Hemorrhoids are swellings that contain enlarged blood vessels found around or inside the anus and rectum. They are also known as piles. Piles can be caused by chronic constipation, poor dietary habits, lack of exercise, and prolonged sitting. Many times, hemorrhoids do not cause symptoms.
However, when symptoms occur, they may include:
- A mucous discharge after having a bowel movement.
- Redness, swelling or soreness around the anus.
- Itchy anus
- Bleeding after a bowel movement.
These symptoms are unpleasant, and this is one of the reasons why you need to have your hemorrhoids treated fast. Getting treatment for piles early will prevent the disorder from affecting your health and quality of life.
If you do not seek treatment for hemorrhoids right away, they may cause a number of complications like:
- Excessive anal bleeding that could lead to anemia.
- Bleeding when having bowel movements.
- Pain when passing stool.
- Difficulty with cleaning the anal area after defecation.
- Being unable to clean the anal area well can cause several infections.
- Feeling itchy or sore around the anal area.
- Gangrene if blood supply to an internal hemorrhoid is cut off. This may lead to extreme pain.
- Being unable to control the passage of fecal matter.
- Anal fistula whereby a new channel is created between the surface of the skin, which is inside the anus and the skin close to the anus.
- A thrombosed pile can rupture in rare cases, leading to more pain and bleeding.
Seeing a doctor when having piles symptoms is also essential because something else, such as a polyp, fissure or even cancer may be causing the symptoms. It is vital to seek medical advice when warning signs like change in bowel habits and bleeding develop. Your doctor can determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are caused by piles or another more serious condition like rectal or colon cancer. When these kinds of cancer are caught early, they can be treated through surgery.
It is possible to treat piles using home remedies or simple medical procedures, depending on the type of hemorrhoid you have and the severity of the symptoms. You can make simple lifestyle and dietary changes to reduce the symptoms of piles. Eating foods rich in fiber can make stools softer and easier to pass.
Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids
- Soak in a warm bath 2 to 3 times every day for 15 to 20 minutes. Sit in warm water that covers your buttocks and hips. A sitz bath helps minimize irritation and itching. After the sitz bath, pat the area gently to prevent further irritation.
- Use ice packs on the affected area to relieve pain and swelling.
- Avoid straining or pushing too hard when passing stool.
- Clean the anal area after passing stool by patting it gently with moistened pads like baby wipes instead of wiping. Do not use dry, hard tissue to pat the area.
- Keep the affected area clean by showering or bathing with warm water every day. Pat the area gently after bathing. You may even dry the area using a hair dryer.
- Sit on cushions instead of hard surfaces to help reduce the swelling or piles and prevent the formation of new ones.
- Take pain-relieving medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin as necessary.
Several over the counter ointments, creams and pads contain witch hazel or hydrocortisone. These medications can relieve the swelling, itching, and pain that hemorrhoids cause. You can use these products for a week and if the symptoms persist, consult with a doctor. The suppositories and creams containing hydrocortisone may cause the skin to get thinner and weaker. Therefore, do not use them for more than seven days.
Medical Procedures for Chronic Hemorrhoids
If you have tried home treatments for hemorrhoids without success, you can undergo medical treatments. To treat internal hemorrhoids, doctors can use several procedures, including rubber band ligation, Sclerotherapy, and infrared coagulation.
In some cases, doctors may recommend surgery to remove hemorrhoids. This surgery is known as hemorrhoidectomy and it is usually performed on less than ten percent of all adult patients who consult a doctor seeking hemorrhoid treatment.
When in need of medical treatment for hemorrhoids, it is critical to visit a clinic that has expertise in treating this condition. Finding such a clinic is not difficult. In fact, the Chennai Laser Gastro Clinic and other specialty hospitals offer pain-free treatment for hemorrhoids.
Various risk factors and complications are associated with hemorrhoids. You should therefore take measures to treat them fast. If you experience hemorrhoid symptoms, try using various home remedies to see if they work. If not, visit a clinic that offers hemorrhoid treatment to deal with the condition.