Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus and lower part of the rectum. This condition is common among adults but is treatable and preventable.
Who are the people more likely to develop hemorrhoids?
Adults 50 years old and above
Persons with chronic diarrhea
Persons with Chronic Constipation
People who are obese
Those who engage in anal intercourse
People who sit for a long time
Those not eating enough fibre
People who are straining to have bowel movements
Hemorrhoids, also called piles, manifest in two types.
External hemorrhoids. These are swollen veins that can be seen under the skin around the anus. Symptoms include pain or itch around the anus, bleeding and discomfort.
Internal hemorrhoids. These develop inside the rectum and therefore does not affect the skin. The first symptom that you might notice is the presence of small amounts of blood on the stool or on the anus after a bowel movement.
Bleeding is often painless because there are fewer pain-sensing nerves inside the rectum. However, internal hemorrhoids may protrude or prolapse to the anus. This can be painful and irritating.
Most cases of hemorrhoids go unnoticed and clear on their own. However, there are simple treatment options for when you find yourself suffering from pain and discomfort.
Apply witch hazel extract. It is usually available in liquid form and can be directly applied to the skin. It helps reduce inflammation and relieve skin irritation and itching.
Use pure aloe vera gel. It has glycoproteins and polysaccharides that help reduce pain and inflammation. Put the aloe vera gel directly and gently onto the hemorrhoids and wait for its soothing effect.
Apply ointments. If you are allergic to aloe vera, you may use other topical ointments. Just ask your local pharmacist for the best hemorrhoids cream available.
Take OTC suppositories. These are a combination of oil or cream and medicine that is inserted directly into the rectum.
Use a sitz bath. This is a plastic tub that can fit over a toilet seat. Fill it with warm water, add Epsom salt, and sit for 15-20 minutes after a bowel movement. This will help relieve the pain in the area.
Put cold compress. Apply an ice pack or cold compress for at least 15 minutes to help relieve the swelling. Make sure to wrap the ice in cloth before applying it on the skin.
Eat more fibres. Foods that are high in fibre soften the stool, making it easier for the person to pass stool. Fruits like bananas, apples, strawberries, and pears are rich in fibre. Drinking water and other fruit juices may also help soften the stool.
As you may notice, most of the external hemorrhoid treatment options above can already be found sitting at your home. These work best for mild cases of hemorrhoid. In case you need to purchase some products or over-the-counter medication, visit St Helier's Pharmacy in Auckland.
If symptoms continue to persist and the condition looks serious, visit a doctor immediately to get a more advanced hemorrhoids treatment.