Hemorrhoids are simply swollen veins in the anal canal, while it can appear serious they are a common irritant for many. “Veins can swell inside the anal canal to form internal hemorrhoids. Or they can swell near the opening of the anus to form external hemorrhoids”(“External and Internal.” n.d.). With a normal bowel movement, the tissue inside of the anus fills with blood. While there are many reasons hemorrhoids are caused one of the main reasons happens when you still on the toilet, and strain those muscles for too long, the increased pressure causes the tissue to stretch and swell which ultimately causes the hemorrhoids. Women who are pregnant can develop hemorrhoids in the last six months of pregnancy due to the pressure put on the pelvic region. Lastly, being overweight can trigger the onset of developing hemorrhoids.
There are two types of hemorrhoids to be cautious of, internal and external. With internal hemorrhoids, you will notice red streaks of blood on the toilet paper or the tip of your stool. Your bowel movements will be painful, and may the surrounding area may itch. Internal hemorrhoids are small swollen veins on the inside of the anus. External hemorrhoids occur when there is a blood clot under the skin causing a hard painful lump. The symptoms for both internal and external are the same (“External and Internal.” n.d.).
There are some at home remedies you can take advantage of to help alleviate the pain caused from hemorrhoids.
Tips to Alleviate Hemorrhoid Discomfort
- Warm Baths: Sitting in a warm bath for 20 minutes may help decrease the inflammation caused from hemorrhoids. Make sure to completely dry off the anal area after each bath to ensure irritation does not occur (Wedro, 2015).
- Add Fiber: Adding fiber to your diet will help your bowel movements, and decrease the risk of constipation. Constipation puts unwanted pressure on the veins in the anus creating discomfort. (Wedro, 2015).
- Keep Moving: Individuals who have discomfort from hemorrhoids should not stay sitting for long periods of time. With exercise, your metabolism gets going which causes bowel movements. When the urge to have a bowel movement comes, patients with hemorrhoids are advised to go right away. If the urge passes, constipation can occur, creating more pressure on the affected area (Wedro, 2015). Also, consider reviewing the benefits of squatting when having a bowel movement to ensure best form to eliminate. This can make a big difference in minimizing pressure on the surrounding tissues!
- Ice: Because the veins are swollen, ice is important to keep the swelling at a minimum. Apply an ice pack to the affected area for 10 minutes, and repeat several times a day until comfort comes back. (“Home Remedies, 2013).
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is one of nature's most soothing remedies. With its anti-inflammatory properties it helps reduce the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids. To use, apply a small amount of aloe vera to the anus and massage it in gently. Aloe Vera can be applied to both internal and external hemorrhoids (“Home Remedies, 2013).
- Almond Oil: Almond oil is best known for its absorbent rates into deep tissues. It is a great remedy to tackle the affected area at its core. “Dip a cotton ball in pure almond oil and apply it on the affected area. It moisturizes and eases inflammation, and will relieve the burning and itching sensation in and around the anus” (“Home Remedies, 2013).
- Olive Oil: (External Hemorrhoids) Olive oil has natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to help decrease inflammation of the swollen blood vessels. You can apply olive oil directly to the external hemorrhoid, or you can ingest at least one teaspoon daily (“Home Remedies, 2013). Be careful of ingesting this however if you have any signs or symptoms of potential gallstones, as such consumption can cause them to move and/or be expelled, which could be very painful.
- Witch Hazel: Witch Hazel has astringent properties known to help fight inflammation. You can dip a cotton ball in distilled witch hazel and apply to hemorrhoids to alleviate the pain (“Home Remedies, 2013).
- Rutin: This is a complex sugar found in oranges, lemon, cranberries, and grapefruit. “It strengthens the linings of blood vessels throughout the body, reducing bleeding and preventing collapse.” The Supplement is sold at health food stores and can be taken daily (“Rutin Benefits”,n.d.).
- Water: The last and most overlooked remedy is to drink plenty of water! It cleanses your internal system, and will naturally help soften stools (Barrett, 2013).
There are many simple and affordable remedies out there to help battle the pains of having hemorrhoids. Although hemorrhoids are common, if you are experiencing bloody stools, and severe stomach pain it could result in something more serious. Contact your doctor if these home remedies do not alleviate the pain, as they may prescribe you creams, or antibiotics, or suggest further examination to rule out anything more serious like a polyp, ulcerative colitis, IBS, or Crohn’s disease.
Hemorrhoids: External and Internal Hemorrhoids Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2015, from https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/hemorrhoids-topic-overview
Wedro M.D., B. (2015, February 26). Hemorrhoids Causes, Symptoms, Treatment – Hemorrhoid Home Remedies – eMedicineHealth (B. Anand, Ed.). Retrieved December 4, 2015, from https://www.emedicinehealth.com/hemorrhoids/page6_em.htm#hemorrhoid
Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids (Piles) | Top 10 Home Remedies. (2013, December 18). Retrieved December 4, 2015, from https://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-hemorrhoids-piles.html