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4 Ways to Ease Hemorrhoids at Home

October 17, 2023

Hemorrhoids are the kind of condition that no wants to admit having and everyone wishes could just disappear. But are there ways to treat hemorrhoids at home that can ease your symptoms and make you almost forget they’re there?

Here’s what a colorectal surgeon had to say.

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Hemorrhoids are often the result of constipation or straining to move your bowels.

When the normal blood cushions lining the anal canal swell, either because you’re constipated or strain to move your bowels, they become symptomatic hemorrhoids, according to Michael Hernon, MD, a colorectal surgeon with the Hartford HealthCare Digestive Health Institute seeing patients in Hartford, Bloomfield and Enfield.

“These are normal anatomical blood cushions, so they don’t appear as a result of something and they never go away. We know they’re there when they swell, bleed or expel themselves from the anus,” he explains, adding they can impact people of all ages.

> Related: I Have Blood in My Stools – Should I See a Doctor?

When hemorrhoids slip outside the body, they’re extra painful.

All hemorrhoids start inside the body. Some stay there and bleed when irritated, Dr. Hernon notes. Others can slip out of the anus and remain outside the body.

“Those can be felt while wiping the area but are only symptomatic when they become thrombosed, which means they fill up with a blood clot. Then, they are quite swollen, tense and painful,” he says.

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Common triggers of hemorrhoid symptoms.

In addition to straining when you move your bowels, hemorrhoid flares can be triggered by several factors you can control, including:

  • Waiting too long to go to the bathroom.
  • Sitting for too long. Try getting up periodically to increase circulation throughout the body.
  • Sitting on hard surfaces.
  • Standing for too long. Shift positions or take a short walk if possible.

Being overweight – and pregnancy – can also put strain on the lower abdomen and anal area and can cause hemorrhoids, Dr. Hernon says.

4 ways to ease a hemorrhoid flare-up.

Because hemorrhoids worsened by pressure when going to the bathroom, the best way to avoid flares is to maintain bowel regularity, Dr. Hernon says.

This can include:

  1. Following a high-fiber diet
  2. Taking a fiber supplement
  3. Drinking plenty of water
  4. Using a steroid ointment or suppository to ease the pain

“Fiber seems to keep hemorrhoids dormant and prevent symptoms. Unfortunately, bowel habit changes like constipation or diarrhea can irritate them,” he says.

When to see a doctor.

If your hemorrhoids flare frequently or you regularly see blood in your stool, he suggests seeing a colorectal surgeon. Some external hemorrhoids can be removed in the surgeon’s office, while severe internal ones can be banded to prevent them from filling.

“This is the last resort because they can be difficult procedures to recover with significant pain and discomfort for several weeks. It is, however, the only durable fix for internal/external hemorrhoids over the long term,” he says.

Connect with a digestive health specialist

Hartford HealthCare’s Digestive Health Institute is a comprehensive resource for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a full range of gastrointestinal disorders.

Visit website Call Call 833-2DIGEST