Did you know that historians speculate that the reason Napoleon Bonaparte lost the Battle of Waterloo is that the pain of hemorrhoids kept him up the previous night? If hemorrhoids pain contributed to the downfall of such a formidable conqueror, then they are an enemy to reckon with. Luckily for you, there are home remedies to treat this kind of pain.
Apart from the condition, hemorrhoids actually refer to a pillow-like cluster of veins found underneath the mucous membranes in the lining of the anus and rectum. The condition occurs when these veins swell because they are engorged with blood. This happens when they are put under a lot of pressure by constipation, heavy lifting, chronic diarrhea, pregnancy in the last stages, and sitting for extended periods of time. The swollen hemorrhoids cause a lot of pain especially when passing stool.
There are two major types of hemorrhoids; internal and external hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are found inside the rectum where they are no pain receptors so they don’t cause you pain. In fact, painless bleeding is one of the signs of internal hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids, on the other hand, are painful because they develop in the anus where pain receptors are very much present. More external hemorrhoids symptoms include lumps around the anus, itching, and painful bleeding accompanied.
Blood clots sometimes develop in the hemorrhoids and they become known as thrombosed hemorrhoids. They hinder the proper flow of blood in the hemorrhoids so a lot of pressure builds up in them. This results in a lot of pain that can only be relieved when the hemorrhoid bursts. When the clot is gone, it usually leaves behind a skin tag that may itch. Another type of hemorrhoid is the prolapsed hemorrhoids which are internal hemorrhoids that have protruded out of the anus. They cause pain when you sit down and when you’re passing stool. They are also prone to developing clots.
There a lot of options for treating hemorrhoids. You can choose to have them removed through medical procedures or you can treat the symptoms using home remedies. The medical procedures are quite costly and there’s no guarantee that they’ll not recur. Conversely, the home remedies are inexpensive and you can try them yourself from the comfort of your home.
Home remedies make use of ingredients you can easily find in your kitchen or in the nearest drugstore. They include:
Freshly-extracted aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory properties that make it an excellent remedy for skin conditions. When applied to hemorrhoids, it will soothe the pain, irritation, and reduce inflammation. If you’re allergic to onions or garlic, you may react to aloe vera so do a skin patch test before applying it to the hemorrhoids.
It is an over-the-counter treatment made from the witch hazel plant that has natural anti-inflammatory benefits. It reduces pain, inflammation, itching, and even bleeding when used on hemorrhoids.
Warm water has very soothing effects on pain and irritation. It also improves blood circulation so it reduces inflammation. Sit in a bathtub with warm water and add Epsom salts for an added soothing effect.
Ice can be used to reduce inflammation and relieve the pain and irritation of hemorrhoids. Make a cold compress by placing ice in a towel or piece of cloth and place it on the hemorrhoids for 15 minutes.
Over-the-counter Ointments and Creams
Your local drugstore should have ointments or creams made with soothing compounds like hydrocortisone or witch hazel that you can use on your hemorrhoids. They will deal with the pain, swelling, and itching.
Using regular tissue paper when you have hemorrhoids is a bad idea because it will make the symptoms worse. Buy soothing wipes made with aloe vera or witch hazel to relieve the pain and irritation.
You won’t have to deal with the pain of hemorrhoids if you take steps to prevent their development. You can do this by:
Eat More Fiber
Fiber is your to-go nutrient if you don’t want to deal with constipation issues. It softens stool and adds bulk to it so that it moves quickly down the gut. Hemorrhoids will have little chance of developing. Foods that are rich in fiber are legumes, wholemeal grains and wheat, fruits, vegetables, and root tubers.
Exercising on a regular basis keeps stool moving down the digestive tract quickly so it doesn’t have time to harden and cause constipation. However, avoid strenuous exercises that will make hemorrhoids worse.
Water mixes with soluble fiber to make stool soft so that it passes out the anus easily. Experts recommend that men should drink about 15.5 cups of fluids daily while women should drink 11.5 cups.
Practise Healthy Bathroom Habits
You should wait for the natural urge to move your bowel instead of straining because it may cause hemorrhoids. You should also avoid sitting on the toilet for too long because it stretches your veins and muscles in the anus and the veins end up swelling and distending.
Find out which home remedy works best for you from the above recommendations and you’ll notice a big difference. Hemorrhoids naturally heal in a few weeks so these remedies will make that healing journey less painful and even speed it up. However, if the symptoms still persist, see your doctor for the way forward.