Home Remedies For Hemorrhoids (Pile)Reading Time: 5 minutes
What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, also known as pile, are enlarged veins in the lowest part of the rectum and anus, similar to varicose veins of the legs. Some of the symptoms include pain, itching, bleeding and sometime protrusion of the anus. They are often recurrent.
There are 2 kinds of hemorrhoids, internal and external.
- Internal hemorrhoids affect the lower rectum and are often painless, sometimes the only indication of its presence may be bleeding seen on toilet paper or blood dripping into the toilet bowl. They may prolapse, extending beyond the anus. Feces and mucus may collect around the prolapsed part and cause local irritation. Studies show that people that eat low fiber diet and do not take enough water are more likely to experience internal hemorrhoids.
- External hemorrhoids develop under the skin around the anus. They are usually painful and the skin may become irritated and ulcerate. If you have external hemorrhoids you may experience sudden, severe pain with visible protrusion or lump around the anus, with skin tags.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids develop when the veins of the perineum enlarge for a variety of reasons like; chronic constipation, sitting on the toilet for prolonged periods of time, straining during defecation, pregnancy. All these cause weakness of the supporting tissue around the veins, resulting in blood pooling in the anal region and engorgement of the veins of the rectum and anus.
Home remedies are the initial treatment for hemorrhoids and they are often very effective. They help shrink painful swollen hemorrhoids and reduce inflammation.
1. Sitz Baths
Sitz baths are very effective in treating hemorrhoids. A sitz bath is a type of bath where you sit your hips and buttocks in warm water. You can buy the plastic kit that fits over your toilet seat or make one yourself in a large basin. Fill the basin or tub with adequate amount of warm (not hot!) water, then add salt or baking soda or sitz bath herbs, then sit and soak for about 15 to 20 minutes. You may repeat it 3 or 4 times a day. This remedy helps soothe the anus and relieves pain and itching around the area. The best time to take a sitz bath is right after bowel movement but may be done at any time.
2. Cold Compress/Ice Pack
Place an ice pack covered in a clean sterile washcloth over the area for as long as you can tolerate at a time. Do not leave on for more than 10 minutes. This remedy relieves local inflammation and pain. Repeat every 2 hours to relieve inflammation and swelling.
3. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is one of the go to remedies. It is naturally anti inflammatory, reduces pain and swelling. This can be bought from a pharmacy or wellness stores. Liquid witch hazel should be applied directly onto the hemorrhoids. Other alternative forms are witch hazel wipes and soaps which may be used to clean the area.
4. Vaseline/Petroleum Jelly
You can treat hemorrhoids with Vaseline. Petroleum jelly can soothe the affected area, just dab a sufficient amount onto the sore spot and leave on. Repeat from time to time till symptoms resolve completely. Use only pure petroleum jelly.
5. Aloe vera gel
Pure aloe vera gel (not mixed in a cream or lotion) is safe to use topically. It reduces inflammation, swelling, irritation and soothes the area. Some people may experience irritation after using it, in that case it is recommended that you stop using it.
6. Epsom Salt Bath
Warm epsom salt baths can be soothing and reduce pain, inflammation and irritation of hemorrhoids. A mixture of epsom salt and glycerin may be used as well. Mix equal parts of epsom salts and glycerin and apply the mixture on the area. You may leave it on for about 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat every 6 hours until the pain resolves.
Certain oils such as coconut, olive, vitamin E or palm oil can soothe your hemorrhoids, helping to relieve symptoms. It is safe and will act as lubricant to allow easy passage of stool.
Diets high in fat, meat and low fiber are known to cause hemorrhoids. High fiber diet is highly encouraged as insoluble fiber foods help bulk up and soften stools. Incorporating them into your diet can help relieve constipations and prevent hemorrhoids from returning. Examples of ffods high in fiber include
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: Fruits such as cucumber, oranges, apples (avoid bananas) and veggies like Ugu, green, ewedu leaves, garden eggs.
- Whole grains: All grains must be unsifted to ensure the fiber content is not reduced. Millet, wheat, brown rice, bran are good examples.
- Dried fruits
- Beans of any kind
- Prune juice: this is made with dried plum fruit.
9. Stool softeners
These are medications that soften hard stools and relieve constipation. They can be obtained from the pharmacy without doctors prescription. These meds prevent water from being reabsorbed from the feces as it passes through the colon. This makes the stool easier to pass. It is important to know that they have to be taken for some days at the least before they start working.
Precautions For Using Home Remedies
Practice good anal hygiene by ensuring the area is kept clean with wipes after bowel movement. Using toilet paper may increase pain and irritation, so it is recommended you use no alcohol or fragrance wipes. Washing the area is also a good hygiene practice.
Do not use creams and lotions even if they contain any of the recommended oils or gels as they contain chemicals that may be harsh and irritate the area.
Prevention Of Hemorrhoids
- Drink lots of water
- Do not strain during bowel movement
- Do not sit on the toilet for prolonged periods of time
- Avoid heavy lifting that cause you strain.
- Eat foods high in fiber
- Do not hold off going to the toilet as the feces will become more formed and harder. Relieve yourself as soon as you feel the urge.
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Eat less spicy foods
Remedies To Avoid
1. Apple cider vinegar: It is harsh on the skin and may irritate and burn your skin.
2. Lime: Any mixture with lime should be avoided as it can worsen irritation of the area.
Go See Your Doctor If
- You are in excruciating pain, especially if the pain becomes worse.
- You experience moderate to profuse bleeding.
- You have bleeding accompanied by anal or abdominal pain, diarrhea or fever.
- You have significant prolapse or blood clot.
- You try the home remedies and the symptoms are unrelenting after about 2 weeks.