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Pitfalls Of Home Treatment For Hemorrhoids

Updated on July 29, 2008

You may be making things worse

When symptoms such as pain, rectal discomfort, burning and itching occur, many sufferers go for home remedies. The more popular remedies are fiber supplements, exercise, sitz bath, compresses and ice packs. We shall look at each of these in turn.

The pitfall above all is substituting a diagnosis with home remedies. Even though the symptoms of hemorrhoids are often obvious, they do overlap considerably with symptoms of anal fissure, anal fistula, inflammatory bowel diseases and even bowel cancers. If your anal condition has not previously received medial attention, a consultation with a physician is required. Medical review is also essential if your last assessment has been more than a couple of months ago and you are still symptomatic.

Fiber supplements

Fiber high foods help to prevent constipation but can cause problems if you overdo it. The main problems are bloatedness in the abdomen and excessive flatus. The folllowing foods are usually helpful if taken in moderation:

• Bran and bran cereals - they need to be introduced slowly into the diet because otherwise, they can cause stomach discomfort.

• Dark berry juices - made from cherries, blueberries and blackberries. If taken excessively, the high sugar content can tip some sufferer's blood sugar level overboard.

• Cantaloupe - contains fiber, minerals and vitamins.

• Papaya - it is a rich source of fiber and helps digestion.

• Red and black currants - they also contain rutin which helps to alleviate pain and discomfort in the rectal area.

• Bananas - they are high in fiber and can be eaten steamed. Some advocates suggest that four bananas can be taken daily to help treat hemorrhoids. This is to be discouraged as bananas are high in potassium content. Four bananas a day can cause excessive potassium load in individuals with restricted kidney function reserve. This can cause high blood potassium level (hyperkalaemia) which is a very dangerous condition associated with irregular heart rhythm and even collapse.


Physical activity is generally advocated for people suffering from hemorrhoids. Where there is no doubt that exercise is helpful for cardiovascular system and irritable bowel syndrome, there is no evidence to support its benefit in hemorrhoid sufferers. Trying to maintain your exercise regime during a flare-up hemorrhoid symptoms is mentioned to be condemned. It just doesn't make sense to give yourself more pain, does it? "No pain, no gain" doesn't apply here.

Sitz baths

Many advocate the use of warm water and soak the rectal area in the tub for no more than 15 minutes two to three times daily for three weeks. A few problems arise here. Firstly, the water should in fact be only luke warm, like the temperature of a heated swimming pool, rather than the temperature of a hot bath or a hot spring. Otherwise, more swelling will result from dilatation of blood vessels. Also, be extremely careful when you dry the affected area afterwards. The condition is often worsened if rough material is used for drying the anus. Use a soft cotton towel to remove wetness from the anus, with utmost gentleness and cause to avoid causing abrasion and bleeding.

Compresses and ice packs

Compresses saturated in pomegranate juice and ice packs to be applied to the anus, are often advocated for symptomatic relief. Even though soothing is achieved at the time, more swelling and delayed resolution of the swelling often follow. Don't do it.s from the freezer and wrap them in soft cotton cloth. Apply the ice pack on the affected area and withdraw it alternately. This way you can alleviate the hemorrhoidal pain significantly and to reduce swelling and rectal discomfort to a great degree.

With recent advances in medications, primary care physicians can achieve speedy symptomatic relief for most hemorrhoid sufferers. They are also able to spot the conditions which require early specialist referrals. Most of the time, there is really no advantage for sufferers to try to manage their own hemorrhoids with home remedies.

Dr Benson Yeung's related hub: What Can Go Wrong With Banding Of Hemorrhoids


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    • Benson Yeung profile imageAUTHOR

      Benson Yeung 

      7 years ago from Hong Kong

      hi tnvrstar,

      thanks for the link and your comment.

    • tnvrstar profile image


      7 years ago from doha, qatar

      Hey benson great hub, i really appreciate your work helping people to get rid of hemorrhoids. I have also found many hemorrhoids patience who are suffering from this kind of problems. Voted up and useful.

      I also have found a blog which is useful for home treatment of hemorrhoids

    • Benson Yeung profile imageAUTHOR

      Benson Yeung 

      8 years ago from Hong Kong

      hi ashakhan,

      thanks for dropping by.

    • ashakhan profile image


      8 years ago from india

      nice info docs

    • Benson Yeung profile imageAUTHOR

      Benson Yeung 

      9 years ago from Hong Kong

      Hi RNMSN,

      Thanks for commenting.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 

      9 years ago from Tucson, Az

      I hve had a lot of patients wih hemorrhoids...seems as if the one thing that gives any relief is prep h as long as the last ingredient is 0.3% sharks liver oil...however I also add as my patient instruction info on constipation, ways to manage and prevent, water, hygiene, handwashing, avoid trauma(many of my little old ladies will claw until they bleed)and to see their physician of course if it persists or complications such as boils/excessive bleeding occur. And of course, doing med-surg/geriatric nursing a lot of them sit a LOT of the time. And it seems no matter how large or small the hemorrhoid the discomfort is severe for all of them! I wish there were a magic "ease"... they don't call them "piles" for nothing, eh?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I use Hem-eez for my Hemorrhoids. As a loooong time sufferer I have done it all. Since the vessels become weak and burst, i decided to learn more abot the vessels and the way to make them stronger. Hemeez works for me everytime they pop back up. I guess i could take it everyday... but the last episode happened nearly 6 months ago. Good luck

    • Sterling Sage profile image

      Sterling Sage 

      10 years ago from California

      Some good tips here, but I have to disagree with your conclusion that "Most of the time, there is really no advantage for sufferers to try to manage their own hemorrhoids with home remedies."  being examined by a doctor is expensive, regardless of the fact that an insurance company may cover most of the cost.

      If someone has good reason to know that what they have is a hemorrhoid, it seems to me that they should just take some simple steps to make it feel better.

      I do believe that people sometimes mistake more serious conditions for hemorrhoids.  It makes sense to learn what to look for and visit a doctor if it's warranted, but I think it would be overkill for everyone with a hemorrhoid to go to a doctor to have it examined.

      The flu, and even the common cold, have symptoms similar to some very dangerous conditions, but we wouldn't want everyone with cold symptoms to go to a doctor right away.

      Just My two cents.


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