments also exist, but they all work essentially the same way to help bring relief.
If you are having a lot of pain, you can take an over the counter pain reliever to help give you some relief. Tylenol or Motrin are both common to help relieve pain.
However, if you are having trouble with your hemorrhoids bleeding periodically, avoid taking Motrin before you consult your physician. It is known for thinning out your blood, and may not be right for use by every person suffering from hemorrhoids.
Consult with Your Doctor
If your hemorrhoids continue to persist after a couple of weeks, they get larger instead of improving after trying these remedies, or they begin to bleed excessively, it is time to call your doctor.
Your doctor can evaluate the situation and determine if there is something else that needs to be done to help remedy your problem.
Your doctor can also look at the area and make sure there is not an infection that has developed, or confirm whether or not it is actually a hemorrhoid that is causing the problem.
They can also refer you to a specialist if they have exhausted all of the resources and tools available to them as a general physician. This might also mean consulting with a colorectal surgeon to determine if a more invasive procedure needs to be done to remove the hemorrhoids that appear not to be healing.
Do Not Suffer Alone
You do not have to suffer with hemorrhoids and stay in the dark. Contact your doctor or ask your pharmacist for help in locating over the counter treatment options to best suit your needs.
This is actually a much more common problem than many people think and rarely talked about. But, there are a number of remedies which have proven to be effective in relieving a number of the symptoms and allowing you to be able to quickly go about your life like normal again.