Hemorrhoids, otherwise known as piles are swollen veins found in the anus and rectum that cause discomfort, pain, and itchiness in the anal region. Its symptoms can be quite miserable especially after bowel movements and while sitting down. If you're going through this, you may be wondering if they are there to stay. Well, you’re about to find out are hemorrhoids permanent and what you can do to alleviate its symptoms.
The reason blood vessels in the anus and rectum become engorged with blood is because of excessive pressure placed on them. The following are the sources of pressure that result in hemorrhoids:
When you often strain to pass stool, it puts a lot of pressure on the veins in the rectum and anus. This can easily cause them to swell with blood.
When you’re obese or overweight, the lower parts of your body including the veins in the anus and rectum have to put up with a lot of pressure. They may then become inflamed.
When you pass stool a little too often because of chronic diarrhea, it strains the rectum and anus and may cause inflammation. Additionally, since it forces you to keep wiping, it leaves the anal area even sorer and swollen.
In some populations, as much as 85% of pregnant women have reported having suffered from hemorrhoids during their second and third trimesters. The reason is the immense intra-abdominal pressure that is exerted on the blood vessels below the uterus. This puts them at a higher risk of developing hemorrhoids and swollen legs.
Another reason why hemorrhoids are common in pregnant women is hormonal changes. They lead to the abnormal swelling of blood vessels in the body including those of the anus and rectum.
Vaginal childbirth is a strenuous process that puts lots of pressure not only on the birth canal but also on the anus and rectum. Therefore, women commonly develop hemorrhoids after childbirth. Read more about hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
If you have a job that requires that you sit working on a computer, chances are that you spend most of your day seated. Sitting for prolonged periods of time stretches out the tissues in the anus and causes them to bulge out with swollen blood vessels.
The same thing can happen if you like sitting on the toilet for long periods even after finishing your business.
While exercising keeps you fit and healthy, it could also be a leading cause of hemorrhoids. Exercises like heavy lifting, cycling, and horseback riding put a lot of strain on the anal and rectal tissues. Their blood vessels may become engorged as a result.
Advancement in age inevitably causes wear and tear to your body tissues. The tissues of the anus and rectum deteriorate in the process and when subjected to even a little bit of pressure, their blood vessels easily swell. This is why hemorrhoids are so common in people older than 50.
If your hemorrhoids keep recurring, you may feel like they last forever. However, hemorrhoids are not permanent. They can disappear after varying lengths of time depending on their sizes or the treatment approach taken.
Small hemorrhoids may take only a few days to disappear even without any treatment. Larger hemorrhoids, on the other hand, need treatment and they take a longer time to disappear completely. If hemorrhoids continue to be stubborn and take more than a few weeks to disappear, you may seek the advice of your doctor.
Chronic hemorrhoids are often accompanied by flare-ups which are the symptoms that act up and cause you pain, bleeding, irritation, and discomfort. Flare-ups come as a result of engaging in the very activities that cause the hemorrhoids in the first place like constipation, diarrhea, heavy lifting, or eating foods with low fiber. So how long can a hemorrhoid flare-up last? They’re the most intense after you move your bowels and should last a few minutes or hours after that.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids are hemorrhoids with blood clots in them. Doctors are not sure what causes them but speculation is that additional pressure on the hemorrhoids further complicates matters.
The clot in the blood vessels results in the obstruction of blood flow so it swells and eventually bursts. The swelling of a thrombosed hemorrhoid causes a lot of pain that is only alleviated when it bursts. This is not life-threatening as the bleeding only lasts a few minutes. Therefore, a thrombosed hemorrhoid only lasts until it bursts.
It’s actually rare for hemorrhoids to disappear on their own without treatment. They will continue to cause you pain, irritation, and discomfort until you treat them. Therefore, in a way, they can be permanent until you get treatment.
In fact, untreated hemorrhoids will continue to get worse and cause issues such as prolapsed hemorrhoids and thrombosed hemorrhoids which are very painful. Prolapsed hemorrhoids are hemorrhoids that protrude out of the anus because they’ve been pushed while straining to pass stool.
With this in mind, you need to consult with your doctor to find the best treatment option for your hemorrhoids. You need not look any further because you’ll discover an assortment of treatment options available for you below.
There are several methods you can treat the symptoms of hemorrhoids and help them disappear. They can either be home-made or medical procedures.
Essential oils are powerful remedies that can be used to treat a myriad of physical ailments and hemorrhoids is one of them. They have ingredients that have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. Thus, they can reduce the pain, inflammation, and fight infections in hemorrhoids.
Some of the best essential oils to use on hemorrhoids include clove, horse chestnut, frankincense, peppermint, myrtle, dill, tea tree, clove, cinnamon bark, and cypress essential oils.
You should never apply essential oils on the hemorrhoids directly because they are very concentrated and would cause further irritation. You can either add them to your bath water and soak in it or dilute them with a carrier oil before applying. Read more about essential oils here.
Run a warm bath and sit in it to soak your anus for about 15 minutes when you have a flare up. This soothes the pain and irritation as well as improves blood circulation in the blood vessels of the rectum and anus so inflammation reduces.
Aloe vera is one of the most effective natural remedies for skin conditions. This is because it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
To use on hemorrhoids, you need to extract the gel from its leaves and apply it directly to them. This is mostly safe but be sure to do a skin patch test in case you’re allergic.
Wrap ice in a clean piece of cloth and compress it on the hemorrhoids for about 15 minutes. This gives you immense relief from the pain and it shrinks the inflammation.
Coconut oil is a great natural remedy for hemorrhoids because of its anti-inflammatory effects to reduce the swelling, analgesic effects to relieve the pain, and antibacterial effects to help the hemorrhoids heal faster.
You can use coconut oil by applying it directly to the hemorrhoids, making suppositories out of it to insert in the anus, or adding it to your bath water for soaking.
At your local drugstore, you can ask for anti-hemorrhoid medication to use on your hemorrhoids. They can be in form of creams, suppositories, gels, or capsules. They are made from ingredients with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties like witch hazel and hydrocortisone. Follow the instructions on how to use them to the letter. Find a comprehensive list here.
When hemorrhoids stay put even after using home remedies, it is time for you to seek a doctor’s help in getting rid of them. There are various procedures that can be done to remove hemorrhoids and they are as follows:
Rubber Band Ligation
This is one of the commonest methods used to get rid of hemorrhoids and it’s done on external hemorrhoids (those in the anus). The doctor ties a rubber band at the base of the hemorrhoid to starve it of oxygen. It eventually dies and shrinks or falls off.
This is a procedure commonly used on hemorrhoids inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids) that can’t be reached with a rubber band. A chemical is injected into them to make them harden so that blood supply doesn’t flow in them so they eventually die and fall off.
Cryosurgery is used for both internal and external hemorrhoids. The doctor applies liquid nitrogen to the hemorrhoids to freeze them. In a few weeks, they will shrink and fall off.
In this treatment, the doctor uses an intense infrared light on the hemorrhoids to form a fibrous tissue that will cut off its blood supply so it dies and falls off. The doctor can also use a laser or an electric current to do the same.
This is an intervention done on prolapsed hemorrhoids that refuse to retract back into the rectum or anus. A surgical stapling device is used to stick the hemorrhoid on the rectal or anal walls. After a fibrous tissue has formed to secure it in place, the staples pass out painlessly through the stool.
This is the traditional surgery where a scalpel or surgical blade is used to cut off the problematic hemorrhoids. It’s a painful process so you’ll need to be put under and the recovery takes a few weeks. Hemorrhoidectomy is rarely done but when all other medical procedures fail, it’s the last resort.
Hemorrhoids are very treatable so you don’t have to suffer in silence hoping they’ll disappear on their own. You can treat them at home or you can get them removed by a doctor. Not having to deal with chronic pain will greatly improve the quality of your life.