Do you suffer from hemorrhoids and you’ve noticed blood on your stool or in the toilet after passing stool? This is a common tell-tale sign of hemorrhoids so it shouldn’t alarm you too much. Bleeding in hemorrhoids can be fixed with several treatment methods and can be prevented from occurring and this piece will tell you exactly how.
External and Internal Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are clusters of swollen blood vessels in the anus and rectum. They are mainly categorized into internal and external hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are located in the lower part of the rectum while external hemorrhoids are found on the anus.
According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, symptoms of hemorrhoids are present in about 5% of the sufferers. These symptoms include:
- Pain in the anus during bowel movements that lasts for a few hours afterward
- Hard lumps around the anus
- Discomfort while sitting
- Bleeding which you notice on the stool and in the toilet
- Itchiness or irritation in the anal region
Do Internal Hemorrhoids Bleed?
Internal hemorrhoids do bleed but the bleeding is painless. This is because the rectum doesn’t have pain receptors. You’ll notice the blood on the stool or in the toilet after bowel movements.
Bleeding occurs when hard stool grazes the surfaces of the internal hemorrhoids as it goes down the rectal canal. It also happens when a hemorrhoid with a blood clot (thrombosed hemorrhoid) fills with so much blood that it bursts. The bleeding of hemorrhoids doesn’t last long; it stops after a few seconds or minutes. Anything longer than that could be a sign of a bigger problem.
What are the Home Treatment Options?
Since bleeding occurs because of the presence of hemorrhoids, treating those hemorrhoids is the best solution to stop the bleeding. The home treatment options available for hemorrhoids are:
Witch hazel is a liquid product that you can buy over-the-counter that has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. When applied to hemorrhoids, it relieves swelling, pain, bleeding, and irritation. It’s also used to make other products like soothing wipes that you can use instead of your ordinary tissue paper.
Aloe vera is a go-to remedy for many skin conditions and hemorrhoids can also benefit from it. Cut off a leaf from the aloe vera plant and extract its gel before applying it to the hemorrhoids. Its anti-inflammatory properties will diminish the pain, irritation, and inflammation.
A sitz bath is a shallow bowl of warm water that you can fit over your toilet so that you can soak your anus in it after moving your bowels. The warm water improves circulation and soothes the discomfort of hemorrhoids.
Coconut is a wonderful natural moisturizer that you can use on hemorrhoids. Applying it to hemorrhoids will soothe the pain and irritation.
Ice is very good at reducing swellings, pain, and irritation because it constricts blood vessels. Don’t place the ice directly on the hemorrhoids to avoid getting a cold burn so you should wrap it in a towel. Press it on the hemorrhoids for about 15 minutes.
The tannic acid in tea leaves is also a natural anti-inflammatory agent so you can use a tea bag on hemorrhoids. Simply dip it in warm water and press it on the hemorrhoids to reduce pain, inflammation, and itching.
Oils and Creams
There are oils and creams made specifically to treat the discomfort and bleeding of hemorrhoids. They are made with purely natural homeopathic, soothing, and gentle ingredients so you don’t have to worry about harmful side effects
When to See Your Doctor
When hemorrhoids bleed for longer than 10 minutes, don’t hesitate to see a doctor. It could be a serious condition such as colorectal cancer so you don’t want to take chances with a wrong self-diagnosis. Your doctor will carry out a colonoscopy where the rectum and the colon are examined for signs of another condition.
How to Prevent Internal Hemorrhoids Bleeding
Just like with the treatment, bleeding can only be prevented from occurring by preventing hemorrhoids in the first place. Below are ways you can avoid getting internal hemorrhoids:
When you involve yourself in a lot of physical activities, it makes the passing of food down the digestive tract much quicker. Therefore, stool remains soft and doesn’t cause constipation.
Drink Lots of Water
Water is responsible for softening stool so that you don’t suffer from constipation. Thus, make sure you drink 4 to 6 glasses of water daily.
Eat Plenty Fiber
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool while soluble fiber dissolves in water to make a substance that softens the stool. This serves to prevent constipation and thus, preventing hemorrhoids. Foods that have a lot of fiber in them are wholemeal grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and tubers eaten with their skins. You can also take fiber supplements or stool softeners to avoid constipation.
Obey the Call of Nature
When you feel like going to pass stool and you ignore it, the stool in the rectal canal hardens, and passing it afterward becomes difficult. You should go as soon as you feel the urge so that you don’t strain while passing stool and cause hemorrhoids to develop and existing ones to bleed.
You should never assume bleeding from the rectum; it may be a sign of something serious that needs medical attention. When your doctor confirms that it is indeed hemorrhoids, take your pick from the treatment options provided above and you’ll be seeing positive results before long.