Internal hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins found in the anus and lower rectum. It is usually caused by constipation and worsens by straining during bowel movement. They do not usually cause pain but can lead to bleeding during bowel movement.
Sometimes, the internal hemorrhoids prolapse or protrude outside of the anus and can be seen or felt as moist pads of skin that looks pinker than the surrounding skin and can be gently pushed back into place.
- Bleeding during bowel movements
- Burning sensation in the affected area
- Rectal discomfort
Causes of hemorrhoids
- Straining on the toilet
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time
- Eating a low-fiber diet
- Coughing and sneezing
- Holding the breath while straining in performing physical labor
- Drink plenty of water which is needed to prevent constipation that increase the risk for internal hemorrhoids. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages and alcohol to prevent dehydration and cause constipation.
- Eat fiber-rich foods for easy bowel movement. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and whole grains to increase the daily intake of fiber.
- Keep the affected area clean by wiping it with cotton balls soaked in witch hazel to lessen the symptoms of internal hemorrhoids.
- Apply hydrocortisone cream, aloe vera gel or a commercial hemorrhoid cream on the rectal area.
- Take the prescribed pain medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin to lessen the pain and discomfort.
- When sitting, place a pillow on the chair to lessen the pain on the affected area.
- Perform regular exercises regularly such as walking or biking to stimulate the digestive system and prevent constipation.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements to prevent further damage and worsen the condition. Avoid sitting for long periods on the toilet, instead of sitting it is recommended to squat for easy passing out of bowel without straining.
- Fill a tub with warm water and add a cup of Epsom salt. Mix well until salt is totally dissolved. Soak in the tub for at least 15-20 minutes. The Epsom salts clean and relaxes the itchy and inflamed tissue. Repeat this as often as possible.
- Insert a suppository inside the anus to reduce the size of internal hemorrhoids by giving medicine at the base of the hemorrhoids in the rectum.
- Sit on a cushion, if sitting on a hard surface for long periods of time to prevent pain. Another alternative is using a doughnut pillow.