Do you have hemorrhoids and have they been an absolute pain in the anus? Have they made going to the toilet a living nightmare that you would rather wake up from? Well, you’re in the right place to learn what to do about hemorrhoids. This article will explore all you need to know about hemorrhoids and the options you can look to get rid of them for good.
What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are also called piles and they’re engorged blood vessels in the lower part of the rectum and around the anus. They are characterized by symptoms such as pain, itchiness, and rectal bleeding.
Whom Do Hemorrhoids Affect?
Hemorrhoids can affect anyone but they are more likely to develop in certain people. They include:
Obese or Overweight People
Having excess weight brings with it a host of health problems and hemorrhoids is one of them. The lower regions of the body including the anus and rectum, are forced to withstand a lot of body weight so their blood vessels are more likely to swell with blood.
People who are advancing in age have to deal with the fact that their bodies are not going to function as effectively as they once did. One of the ways this happens is that the tissue between the anus and rectum that supports them, weakens. This puts their veins in a situation where they are more likely to swell even when slightly pressurized.
Hemorrhoids are common in pregnant women because the baby’s weight presses on a major blood vessel, the inferior vena cava, and hinders smooth flow of blood. This is the reason pregnant women often experience swollen feet and hemorrhoids.
The hormonal imbalance that characterizes pregnancy also plays a role in hemorrhoids. It causes the abnormal swelling of blood vessels in the body.
The process of giving birth also further strains the blood vessels of the rectum and anus so hemorrhoids may develop after birth.
Internal and External Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are mainly categorized into two; internal and external hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are found inside the rectum while external hemorrhoids are found outside the anus. Internal hemorrhoids may sometimes poke out of the anus and in such a case, they become known as prolapsed hemorrhoids.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
When a lot of pressure is put upon the blood vessels in the rectum and anus, proper blood flow is hindered and they swell with blood. This can happen because of various reasons and they include:
When you keep repeatedly having trouble with passing stool, it strains your anus and rectum and their blood vessels swell.
Chronic diarrhea causes you to pass stool more frequently than usual. This is also very strenuous to the blood vessels in your anus and rectum and hemorrhoids may develop.
Sitting for Long
Sitting on a chair or the toilet for too long can cause hemorrhoids. This is because the anal and rectal muscles are stretched and in the process, blood vessels bulge and distend.
When you have a family history of hemorrhoids, you are likely to get them too. This could be because your genes predispose you to have weaker muscles in the rectum and anus. More about causes HERE.
How Long Do Hemorrhoids Take to Heal?
The time hemorrhoids take to heal depends on how big they are. Small hemorrhoids can take a few days to disappear even without treatment. Larger hemorrhoids may take a few weeks to a few months to completely go away.
What to Do About Hemorrhoids?
For the small hemorrhoids that can easily disappear on their own, you can let them be for a few days before they go away. However, if they persist, you can seek treatment which can be remedies you can try right at home or medical intervention. Home remedies are for the less serious hemorrhoids while medical intervention is for the more serious and stubborn ones.
How Do Foods Influence Hemorrhoids? Diet
Carefully considering your food choices is very important when you’re suffering from hemorrhoids. Eating right can improve the symptoms of hemorrhoids while eating the wrong foods will make the symptoms worse.
Here are some foods that shouldn’t miss from your menu if you want to relieve hemorrhoids:
Eating foods that are rich in fiber will help you have an easier time moving your bowels. There are two kinds of fiber; insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber (roughage) adds bulk to your stool while soluble fiber dissolves to become a gel-like substance that softens the stool. Sources of insoluble fiber include whole grains, cruciferous vegetables, root vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits with skin. Soluble fiber can be found in beans, avocados, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and fruits like apples and pears.
Water is responsible for dissolving soluble fiber to form the gel-like substance that softens the stool. The US National Academies of Sciences recommends that men should drink about 125 ounces of water while women should drink about 81 ounces daily to stay properly hydrated.
Foods that you should avoid or limit intake because they will cause hemorrhoids flare-ups include:
- Dairy products like milk and cheese that have a low fiber content
- Spicy and salty foods that make hemorrhoids more sensitive
- Processed foods which have very little fiber in them
- Red meats and fried foods which take long to digest so they cause constipation
- Foods made of refined flour like pasta and bread that have low fiber content
- Alcoholic beverages which drain your stool of water and cause constipation
Hemorrhoids Home Remedies
Home remedies you can try on your own are as follows:
You can purchase creams, ointments, or suppositories made of anti-itch and anti-inflammatory compounds like witch hazel and hydrocortisone. When applied, they will help to reduce inflammation, pain, itching, and bleeding.
A sitz bath is a shallow bowl of warm water that you can fit over your toilet to sit in. The water reduces swelling by improving your blood circulation and it also soothes pain and irritation.
Aloe vera gel is a commonly-used ingredient to treat various skin conditions. It can also be used on hemorrhoids because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It will relieve inflammation, itchiness, and pain.
Pressing ice on your hemorrhoids will reduce its symptoms like pain, irritation, and inflammation. It achieves this by shrinking your blood vessels.
H-Hemmorhoids Formula oil
This H-Hemorrhoids formula oil a specially formulated product that is used to relieve symptoms associated with all types of hemorrhoids – internal and external. H-Hemorrhoid oil manage these symptoms by shrinking engorged blood vessels and reduce swelling in the rectal-anal region. Also available for bleeding hemorrhoids and fissures.
When hemorrhoids fail to go away on their own or to respond to home remedies, you can opt for a surgical procedure. There are two main types of surgical procedures:
This method involves the cutting open of hemorrhoids on their sides so that swollen hemorrhoids can be removed. It’s a painful procedure and it requires anesthesia.
This is a procedure performed on prolapsed hemorrhoids. The surgeon uses a stapling device to stick the hemorrhoid back to its original position in the rectum.
How to Prevent Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids can be a nuisance to deal with so if you can avoid getting them all together, you’ll be better off. If you’ve had them before, taking preventive steps will ensure they don’t recur. Here’s how you can prevent hemorrhoids:
Physical exercise improves digestion and helps stool move down the gut quickly before it hardens and becomes difficult to pass. Staying active also helps you manage your weight so that your blood vessels are not subjected to carrying too much weight.
Respond to Urges
When you feel like moving your bowels, go immediately. Ignoring that urge will make your stool harden and difficult to pass.
Avoid Sitting for Too Long
To avoid spending all your days seated, take a brief walk every so often to take the pressure off your rectum and anus muscles.
Wear Loose Clothing
Make sure you wear loose cotton underwear and pants to avoid restricting the blood flow in the anus and rectum.
Hemorrhoids can make life unbearable but the good news is that there’s something you can do about it. Purpose to follow the tips recommended above and hemorrhoids will become a distant memory soon enough!