Hemorrhoids are also known as piles and they are inflamed blood vessels in the rectum and the anus. There are several ways how hemorrhoids heal; they can be left to heal on their own or be assisted with home remedies or medical treatment. The choice of what treatment course to follow depends on the severity of the condition. If you’re wondering what to do about your hemorrhoids, this article outlines the treatment options that are available for you to choose from.
What are the Risk Factors of Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can affect anyone but certain factors put you at a higher risk of developing them. These factors are as follows:
Having Chronic Constipation
Constipation is the condition where you struggle to pass stool. It’s very common and it affects 20% of Americans. It happens when stool moves very slowly down the digestive gut so it dries up and becomes hard. Straining to pass stool repeatedly puts a lot of pressure on the veins in the rectum and anus so blood flow is hindered. They swell with blood as a result and this is how hemorrhoids occur.
Being Obese or Overweight
When the human body has excess weight, it places a lot of pressure on blood vessels especially on the lower side of the body which includes veins in the rectum and anus. The excess weight presses on them and they become engorged with blood.
Pregnancy can cause hemorrhoids in different ways. The first is that the weight of the fetus in the third trimester gets so heavy that it presses on a large blood vessel known as the inferior vena cava. The blood vessel facilitates blood flow between the lower areas of the body and the heart so the fetus’s weight interferes with the blood flow. The interference leads to the swelling of blood vessels in the lower part of the body including the legs, anus, and rectum.
Pregnancy also causes drastic hormonal changes that lead to the unusual swelling of blood vessels in the body including those of the anus and rectum.
During childbirth, hemorrhoids may occur because of the force that is used to push out the baby. It strains even the blood vessels in the rectum and anus and causes them to distend.
Hemorrhoids that are brought by pregnancy go away soon after birth because the pressure of the fetus is taken off.
The risk of developing hemorrhoids is higher in people between 45 to 65 years. You are more likely to get hemorrhoids as you get older because the tissue that supports the anus and rectum wears out and gets weaker. Once this happens, even the slightest pressure from added bodyweight or constipation on the anus and rectum can cause hemorrhoids.
Chronic diarrhea causes you to pass stool very frequently and this can also raise the risk of developing hemorrhoids. This is because it puts too much pressure on the anal and rectal blood vessels and causes them to be inflamed.
Sitting for Too Long
If you have a job that requires you to sit at your desk almost the entire day, you’re at a higher risk of developing hemorrhoids. Sitting on the toilet for too long either constipating or because you’ve brought a book or phone along also poses the same risk. The rectal and anal muscles are stretched out so their blood vessels end up bulging and distending.
If you have close family members who have hemorrhoids, you are more likely to get them because you have a genetic predisposition.
How Do Hemorrhoids Heal?
There are several options that you can use to help the healing process of hemorrhoids. Some can be done from the comfort of your home, others are performed at the doctor’s office, and others on the surgeon’s table. You can take your pick in consultation with your doctor which one bests suits you.
Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids
The treatments you can administer on your own from home include:
Ice is used on injuries and bumps because it has the ability to shrink blood vessels and reduce pain and inflammation. For this reason, it is well-suited to be used to relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids. Wrap ice inside a cloth or towel and press it on the hemorrhoids for 15 minutes. The itching, pain, and inflammation will disappear.
Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer so when it’s applied on hemorrhoids, it will soothe the pain, itching, and the swelling will go down. Since it takes away the irritation, you will no longer have the urge to scratch the hemorrhoids and injure them.
Soaking your anus in a bathtub or sitz bath with warm water not only soothes pain and irritation but also improves blood circulation so the swelling of the blood vessels reduces. Soak in the bath for 20 minutes and even add Epsom salts for a better soothing effect.
Local drugstores sell creams and ointments that are specifically made to reduce the pain, itching, and swelling of hemorrhoids. They are made with soothing compounds like witch hazel and hydrocortisone. They also have soothing wipes you can use after bowel movements and suppositories you can insert in the rectum to treat the symptoms.
Freshly-extracted aloe vera gel is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. You can apply it directly to the hemorrhoids and it will reduce inflammation, pain, itching, and bleeding effectively.
Placing a wet tea bag on your hemorrhoids will reduce swelling, pain, irritation, and speed clotting to stop the bleeding. It has tannic acid which is a natural agent that fights against free radicals that cause inflammation. Dip it in warm water and then use it on the hemorrhoids.
Some good old Vaseline can also help with soothing hemorrhoids. Apply it on the hemorrhoids and you will find relief from the pain and itching.
H-Hemorrhoids Formula is a 100% natural remedy that reduces the symptoms of all kinds of hemorrhoids. It will shrink the hemorrhoids and provide fast relief within moments of applying it.
Non-Surgical Medical Procedures
These are treatment methods that be done at the doctor’s office. They are not painful; you will only experience mild discomfort. They include:
This is one of the most widely used methods of treatment and it’s also known as rubber band ligation. The doctor puts a rubber band on the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off its blood flow. This kills it and it shrinks or falls away.
In this procedure, the doctor injects a chemical into the hemorrhoid to shrink it down and stop its bleeding.
Here, the doctor uses extreme heat, cold, or infrared light to shrink a hemorrhoid. An anoscope is also used to see the hemorrhoid clearly before shrinking it.
Surgery is done on large hemorrhoids that have persisted even after using other treatment methods. The procedures are painful and they require that you be placed on local, regional, or general anesthesia. The surgical procedures are as follows:
The surgeon performs this surgery by opening the anus up to where the hemorrhoids are. Incisions are then made on the sides of the hemorrhoids so that the swollen blood vessels can be removed. Healing takes some time but doctors advice that you use some home remedies like warm water to help with the healing.
This is a surgical procedure used on hemorrhoids that have protruded out of the anus from the rectum (prolapsed hemorrhoids). A surgical staple is used to put the hemorrhoids back to its original place in the rectum. The stapling also cuts off the blood supply of the hemorrhoid so it eventually shrinks.
How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last?
The duration that hemorrhoids last depends on their size. Small hemorrhoids can clear within a few days with treatment and even without it. Larger hemorrhoids, on the other hand, can take a few weeks to clear. If hemorrhoids persist for too long even after trying different remedies, see a doctor for further help.
With all the above treatment options, you no longer have to worry about being uncomfortable while sitting down and while passing stool. You can treat them at home and when all else fails, a doctor can come to your rescue. Start your treatment regimen today! Also read 4 simple step guide HERE!