Millions of people around the world are affected by Hemorrhoids. Do you know how to get rid of hemorrhoids?
What are Hemorrhoids? Hemorrhoids are health condition that involves swelling of veins around the anus. Commonly, adults reaching the age of 50 may experience the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
This condition may cause difficulty sitting, severe itching and pain. Straining or pressure in the blood vessels during pregnancy or when constipated is the main culprit of developing hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids come in different types and various causes. The good news is that hemorrhoids are treatable. This condition isn’t life-threatening, but in some cases surgery is required to get rid of hemorrhoids.
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What are the Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
Knowing the early signs of symptoms is important to reduce the pain and obtain the necessary treatment as early as possible. Here are some of the common symptoms of hemorrhoids:
- Itchiness, pain and irritation around the anus
- Appearance of swelling veins near the anus
- Pain and difficulty in bowel movement
- Fecal leakage
- Blood on stool
If ever you are experiencing the symptoms listed above, you must consult your doctor immediately. Hemorrhoids aren’t life-threatening, but may develop complications when not given proper intervention (1).
Types of Hemorrhoids
Aside from knowing the symptoms of hemorrhoids, it’s also important to identify the different types of the condition.
This type of hemorrhoid grows inside the rectum between the anal canal and the pectinate line. Internal hemorrhoids are enclosed in a mucosa that is insensitive to stretching, touch and pain. These hemorrhoids have four stages according to the protrusion level.
- Grade I – The hemorrhoids aren’t apparent in the anal canal, but they bleed.
- Grade II – The swelling veins prolapse during bowel movement, but move back inside afterwards.
- Grade III – The hemorrhoids usually protrude due to exertion such as in moving bowel and need to be pushed back manually.
- Grade IV – This level of internal hemorrhoids develops outside the anal canal and stays outside. This also known as rectal prolapse.
These hemorrhoids are visible outside the anal canal. Just like the other types of hemorrhoids, prolapsed hemorrhoids also cause bleeding, anal itching and incomplete bowel movement.
Aside from blood clot, this condition may further develop swelling or edema. Strangulated hemorrhoids may also appear when the blood supply is obstructed caused by the pressure in the anal canal.
These are also called as peranial hematoma that develop under the skin around the outer part of the anus. Common signs of external hemorrhoids include itching or burning sensation around the rectal area.
You may also notice bluish lumps around the anus. The stool may also have blood and similar to prolapsed hemorrhoids, there are pain fibers attached to external hemorrhoids. However, the excess skin covering these hemorrhoids can lead to skin tags.
Thrombosed External Hemorrhoids
This type of hemorrhoid occurs when a clot is formed in the underlying vein caused by lack of blood supply in the inflamed vein. The individual may experience pain when the skin tags are stretched.
What Causes Hemorrhoids
There’s no exact cause of hemorrhoids identified by the experts. The only apparent cause is the increased pressure or stretches of veins in the rectum area. Other factors that affect the risks of developing hemorrhoids include the following:
- Increased pressure during bowel movement – Straining too much when passing your bowel increases the pressure on the veins that may lead to hemorrhoids
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation – These conditions may prompt straining hard during bowel movement
- Sitting for long time on the toilet – The veins around your rectum are stressed when sitting on the toilet for long period. Thus, increases the risk of developing hemorrhoids
- Family history – Another risk factor of developing hemorrhoids is when weak veins run in the family. Weaker veins easily widened and damaged that can easily trigger the condition
- Anal intercourse – The friction of doing this act can cause micro tears in your rectum. Thus, the risk of developing hemorrhoids is higher when engaging in anal intercourse without enough lubrication
- Aging – The tissues around the rectum get weak and stretched as a person gets older. This makes older people prone to having hemorrhoids
- Low-fiber diet – The stools get hard if you’re not eating enough fiber. This will increase the pressure on your anus during bowel movement and may lead to hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids may also develop during pregnancy. The condition gets worse when a woman is much pressured during delivery.
How to Get Rid of Hemorrhoids Fast
Hemorrhoids may greatly affect your life due to the pain that you may experience. Determining how to get rid of this condition isn’t enough because you need to know first how to prevent developing such condition.
For some patients, administering a home treatment is enough to reduce the pain and other symptoms of hemorrhoids. But, for severe cases, medications and minor invasive surgery or procedures may be recommended by your doctor.
There are cases in which home treatments aren’t helpful at all. Thus, a doctor may recommend medications or medical procedures suitable to your condition.
There are topical treatments that your doctor may suggest. But, if the medication doesn’t work well, then surgical treatments may be the last option.
- Hemorrhoid stapling – This medical procedure is administered and effective to prolapsed hemorrhoids. The prolapsed hemorrhoid is fixed and return inside the rectum by using surgical staple (2).
This procedure is less painful and the recovery period is shorter. But, there’s a possibility that the hemorrhoid may return after the surgery.
- Hemorrhoidal artery litigation – In this procedure, an instrument is placed in the anus so that the surgeon will see better the hemorrhoids. The modified protoscope contains a Doppler probe that locates and identifies the blood vessels causing hemorrhoids.
Once the artery is identified, your surgeon will make a stitch around the artery cutting off the blood supply, thus the hemorrhoids shrink.
This procedure is effective for those with prolapsing or bleeding hemorrhoids. Although the process causes slight discomfort, but less pain post-surgery is guaranteed.
- Hemorrhoidectomy – This procedure is appropriate for patients with large hemorrhoids. The patient may be given either a general, regional or local anesthesia.
Hemorrhoidectomy is effective for cases of recurrent hemorrhoid and it reduces the risk of the condition to return. But, there are possibility of complications such as urinary tract infection and difficulty of emptying stools and bladder after the procedure.
There are non-surgical treatments hemorrhoids patients can choose to get rid the condition. Consult your physician which one is right for your condition.
- Infrared coagulation – This non-surgical treatment is also called electrotherapy in which the device burns the tissues and heat the hemorrhoid for a short period.
The scar formed from the burned tissues blocks the blood flow. After the procedure, the patient should take stool softeners to avoid straining and bleeding.
- Schlerotherapy – a chemical solution is used and injected into the hemorrhoid. The chemical solution prevents the blood flow causing the hemorrhoid to shrink.
This treatment is recommended to patients with external hemorrhoids and taking anti-coagulant medication.
Schlerotherapy is less effective as compared to rubber band ligation and there’s a possibility that the condition may recur.
- Rubber band ligation – If you have internal hemorrhoids, the rubber band ligation is the best option to consider. It is the least invasive treatment to get rid of hemorrhoids.
The blood flow is cut off by wrapping the base of the hemorrhoid with a rubber band. Since the skin is constricted, the hemorrhoid shrinks and fall off eventually.
How to Get Rid Of Hemorrhoids Naturally
Treating the hemorrhoids naturally can be effective if the condition is mild. In fact, hemorrhoid treatment can be administered at home implementing natural techniques.
- Aloe vera – You can use aloe vera leaf (of course without the thorns) cut stripes and freeze it. It works well for relieving the inflammation of internal hemorrhoids. On the other hand, you can apply the gel extracted from the leaves for external hemorrhoids. It will reduce the pain and discomfort of the swollen veins. Aloe vera contains substance called Valtrex that can relieve inflammation. The anti-inflammatory property of aloe vera also helps to get rid the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
- Eat Fermented Foods – This can help provide the digestive system. Fermented Foods such as kefir, kimchi and raw, pastured yogurt.
- Limit Alcohol and Spicy Foods – Try to avoid alcohol and spicy foods.
- Drink Plenty of Water – Water or fluids are required for fiber to travel smoothly through the digestive tract.
- Essential oils – Applying essential oils is also effective in treating hemorrhoids. It reduces the swelling and allows the blood vessel to shrink to its original size (3, 4).
- Use a bidet – Bidets are less irritating that’s why it is good to use it when wiping after defecating. A wet toilet paper is an alternative if you don’t have bidet. You can also dry your bottom by using a hair dryer.
- Warm tea bags – Implementing this natural treatment can relieve the hemorrhoid pain. All you have to do is to place a warm tea bag or ice bag on your rectum. Applying witch hazel compress is also recommended.
- Warm soak – A 10-15 minutes’ warm water soak four times per day can relieve swollen hemorrhoids and alleviate the pain.
- Sitz bath – This treatment involves a warm water bath. The patient should sit in a bathtub or plastic tub with warm water within 20 minutes after bowel movement. It treats irritation, itching and sphincter muscle spasms.
- Maintain Your Diet – make a good diet plan and eat high-fiber foods. You should take 30-35 grams of fiber daily to get rid of hemorrhoids.
- Lemon juice – The lemon juice is commonly used as natural treatment for various health conditions such as hemorrhoids. It has powerful antioxidants that can cure the condition.
- All you have to do is to apply the lemon juice on the swollen area to minimize the inflammation and pain. You can also make a mixture of lemon juice with honey and ginger to get the nutrition benefits.
- Olive oil – Olive oil isn’t only good for cooking; it is also used to cure the symptoms of hemorrhoids. It makes the blood vessels more elastic, thus passing hard stools won’t be painful.
- This oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the discomfort and alleviate the swollen area. Likewise, the monosaturated fatty acids present in olive oil can improve the bowel movement. Thus, you should add olive oil in your food regularly.
How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last
Obviously, the main concern of people experiencing the pain of having hemorrhoids is how long will it last. There are different types and cases of this condition. The factors that would determine the period of time it will last are severity and treatment.
If your hemorrhoids are mild, you can expect that it will subside on its own after doing some home treatment. However, in case of severe hemorrhoids, it’s best to seek medical intervention. You must consult your doctor to know the necessary treatment.
Although hemorrhoids are treatable, but it can also cause discomfort in your life. Thus, the best thing to do is to prevent developing hemorrhoids. Keeping yourself hydrated and enough intake of fiber can make your stool soft and prevent constipation as well as straining.
Janice Thompson is a nutritionist. She loves to share her healthy lifestyle and diet tips.