Hemorrhoids are veins in the anus that have become swollen and inflamed, bulging uncomfortably. They can occur internally, or externally, and can be very uncomfortable for sufferers. They are most often caused by straining to pass a bowel movement, but any activity that puts pressure on the veins, such as prolonged sitting on a toilet or even pregnancy, can trigger them.
Many people wish to treat hemorrhoids at home since they may be embarrassed discussing them with their doctor, and, as long as there is no severe bleeding or infection associated with the hemorrhoids, can be easily done.
There are several options available to treat hemorrhoids at home, and possibly avoid seeing the doctor at all for the problem. Treat hemorrhoids at home with a soothing soak in the tub or in a sitz bath to instantly relieve itching and discomfort. Use warm, plain water several times per day to help reduce swelling and inflammation.
Over the counter creams also treat hemorrhoids at home by numbing the irritated area. Look for creams containing witch hazel, a naturally soothing astringent. Avoid ones containing alcohol since this can cause burning and further irritation. Keep the area around the anus clean with daily bathing, and apply the creams several times per day.
Many people treat hemorrhoids at home with anti-inflammatory tablets such as those containing acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These can also reduce pain as well as swelling, and can offer longer lasting relief. All of these methods to treat hemorrhoids at home should provide relief within a few days, provided there are no other underlying problems.
Avoid prolonged use of these, however, since they can irritate the stomach. If hemorrhoids don’t improve after one week, or if there is severe bleeding associated with hemorrhoids, a doctor may need to be consulted.
Although hemorrhoids are uncomfortable, they do not pose a major health risk, and many hemorrhoids can be avoided. Consuming lots of fiber and drinking plenty of water will help avoid constipation, which is a known cause of hemorrhoids. Avoid straining while on the toilet, and avoid spending too much time sitting on the toilet to decrease pressure placed on the veins of the anus.
Prolonged standing or sitting can also place pressure on the anus, and should be avoided if there is already a tendency to develop hemorrhoids. Regular exercise can also help prevent hemorrhoids from developing. For many people, preventing hemorrhoids is much easier than trying to treat hemorrhoids at home, and is a much preferable option.
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