Causes and Simple Treatments for Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are the normal veins around the human anus, but commonly the word refers to when those vessels become swollen and bulging. Usually this comes with various discomforts such as itching or pain, made worse by defecation and wiping. They may bleed a bit. No fun!

Treatments for Hemorrhoids

The hemorrhoidal veins are sensitive to pressure of any sort: straining to defecate, pushing to deliver a baby, even just being pregnant or carrying around one’s own extra weight can all cause the hemorrhoids to gradually – or suddenly – “pop out.”

Immediate treatment

Clean the area well, with at least moist wipes, if not a quick shower followed by careful drying around the anus – meaning to use more of a patting motion with the towel, not wiping. It need not be perfectly dry. Now lubricate, to lessen friction when walking, or sometimes felt even just sitting. Any petroleum jelly (‘Vaseline’™) will work, including medicated varieties or those with added vitamins. Finally, as needed: Sit on an ice pack, with clothing or a towel, centered on the area of discomfort. Don’t make it any colder than you find comfortable. Alternatively, many find warmth more soothing. Sitting in a tub of warm water works wonders for some folks, especially when followed by the routine described above.

While hemorrhoids are still present

Continue using moist wipes after bowel movements and applying something lubricating. Some find creams made specifically for hemorrhoids are not quite as lubricating as petroleum jelly products, but they are sufficient for others. If not, there is no harm in using them both. Hemorrhoid creams contain hydrocortisone as their active ingredient, typically at 1% concentration.

Note that the same thing is sold generically, simply as just Hydrocortisone, plus various branded names emphasizing the ‘corti’ part of the word. The packaging stresses the anti-itching properties, such as for rashes and insect bites. As with many over-the-counter remedies, the differences between generic hydrocortisone and special ‘Preparations’ are primarily in the packaging, plus – not insignificantly at times – any placebo effect the packaging (and resulting expectations) bring about!

Hydrocortisone Molecule

Ongoing healing and prevention

Diet can have a huge effect on the condition of one’s hemorrhoids. Avoid anything known to be constipating for you, and generally eat more fruits and vegetables. Look at the nutrition labels of foods and choose those having more fiber. Drink plenty of water or other liquids.

All these things aim to soften a person’s stool, lessening the need to strain. A stool softener or various commercial fiber mixes can be used to augment diet. Laxatives, however, should generally not be used – especially the kind bringing rapid, rather explosive results – because they basically prompt the colon and rectum to force out the feces, which still stresses the hemorrhoids. Whatever the conditions down there, do not sit longer than you need to on the toilet – no reading! Toilet sitting is basically a squatting position that automatically stretches and stresses the veins, at least somewhat. The older one gets, the more easily this happens, unless you follow the last tip.

Lastly and importantly

Remember that a bowel movement is not just about your bowels, but movement – something people aren’t getting enough of these days! At the very least get out for a good walk every day. ‘Good walk’ ideally means more than three minutes and more than a leisurely stroll, even if on some days that’s all we do. Exercise need not be complicated or involve equipment. Walk up and down stairs more, especially if it’s only one or two flights. Of course, sitting down jobs are very common for people, yet just standing up a couple minutes every hour helps. You’ll stay more awake as well. Take a five or ten minute walk at lunchtime. Stay active! Along with good diet, activity and exercise help all your body’s tissues – especially our blood vessels, such as hemorrhoids – retain their strength and flexibility.

Just remember: eat well, clean well, and don’t sit around too much if you can help it, including in the bathroom! is a portal through which individuals seeking a traditional or virtual colonoscopy can directly interact with gastroenterologists and find specialists located near them.