Hemorrhoids is a condition where the veins in the anus and the rectum become swollen. The blood vessels in the region get swollen due to pressure. When there is an increased pressure in the lower abdomen, it causes hemorrhoids. It is a very common condition and most people suffer from it at some point in their life.
Hemorrhoids may be either internal or external. Internal hemorrhoids are deep within the rectum. Usually, one cannot see or feel their presence. They are not painful as there are very few sensitive nerves in the region. The only sign of noticing them could be bleeding. In a few cases, it may cause pain or itching.
External hemorrhoids are underneath the skin of the anus. This region has a lot of sensitive nerves and feels pain. External hemorrhoids are more common and cause a lot of trouble. They cause difficulty while sitting and during bowel movements.
The exact causes of hemorrhoids are unknown. A strained bowel movement may cause the blood vessels to swell and result in hemorrhoids. Pregnant women are more likely to get this condition as there is greater pressure on the veins. A low-fiber diet may also cause hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids may be very irritating but are not life-threatening. In a majority of the cases, top home remedies for hemorrhoids help in treating the symptoms. A few changes in the lifestyle and daily habits can also ease the condition. Some of the best hemorrhoid remedies to relieve the discomfort are as follows:
- Warm bath
A warm water bath reduces the swelling and irritation caused by hemorrhoids. Sitting in a bathtub with warm water helps a lot in relieving the discomfort. Warm water bath, a couple of times in a day, could be very helpful. One can also add apple cider vinegar or Epsom salt to the water. These ingredients provide more relief when added to warm water. One can use a sitz bath which is a small tub. This tub fits onto the toilet seat and is easier for soaking.
- Aloe vera
Aloe vera gel is truly the top hemorrhoids remedy out there. The anti-inflammatory property of aloe vera reduces irritation in the anus region. It may help to ease the burning sensation and swelling around the area. One has to use the aloe vera gel in its purest form. The gel mixed with other ingredients may worsen the symptoms.
- Witch hazel
Witch hazel is very effective in reducing the pain and itchiness. It is anti-inflammatory and may also reduce the swelling and bruising around the hemorrhoids. One can apply pure witch hazel directly onto the hemorrhoids. But if the symptoms get worse, one may use a different method. A cold form of witch hazel gives more relief. Witch hazel should be pure and not diluted with alcohol. The alcohol-mixed witch hazel may irritate the hemorrhoids.
- Cold packs
Cold compresses and ice packs are one of the best hemorrhoid remedies. Applying the ice pack on the hemorrhoids helps to reduce pain and burning. It also helps to bring down the swelling. When the hemorrhoids are large and painful, the cold packs are very effective. One must not apply ice directly onto the skin. Wrapping the ice in a cloth or a cover is very important.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are helpful when the home remedies do not work. There are various drugs which help to reduce the pain. One can also use wipes and soaps to ease the irritation. But it is very important to consult a doctor before starting any medication.
- Stay hydrated
Drinking a lot of fluids, especially water, helps in digestion. It eases the bowel movements by making the stool soft.
- Add fiber
Fiber reduces the pressure on hemorrhoids by softening the stool. There are many foods which contain fiber. But fiber may cause gas or bloating. Hence, one must slowly increase the quantity of fiber in the diet.
- Regular exercise
Regular exercise improves metabolism and eases bowel movements. A brisk walk or aerobics for some time in a day helps to a great extent.
- Proper bathroom habits
Strained bowel movements are one of the causes of hemorrhoids. One must not force the motion to happen. The habit of going to the bathroom at the same time every day is also helpful.
When to seek medical advice?
Most of the time, hemorrhoids get better with the use of natural remedies. But sometimes, the symptoms may worsen. There may be excessive bleeding and severe pain. One may also feel dizzy and weak due to this. In such situations, one must visit the doctor immediately. The doctors will conduct various tests and treat the condition accordingly.