Hemorrhoids which are also known as piles are swelling veins that are found in the anus and rectum that bleeds, burns and cause itchiness. There are internal and external hemorrhoids, but normally it is the external type that causes the symptoms. Hemorrhoids are caused by pressure on the veins that is due to excessive sitting, pregnancy and straining during bowel movement and also lifting heavy equipment, acute coughing and diarrhea. The veins found around the anus can stretch when pressure is applied and can bulge and swell.
Causes of hemorrhoids
- Sitting for long hours on the toilet
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Straining during bowel movements
- Being over weight
- Anal intercourse
- Diet that is low in fiber
Symptoms of hemorrhoids
- There is swelling around the anus
- There is painless bleeding during bowel movements
- There is pain and discomfort, itching or irritation in the anal area
- Presence of lump found near the anus which is very sensitive and painful
- Feces are leaking
Treatment and home remedies
- The individual should soak in a warm bath at least 15-20 minutes at 3-4 times every day in order to lessen the itching and burning sensation caused by hemorrhoids. Avoid adding any bath products to the water.
- Pat the anus gently using white paper towel that is moistened with water or a cleansing agent such as Balneol after a bowel movement. Baby wipes and other pre-moistened towels such as Tucks or Preparation H can also be used for the affected area.
- Avoid rubbing the affected area. Simply rinse off in a shower or on a bidet instead of wiping using a toilet paper, then gently pat the anal area dry using a soft absorbent towel or cloth.
- Use soaps that do not contain any perfumes or dyes.
- Place a sterilized ice pack on severely inflamed hemorrhoids several times every day for 15 minutes at a time, then follow this by placing a warm compress on the affected area for another 10-20 minutes since it helps in minimizing the swelling and lessen the burning sensation that can be felt.
- Keep the affected area as dry as possible, sprinkle cornstarch or hypoallergenic fragrance-free baby powder on the anal area since it helps in absorbing moisture.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen since they help relieve the discomfort caused by the hemorrhoids.
- Eat foods high that are high in fiber. These foods help in making the stool soft in order to avoid constipation as well as avoid soda, citrus foods, alcohol and caffeine.
- Take a Sitz bath after a bowel movement. Soak in the bath for 15 minutes at a time. Just be careful if the water is very warm since it can burn the affected area.
- Wear underwear that is made out of cotton in order to prevent the buildup of moisture that can irritate hemorrhoids.