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Hemorrhoids, How Do You Get Relief?

Man suffering from external hemorrhoids, anal pain on gray background

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are a very common problem in people today. Symptoms affect up to half of all adults at some point in their lives. It is estimated that symptoms affect over 5 million Americans each year, and it costs around $2 billion annually in treatments. Severe hemorrhoids can be extremely uncomfortable and painful if they become too irritated or swollen.

Hemorrhoids are pretty common, affecting up to half of all adults at some point in their lives; symptoms tend to worsen with age as you naturally develop more pressure inside your pelvic area over time. When piles become irritated, they begin to chafe against your clothing and cause additional swelling and pain. This added pressure on tissues may irritate your skin as well, leading to itching and symptoms like bleeding.

What are hemorrhoid symptoms?

Symptoms include rectal bleeding, itching, and pain, though they vary from person to person. Many people experience symptoms without ever realizing it’s a sign of hemorrhoidal disease. If you notice blood on your toilet paper after using the bathroom or feel like your stool is “too large” and hard to pass, both could be signs of piles, particularly if they continue or become worse over time. Leg swelling, pain during bowel movements, and itchiness around the anus can all be symptoms.

What causes hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure inside the veins in your rectum. Your hemorrhoidal veins stretch under this increased pressure until they swell and become inflamed. Blood flow from your hemorrhoidal tissue may also be blocked, causing clots to form inside the tissue itself.

Why do hemorrhoids itch?

Symptoms, particularly itching, can be incredibly uncomfortable and even painful for people who suffer from them. One of the most common symptoms is itching around the anus and the rectal area. When piles become irritated, they may chafe against your clothing and cause additional discomfort and itchiness. This added pressure on the inflamed hemorrhoidal tissue may also irritate your skin, causing it to itch as well.

How do you stop hemorrhoids from itching?

There are a few different ways for how to stop them from itching. You should first avoid irritating your piles by gently wiping yourself with moist wipes (moistened with either water or witch hazel) after bathroom visits. Avoid wearing tight clothes around your hemorrhoids and avoid sitting for long periods if possible, as piles tend to swell when under pressure.

For additional itching relief, you can use ointments after each bathroom visit to soothe the area and help relieve the itching. Talk with your doctor before using any treatment, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

You could also try over-the-counter creams that contain hydrocortisone to reduce swelling and relieve itching. However, if your pain is caused by swelling in the veins, these treatments may not do much for your symptoms. Some sufferers have even reported that pain relief surgery has helped their symptoms.

What are the types of hemorrhoid swelling?

Swelling can be divided up into four grades: grade I, II, III, and IV. In general, the higher the number, the more severe the disease becomes. For example, grade II disease is less severe than grade III.

Grade I – no visible signs of internal or external hemorrhoids

Most people who struggle in their day-to-day lives with piles have swelling that falls under grade I. This stage is characterized by swelling around the anus, but usually with no symptoms such as bleeding or itchiness. 

Grade II – visible signs of internal hemorrhoids, no external hemorrhoids

Symptoms will begin to appear in grade II. However, they are somewhat minor and can include things like small bulging veins around the anus and rectal bleeding when wiping after a bowel movement.

Grade III – both internal and external hemorrhoids present

In grade III, visible (both internal and external piles) will appear along with symptoms like bleeding and itching. At this point, piles can be quite painful, and most sufferers struggle to sit down or walk around without discomfort.

Grade IV – severe external and internal hemorrhoid swelling

In grade IV, visible external and internal piles become even more enlarged and protrude through the anus.

Ask your doctor about HemWell, an FDA-approved, pain-free treatment that’s permanent. If your provider doesn’t offer HemWell, we can assist you in finding one that does. Please visit our website to learn more about this life-changing treatment. Learn more about hemorrhoids.