Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are not life threatening and often go away on their own, but they cause great discomfort and may be quite painful. Understand the problem of hemorrhoids and learn how to deal with them using natural, home remedies.
What Is a Hemorrhoid
A hemorrhoid can be described as a swelling and inflammation of a blood vessel in the rectal or anal area. It develops as a result of the increased pressure in the anal and pelvic areas. Two main types of hemorrhoids can be identified.
The first type is an internal hemorrhoid, which forms inside the rectum. Sometimes they become so large or placed so closed to the anus that they bulge out during evacuating.
The second type is an external hemorrhoid, which develops close to the rectal opening. It often becomes a hard lump as a consequence of severe irritation when a hemorrhoid clots under your skin. This type of a hemorrhoid is known as a thrombosed hemorrhoid.
What Are The Symptoms
Hemorrhoids are quite easy to diagnose as they give some clear symptoms. In case of internal hemorrhoids the most obvious symptom is bleeding during you bowel movement. You will notice some blood while wiping yourself. The good news is that internal hemorrhoids aren’t usually painful.
External hemorrhoids, on the other hand, rarely bleed but they may cause strong pain. Apart from that these hemorrhoids are often itchy and cause an unpleasant burning sensation. You might also feel great discomfort while sitting.
Hemorrhoids are rarely serious but you should realize that rectal bleeding may also be a symptom of other, more serious medical conditions, such as a bacterial infection, diverticulitis, or a colon cancer. That’s why if you’ve experienced any rectal bleeding, you should visit your doctor in order to be correctly diagnosed.
What Are The Causes of Hemorrhoids
Everyone can develop hemorrhoids at some point of their lives, but people over forty are more prone to get this condition. The main cause of it is too much pressure put in the rectal areas and in the anal veins.
Thus, lifting too heavy weights or exercising in an improper way are the main causes of hemorrhoids. Women often develop them during pregnancy too. Moreover, frequent constipation or diarrhea are also common triggers.
Other causes include an unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. Anal intercourse may also lead to hemorrhoids development. Therefore, apart from the solutions described in the next section, you will probably have to introduce some changes into your daily routine too.
How to Get Rid of Hemorrhoids Fast: Best Home Remedies
Hemorrhoids are rarely a serious condition, but they are a very embarrassing problem and can be the cause of strong pain and discomfort. Moreover, they often cause inflammation, itching or swelling, which makes it even more troublesome. Learn some home remedies, which will help you get rid of the problem safely, quickly, and without side effects.
1. Keep it Clean
The most important thing you should remember about when dealing with hemorrhoids is keeping the anal area clean. It is true that it might be painful, but this is where a healing process should start.
Wash your anal area with the use of mild soap and warm water. You can also use a soft, cotton cloth to dry the skin. Always use soft toilet paper to wipe after evacuating.
If you feel great discomfort and your anal area is itchy and irritated, you may try using moist towelettes instead of toilet paper. They are much gentler to your skin. There are brands which offer you towelettes with soothing ingredients, for example aloe vera extract.
2. Drink a Lot of Water
When you suffer from hemorrhoids it’s important to soften the stools by a healthy diet. This way you won’t strain so much while evacuating and won’t make the problem worse.
The recommended intake of water for a healthy person is at least eight glasses a day, but in case of hemorrhoids you should even increase this dosage to eleven glasses of water a day. If it’s difficult for you to drink so much water, you can substitute some of it with fresh, unsweetened juice or clean broth. You should also consume a lot of fresh fruit as they will soften your stools too.
3. Try a Cool Compress
Applying a cold compress is a solution which will bring you immediate relief from itching, pain, and swelling because it will make your hemorrhoids shrink. Once they are smaller, you will also pass your stools easier.
To prepare a compress you can just soak a soft cloth in a cold water and place it on the area affected with hemorrhoids. Another option is to wrap a few ice cubes in a soft cloth and apply them for a few minutes in your anal area.
If you repeat this process a few times a day, your blood vessels will constrict and you will get rid of the hemorrhoids faster.
4. Soak in Warm Water
Instead of applying a cold compress you can also try a warm one or soaking in warm water. You will feel immediate relief from itching, swelling, and pain as warm water will relax your blood vessels.
There are a few ways to use this method. You can simply soak a soft cloth in warm water and then apply it on your hemorrhoids. You can also take a bath in warm water, but remember that it can’t be hot as it can actually make your problem worse. Stay in the water for about fifteen minutes.
If you often suffer from hemorrhoids, buying a sitz bath will be a good investment. A sitz bath is a small, deep tub, which you can place on top of your toilet seat. You fill it with warm water and soak only your perineal area. It’s very comfortable and easy to use so you will be able to repeat the process even a few times a day.
You can fill the sitz bath with warm water only and it for sure will be very helpful itself. However, you can also add to the water some ingredients, which will make the bath even more powerful. These are calendula, yarrow, chamomile, some Epsom salt, or common table salt.
Just remember that the water can’t be too hot and that each soaking session should last for at least fifteen minutes. After each bath you should also gently dry your anal area with a soft cloth or towel. If you do it three times a day, you will cure your hemorrhoids faster.
5. Prepare a Remedial Paste
To reduce the inflammation and pain that your hemorrhoids cause, you can prepare a remedial paste, which you will apply topically. You only need two ingredients – Epsom salt and glycerin.
Gather two tablespoons of Epsom salt and two tablespoons of glycerin. Mix them so that they have the consistency of a thick paste. Gently apply the mixture on your hemorrhoids and leave it for about twenty minutes. Then, wash it off with warm water and dry the skin with a soft towel.
Repeat it a few times a day and you will quickly reduce the pain, itching, and discomfort which your hemorrhoids cause.
6. Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be helpful in case of both external and internal hemorrhoids. For the latter one simply dilute one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it once a day. After a few days you should notice that the pain significantly reduced.
If you suffer from external hemorrhoids, you should soak a cotton pad or a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it on the area affected with hemorrhoids. It may cause some stinging feeling at the beginning, but it will go away after a few minutes. This solution should bring you immediate relief from itching and pain.
You can use this method even a few times a day and you will eliminate the hemorrhoids faster. It’s important, though, to use apple cider vinegar which is natural and pure.
7. Try Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties which can effectively help to reduce the hemorrhoids and the unpleasant symptoms they cause. Before you use it, you should mix the tea tree oil with some carrier oil, such as castor oil or olive oil.
Simply mix a few drops of tea tree oil with the same amount of some carrier oil and with the use of a cotton pad or a cotton ball gently apply the mixture on your hemorrhoids. You may also massage the area for a few minutes so that the oil will be absorbed better.
You don’t need to wash the mixture off. Use this solution a few times a day to get rid of your hemorrhoids quickly and safely, with no side effects.
8. Use Olive Oil
Olive oil itself can also be very useful in reducing hemorrhoids. Moreover, it can help you eliminate all types of piles as you can use olive oil both externally and internally.
Due to its amazing qualities olive oil will reduce the inflammation and soothe the irritation, which is responsible for discomfort. Moreover, it will also make the blood vessels more elastic, which reduces the damage caused by hard stools.
Add a small amount of olive oil to your dishes every day as it will make the evacuating easier. Additionally, use olive oil externally by applying a small amount of it on the anal area. You can do it even a few times a day.
9. Consume Honey and Lemon
This method will help you if your problem with hemorrhoids appears mainly due to chronic constipation. Thus, if you deal with it, you will also eliminate your hemorrhoids.
Prepare a glass of warm, but not hot, water. Add to it a tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice.
Drink it in the morning just after waking up and then drink another glass about two hours before you go to bed. After a few days you should eliminate your constipation problem and the hemorrhoids will significantly reduce.
10. Apply Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel has numerous amazing properties, which can appear to be helpful in fighting the hemorrhoids too. The gel will give you quick relief from pain and inflammation as well as it will soothe the irritation.
All you need is fresh aloe vera leaf, which you should cut to obtain a gel from it. Put it in your freezer for one hour and then apply it on your hemorrhoids. The cold gel will fantastically soothe the irritation and reduce the inflammation.
You can use this solution even three times a day. You can also purchase the aloe vera juice, which you should drink every day. It will improve your bowel movement, which influences the formation of hemorrhoids.
How To Prevent Hemorrhoids
It’s good news if you finally managed to get rid of your annoying hemorrhoids. The bad news, however, is that they like coming back. That’s why you need to follow some tips and introduce some changes into your daily routines to prevent their recurrence.
The first thing you should focus on is your diet. It should include food products rich in fiber and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Remember also that fiber is effective only if you stay hydrated. Thus, drink at least eight glasses of mineral water a day.
Apart from that you can also consume fresh juices and clean broth. Prunes juice is a great option too as it has gentle laxative effect and is a natural solution to constipation. When it comes to vegetables, you should go for avocados, broccoli, beans, and artichokes.
A proper diet will boost your metabolism and soften your stools, which is crucial if you want to prevent hemorrhoids. With loose stools you won’t strain so much while evacuating, which is also a preventive measure when it comes to hemorrhoids development.
Apart from dietary routines which will soften your stools, you should also introduce some food products into your diet which will strengthen the walls of your blood vessels.
Thus, include the foods which are rich in flavonoids, such as cherries, blackberries, and citrus fruit. Calendula, ginkgo biloba, or horse chestnut may also have a very positive effect on your veins.
When cleaning your anal area remember not to use dry toilet paper as it may increase the irritation. Instead you can use moist wipes, which contain a soothing ingredient.
If you want to prevent hemorrhoids permanently, you can’t neglect the importance of physical activity. Lifting heavy objects, however, is not recommended if you have a tendency to piles development. Instead, try to walk or at least stand for a few minutes every hour.
Regular jogging, walking, or other sporting activity will give you amazing effects as sedentary lifestyle is one of the main causes of hemorrhoids. Thirty minutes of physical activity every day should be just enough.
Another thing you need to be aware of is the way you act during your bowel movement. Don’t spend too much time sitting on the toilet. If after a few minutes nothing happens, just have a break, drink a glass of water and try again a little bit later.
On the other hand, if you feel that you need to go to the toilet, don’t wait and just go. Otherwise, your stool moves back into your rectum and then you will have to strain and put some pressure while evacuating. Thus, if you feel the need to move the bowels, just find some bathroom and use it.
Obesity is also a factor which puts you in the risk group who is prone to get hemorrhoids. Therefore, if you are overweight, try some more intense exercises to lose some weight. Not only the hemorrhoids won’t form so easily, but in general you will feel much better.
When to Consult a Doctor
Home remedies can be very effective in curing hemorrhoids. However, there are cases when they don’t work and then you need to consult a doctor about your problem.
Thus, observe your symptoms, their duration, timing, changes, and severity. One of the main symptoms of hemorrhoids is bleeding. However, if it doesn’t go away after a few days of home treatment, you should see your doctor.
Also, in case of hemorrhoids bleeding should occur only while bowel movements. If you’ve experienced rectal bleeding in other situations too, it is a signal that you should call your doctor.
Th color of the blood is also important. For instance, if it was bright red, but then it started to be dark red, it may mean that the problem is getting worse and you shouldn’t postpone a visit to your doctor.
Last but not least, if despite using home remedies for a few days, you don’t see any positive difference or the inflammation, itching , and pain haven’t reduced, you should call your doctor at once.
You shouldn’t be afraid of visiting your doctor as he may only suggest you some topical treatments, which are easy to use and effectively eliminate the problem. Most of them are over-the-counter remedies, which will quickly reduce the pain and inflammation.
Ointments and creams which your doctor will probably suggest you often contain ingredients such as lidocaine and benzocaine. They are topical analgesics, which bring quick relief. Other options include diaper rash creams or ointments with hydrocortisone.
Your doctor will always start your treatment with topical medicines. He may also suggest some of the natural methods described in the article. Surgery is always the last resort and every specialist will suggest you that only if nothing else works.
Remember, though, that you shouldn’t give up if home or over-the-counter solutions don’t help you very quickly. Sometimes it requires some patience and regularity to get rid of the hemorrhoids. Also, for sure your doctor will suggest you some changes into your daily life.
You need to be aware that in case of hemorrhoids changing your daily routines sometimes turns out to be more effective than all the medicines you can think of. Introduce some changes into your diet, you don’t have to be radical – just change your life step by step. Otherwise, you will only feel discouraged very quickly.
Start with drinking more water every day. Eight glasses might seem a lot at the beginning, but you will quickly get used to it. Always have a small bottle of water near you and drink it throughout the day. Some people do it wrongly as they drink a lot of water at a time, but that only leads to visiting toilet too often.
It’s the same with changing your eating habits or introducing physical activities into your routine. If you ambitiously decide that you will give up all the unhealthy food at once and that you will start exercising one hour every day, you will give up quickly.
Instead of sudden and total transformations, start with small things that will quickly make a noticeable difference. Take an apple or a banana to work instead of buying a hamburger during your break. Start with cooking something healthy once a week at the beginning.
Be careful with physical activities too, especially if you’ve been leading a sedentary lifestyle for a long time. If you’re planning to go jogging regularly, start with walking. Instead of driving to work, go there on foot. Instead of taking an elevator, use stairs. You will quickly see that not only your hemorrhoids shrank, but in general you feel better.
If you want to start some more serious workouts, don’t exaggerate as you will only end with an injury. It’s also advisable to ask a personal trainer for some advice so that you know how to exercise so that you won’t get hurt. Remember that exercising in a wrong way or lifting heavy things may make the problem of hemorrhoids even worse. If you do it right, however, physical activity for sure will help you to get rid of hemorrhoids permanently.