Hemorrhoid Relief Guide - Your Guide to Fast Relief From Hemorrhoids
Posted on 18 January 2018 by Maryanne Johnson
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This hemorrhoid relief guide will help you get the relief from hemorrhoids you so desperately need. Just as common as hemorrhoids is the desire from patients to get relief from the overwhelming symptoms that accompany them.
When hemorrhoids come with bleeding, itching, burning, and pain, most patients are desperate to find a solution.
Luckily, there are many options available for relief of hemorrhoids. From soaks and creams to suggested lifestyle changes, there are enough options available to find the one that works right for you.
Don’t panic! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s take a closer look at the relief options available to help you cope.
Hemorrhoid Pain Relief
Perhaps one of the most bothersome symptom of hemorrhoids is that of pain. Unfortunately, for some hemorrhoid sufferers, pain can sometimes be breath taking.
While sitting can bring discomfort, it is hemorrhoid pain during bowel movements that is the most excruciating. The good news is there are many options available for relief.
One of the best ways to eliminate the pain of hemorrhoids is to follow some lifestyle changes that not only treat your present hemorrhoid, but help prevent further flare-ups. For starters, pump up the fiber.
The most common cause of hemorrhoids is constipation (1).
When you have a diet high in fiber, you reduce the likelihood that you will become constipated. And, if you are having problems increasing your daily fiber intake, you can always add hemorrhoid supplements. There are many over-the-counter options available, such as Metamucil.
Another step for pain relief associated with hemorrhoids is to practice better bowel movement practices.
Proper hygiene after a bowel movement is crucial. When you do not clean yourself properly, you open yourself for the risk of irritation and the development of hemorrhoids.
Another major culprit is delaying the inevitable. When you feel the urge to go, find a bathroom and go immediately. Waiting for a more convenient time will lead to an increased risk of constipation.
If you are experiencing severe pain from your hemorrhoids during bowel movements, try a lubrication technique. Mixing a tablespoon of mineral oil with some food during breakfast or lunch can help slide your stool past the hemorrhoid more easily. This is only a temporary fix, however.
Don’t continue this practice for an extended period of time.
While lifestyle and hygiene changes are essential, many patients need relief from hemorrhoid pain immediately. Or at least they desire it! There are ways to alleviate pain almost immediately.
For starters, sitting in a sitz bath a few times a day for fifteen minutes at a time will help. If you do not have access to a sitz bath, a few inches of warm water in the tub works the same. This will reduce swelling and soak the inflamed area to provide relief. The opposite is also an option.
Applying a cold pack has been known to provide instant relief. It not only reduces the swelling associated with hemorrhoids, it numbs the area (2).
If these natural remedies don’t work, there are over-the-counter products available to help. Witch hazel infused pads, soothing creams, and medicated suppositories are all used to reduce the effects of active hemorrhoids and alleviate the pain that comes with them (3).
If these don’t work, a hemorrhoid doctor can prescribe a stronger version to help. And, worst case scenario, there are medical treatments and surgeries available to fix the problem.
If you are contemplation surgery be sure to read our hemorrhoid surgery guide.
Natural Hemorrhoid Relief
There are many over-the-counter and prescription medications, and some medical treatments, available for hemorrhoid relief. Many people look to find natural options for relief.
As mentioned earlier, many patients turn towards lifestyle and hygiene changes to help. High fiber diets are the first choice of options.
When you need more than just a diet change, there are many herbal supplements and non-surgical treatments available to help. Non-surgical treatments include:
- hemorrhoid wipes
- hemorrhoid creams
- hemorrhoid supplements
- hemorrhoid pillows
- hemorrhoids ice packs
- hemorrhoid sitz baths
- hemorrhoid suppositories
But, to start, look to increase your daily fiber so you meet the recommended 30-35 grams daily. Look for foods that are known to be high in fiber.
- nuts and many seeds.
Increase your hydration as well. Without the proper intake of water, you are prone to become constipated.
Water is required to move fiber throughout your digestive track. Find out the recommended water consumption for your body and do your best to stick to it.
You can also eat fermented foods to help your digestion:
- raw, pastured yogurt.
In addition to adding these foods and practices, limit alcohol and spicy foods. Alcohol can be dehydrating, and spicy foods intensify the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Look for some of the natural supplements that are helpful in treating hemorrhoids. Many natural hemorrhoid supplements contain ingredients clinically tested to help reduce the swelling and inflammation of hemorrhoids, such as Butcher’s Broom.
Supplements with Horse Chestnut helps improve blood flow. And skin-healing astringents like Witch Hazel reduce inflammation and pain. There are also essential oils that have been reported to be beneficial.
Talk to your healthcare provider or test them on your skin before you try them, though. Because you do not want bigger problems.
Cypress essential oil promotes clotting and stops excess blood flow. It also helps to contract blood vessels and tighten tissues.
Helichrysum helps break down food and prevent digestive issues. It also works as an anti-inflammatory to reduce the swelling associated with hemorrhoids.
Best Hemorrhoid Relief
This has long been a topic of debate, because the best hemorrhoid relief is really a matter of preference. It also varies from person to person. What works for you may not work for someone else, and what works for someone else may not work for you.
Everything from sitz baths and lifestyle changes to creams and supplements have been suggested to be the best solution for alleviating the symptoms of active hemorrhoids.
Although you may find a different answer depending who you ask, it seems that a very common, somewhat popular choice is the use of cold packs or compresses.
Because this not only reduces swelling, but it numbs the area, this has been identified as an effective treatment to make hemorrhoids more tolerable until they can be effectively treated.
Home Remedies for Hemorrhoid Relief
Because many patients do not seek medical treatment until it is absolutely necessary, they often seek at-home remedies to help relieve hemorrhoids. The most popular and effective home remedies include many natural options for treatment.
One popular home remedy is the use of sitz baths. They are generally recommended for patients with painful hemorrhoids. It is suggested you sit in a few inches of warm water for fifteen minutes, several times a day to reduce hemorrhoids.
There are also many over-the-counter solutions that are natural and can provide immediate and long-term relief.
Witch Hazel is a very effective option. It helps to reduce pain, itching, and bleeding. The anti-inflammatory, astringent, and anti-oxidant properties make it effective.
Pysllium husk is a supplement to increase fiber intake and soften stool. While it won’t directly treat your hemorrhoid, it can alleviate a lot of the pain associated with bowel movements when your hemorrhoids are active.
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera can also help soothe inflammation (4).
Epson salts and glycerin is a less-known treatment option but can be applied to the inflamed area to help with the symptoms of pain.
Hemorrhoid Itch Relief
If you are experiencing the symptoms of itching with your hemorrhoids, it can be bad enough to drive you insane! The first thing to be sure of is that you are following the best cleaning efforts after your bowel movements.
Moisture and stool left behind in the anal area can lead to irritation.
Over-the-counter creams, ointments, gels, suppositories, foams, and pads are very effective in treating hemorrhoid itching. Many of these products contain active ingredients to protect, treat, and heal the anal area.
When looking for itch relief, make sure to steer towards the following options. Local anesthetics provide temporary relief for itching by numbing the nerve endings.
Products containing benzocaine, benzyl alcohol, dibucaine, dyclonine, and lidocaine are some examples.
Vasoconstrictors are also effective in reducing blood vessels to help with swelling (5). Their mild anesthetic effect can also help with itching.
Protectants can help prevent irritation that leads to the side effects of itching.
There are many other options available that help to treat itching associated with hemorrhoids. These include astringents, antiseptics, keratolytics, analgesics, and corticosteroids.
Here is the full list of ingredients that can help stop hemorrhoid itching and burning:
- Witch Hazel
Internal Hemorrhoid Relief
Internal hemorrhoids do not come with the same symptoms as external hemorrhoids. Because of this, they often go unnoticed. If you do have an internal hemorrhoid that is displaying symptoms, such as bleeding or protruding from a prolapsed hemorrhoid, there are relief options available.
The most common relief can be found using suppositories. There are both over-the-counter and prescription suppositories available to treat internal hemorrhoids.
For more serious internal hemorrhoids, medical treatment may be necessary. There are many minimally invasive options, such as banding and sclerotherapy.
External Hemorrhoid Relief
External hemorrhoid relief can come from many sources based on their severity and the bothersome symptoms. Lifestyle changes are one of the most effective ways to treat external hemorrhoids and prevent them from returning. For immediate relief, there are over-the-counter products available, like creams, ointments, and gels.
Natural supplements can also help to treat external hemorrhoids. For more serious cases, medical treatment may be necessary. Minimally invasive options are available to your doctor’s office, such as banding and sclerotherapy.
In the most extreme cases, hemorrhoid surgery may be necessary (6).
A hemorrhoidectomy is the most common surgical treatment for external hemorrhoids. It involves cutting out the hemorrhoid in a hospital.
Hemorrhoid Relief Cream
Over-the-counter and prescription hemorrhoid relief creams are available for treatment of bothersome hemorrhoids. Most creams have active ingredients used to treat specific symptoms.
For example, many hemorrhoid creams have hydrocortisone cream to relieve hemorrhoid itching. There are also anesthetic creams to reduce the symptoms of burning and pain. If over-the-counter creams are not effective, talk to your doctor about prescribing a stronger option.