Hemorrhoid Facts: Symptoms & Treatments
Hemorrhoids can be more than just uncomfortable – they can be downright devastating. By understanding hemorrhoids, their symptoms, and how hemorrhoid treatment works, you may find some relief and regain your peace of mind.
Types of Hemorrhoids, Symptoms & Treatment
Thrombosed hemorrhoid: A hard lump located outside the anus; it will likely cause severe pain and bleeding if scratched or bumped. It feels like a rubber band around the anal area. To treat it, sit in a tub of hot water for half an hour, then apply ice wrapped in a cloth to reduce swelling and pain. If the thrombosed hemorrhoid doesn’t go away on its own within two days, see a doctor.
Internal hemorrhoids are located inside the anus and can be detected only by digital rectal exam (DRE). Symptoms include bleeding, itching, and discomfort. If treatment doesn’t relieve symptoms after one month, surgery may be an option; ask your doctor about rubber band ligation or hemorrhoidopexy.
External hemorrhoids: These hemorrhoids cause pain and discomfort like internal hemorrhoids but will protrude from your anus due to increased pressure in the stool and blood pooling there. To treat external hemorrhoids without surgery:
- Sit in a tub of hot water for half an hour daily until the symptoms subside.
- Apply ice wrapped in cloth after each bowel movement for hemorrhoid pain relief.
- If the hemorrhoids don’t go away on their own within two weeks, see a doctor for hemorrhoid treatment options.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids: These hemorrhoids will start to protrude from your anus and cause bleeding, itching, and discomfort. You could try a nonsurgical hemorrhoid treatment by applying an ice-wrapped cloth after each bowel movement.
Another option is to soak in a tub of hot water followed by an hour of applying ice to shrink the hemorrhoids back into the anal canal. If it doesn’t go away on its own within three days, see a doctor about hemorrhoid treatment options.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Unfortunately, there isn’t one definite reason why hemorrhoids develop. Some hemorrhoid causes include:
Pregnancy: Progesterone increases during pregnancy, which may cause hemorrhoids to develop. Hemorrhoids are more likely to occur during the last trimester of pregnancy due to straining from pushing and hemorrhoidal veins being swollen from increased blood pressure and body weight.
Aging: As you age, your muscle tone decreases, and there is less support for your organs, so they tend to sag (like a full diaper); this can put added pressure on delicate hemorrhoidal veins, causing them to bulge like varicose veins. To avoid this issue with hemorrhoids, try to maintain an optimal weight; consider taking fiber supplements or stool softeners if you have a history of hemorrhoids.
Lifestyle habits: Sitting, standing, and heavy lifting for prolonged periods may increase your risk of hemorrhoids due to the additional pressure they cause on hemorrhoidal veins. To prevent hemorrhoids, try taking frequent breaks from sitting or standing to improve blood flow in the affected area; you can also take stool softeners if you have a history of hemorrhoid symptoms.
Diet: Certain foods can predispose you to hemorrhoid symptoms. For example, prunes, raisins, and nuts contain high fiber levels, leading to constipation and straining during bowel movements, putting increased pressure on hemorrhoidal veins. Overeating red meat contributes to hemorrhoid symptoms. To treat hemorrhoids, eat plenty of fiber and drink plenty of water to keep your stool soft and avoid straining during bowel movements.
Quality of the toilet paper: If you wipe yourself with scratchy or rougher toilet paper, it can irritate hemorrhoidal skin and lead to hemorrhoid symptoms. Try using softer tissue products such as wet wipes if you have hemorrhoids, reducing irritation and increasing comfort after bowel movements. You may even want to doctor further and put hemorrhoid cream on hemorrhoids.
When Should I See a Doctor About Hemorrhoids?
Speak to a doctor about hemorrhoid treatment options if you experience any of these symptoms:
– Bleeding associated with bowel movements
– Intense pain that doesn’t resolve within three days
– Prolapsed hemorrhoids that won’t shrink back into the anal canal
– A lump surrounding your anus that is growing in size
– Chronic constipation or diarrhea
Ask your doctor about HemWell, an FDA-approved, perminiate treatment. 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.