- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How Do You Get Rid of Hemorrhoids?
I have had problems with hemorrhoids since I was a kid. The reason why is because I've always had problems with my digestive system, often getting constipated and sometimes having bouts of diarrhea. Being irregular is one of the causes of hemorrhoids.
I would feel ashamed to admit all this, except I'm not superficial or silly. The problem is a medical problem like headaches and rashes; except that it occurs in a body part that is unmentionable, so we generally feel embarrassed talking about it.
But we have to deal with it nonetheless. In fact, 10 million Americans have to deal with it, so I know I'm not alone.
The purpose of this article is to give to the reader ways that I have dealt with hemorrhoids and also to give some of the other solutions that are available too.
What Are Hemorrhoids and What Causes Them
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the rectum and along the anus that cause pain, itching and bleeding. Needless to say, they are painful for the sufferer.
Pregnant women often get hemorrhoids because of the pressure they experience in the area where the hemorrhoids are located. Constipation can cause hemorrhoids too, due to the tendency to force bowel movements and the pressure and irritation caused from this condition. Poor diet, which causes digestive problems, can cause hemorrhoids; a diet with a lot of red meat and not much fiber, for instance. Activity that can cause trauma or irritation to the hind quarters, let's say, can cause hemorrhoids.
So, it would be correct to say, whatever gets rid of these causes, if that's possible, can alleviate the problem. There are other ways to alleviate the problem too, however.
We will explore these remedies.
Which remedies do you prefer to alleviate hemorrhoids?
What I have done about hemorrhoids
There are certain measures I've taken to deal with this problem once it flares up and to keep the problem at bay too.
- Diet. This is a preventative measure. I try to eat more fiber and less red meat. This means eating more whole grains and vegetables. I eat oatmeal for breakfast. If I eat a sandwich I include lettuce and tomato on the sandwich. I eat vegetables with my dinner. This has kept me regular most of the time.
- Don't force bowel movements. Forcing a bowel movement when you are constipated will aggravate hemorrhoids.
- Use Preparation H suppositories and ointment. This has been the best product I've ever used for this problem. The suppositories are good because they reduce internal swelling and also come out onto external hemorrhoids too. It's important though, to make sure there is really going to be unbearable and prolonged inflammation if you use this product, otherwise you are unnecessarily irritating the region and could actually cause more of a problem. There are "false alarms" sometimes. I also find using the ointment and suppositories together very effective, especially when there is a painful flare-up of both internal and external hemorrhoids. What I do is coat the outer hemorrhoids with the ointment, then cover the suppository with the ointment and insert it. This eases insertion plus adds more medication to the affected area. With a particularly painful and persistent flare-up, I've found using the ointment on the external hemorrhoids, plus using the applicator (which you attach to the tube of ointment and insert to apply internally) works rather effectively. In fact, if the flare-up is bad enough, I've applied the ointment this way five times a day until the hemorrhoids shrink; this was suggested by my doctor. You lubricate the area with the ointment externally, then lubricate the applicator with the ointment, attach it to the Prep H tube, insert and squeeze the tube. Wash the applicator thoroughly afterward (this can take some time because there's ointment inside and outside of it). Basically, products like Prep H reduce swelling and lubricate the area so it's less irritated.
- Use Ibuprophen, aspirin or Tylenol. I've found these over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories to be effective in reducing the swelling and pain of hemorrhoids.
- Ice pack. Ice and cold reduces swelling and alleviates pain. Sitting on a very cold ice pack is very effective, believe me.
- Exercise. Keeping the body warm and active, the air and blood circulating, does wonders for your body and the internal organs, including your digestive system. I've found I rarely, if ever, have flare-ups when I'm very active and partake in aerobic exercise of some kind: Even just regular walks.
- Keeping the area clean. This, of course, means regular bathing/showering, which is a bit of a no-brainer, but it's worth mentioning because it's important. It is also good to keep the area clean between bowel movements by using baby wipes or the equivalent or wet toilet paper. Be careful with this, you don't want particles of the paper in there that could add to irritation. Basically fecal matter in the area could aggravate the problem. Keep it clean.
- Drink plenty of water. Water is good for you anyway and you need it. It also softens bowel movements.
So, those are the methods I've used to alleviate hemorrhoids. I rarely get them now and when I do I am able to alleviate them quickly.
Other Ways to Treat Hemorrhoids
These methods I have not found to be particularly effective but they are often suggested and not everyone is me so they might work for different people.
- Laxatives. There are various laxatives on the market that will help you with bowel movements if you are constipated so will relieve the strain on hemorrhoids too. I don't personally use this method because I find it disrupts my already weak digestive system. However, I'm sure it works for some people.
- Fiber supplements. So, there are supplements of sorts you can buy that have fiber and aid in the digestive process. Metamucil comes to mind, I used to give it to a client I took care of who had quadriplegia; it worked for him. It's basically some soft grains that have fiber and you can eat them or put them in a drink.The active ingredient is Psyllium Seed Husks.
- Vitamin E oil. With this method, you take a Vitamin E capsule and puncture a hole in it and then press it on the affected area and squeeze the oil out.
- Triphala. This is an Ayurvedic herbal remedy. The active ingredients are a bit of a mystery but it is said to be effective against hemorrhoids.
- Witch Hazel. This is a natural remedy said to be effective. One way it is used is by saturating baby wipes with it and applying it to the affected area with a baby wipe.
- Salt bath. I can tell you personally, this method has never worked for me at all. When I was 12 years old, I remember trying this to no avail. However, as I've said, it might work for you even if it never worked for me. Basically you make a salt bath by filling the tub and putting some epsom salt in it. Lie in the tub for a good 30 minutes. This is supposed to soothe you and shrink hemorrhoids.
How to Get Rid of Hemorrhoids
Eat more fiber and less red meat. Drink plenty of water
Over the counter pain relievers and Preparation H
Do aerobic exercise to keep body regulated and air and blood circulation going
Witch Hazel, Epsom Salt, Triphala, et al
Interesting Discussion from a Doctor about Hemorrhoids
So, for me, personally, it's been effective to eat plenty of fibrous foods and drink enough water, in addition to getting regular aerobic activity to keep my circulatory system healthy, and to use over the counter remedies like Preparation H and Ibuprofen, to alleviate hemorrhoid flare-ups and also to mostly keep the problem at bay.
There are other options that might be more effective for you and I've presented some of them here. We're all different, you have to pay attention to your own body.