Lifestyle changes that can help prevent and manage Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are an uncomfortable and unwelcome medical condition that just about all of us will experience at some point in our lives. They can cause pain, discomfort, and other symptoms that can make it difficult to focus on anything else. They usually aren’t any cause for concern and rarely need medical intervention beyond treatments you can get from your pharmacist.
Types of Hemorrhoids
External hemorrhoids are those that develop outside the rectum and can often be felt or seen. Internal hemorrhoids are those located inside the anus and usually present with little to no symptoms. If internal hemorrhoids begin to push out of the anus, they are what’s caused thrombosed hemorrhoids.
Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids
- Itching or irritation around your anus
- Pain or discomfort
- Anal bleeding
- Anal swelling
Symptoms of Internal Hemorrhoids
- Bleeding when going to the toilet
- Bright red blood on the toilet paper
- Pain and irritation
Symptoms of Thrombosed Hemorrhoids:
- A hard lump near your anus
- Severe pain
Causes of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around your anus that are similar to varicose veins. If they become overly strained or stressed, the pressure can cause the veins to bulge or swell. The increased pressure can be caused by straining on the toilet, being overweight, having chronic constipation or diarrhoea, and sitting for long periods of time.
- Eating a low fibre diet
- Not getting enough fluids
- Anal sex
- Lifting heavy objects
Prevent and Manage Hemorrhoids
One of the best ways to treat hemorrhoids is by making sure you are less at risk for developing them. You can prevent hemorrhoids with a few lifestyle changes such as:
- Eating a diet with enough fibre in it
- Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water
- Keeping the rectum clean and dry
- Wearing loose clothing and underwear made of natural fibres like cotton
- Avoiding sitting down for long periods of time, especially on the toilet
- Not straining when on the toilet
- Going whenever you have the urge to
- Exercising regularly and reducing periods of inactivity
- Wiping your bottom with damp toilet paper
If you do develop hemorrhoids, there are several simple things you can do at home to reduce any pain and irritation they may be causing.
- Take a warm bath
- Use an ice pack wrapped in a clean tea towel against the hemorrhoids
- Take paracetamol for the pain
- Use a hemorrhoid pillow underneath you when you sit down
- Take hemorrhoid medications
In addition to the remedies mentioned above, there are medications available designed to treat hemorrhoids and reduce their symptoms. Most hemorrhoids medications are topical gels or creams that you apply directly to the hemorrhoids affected area.
- Proctosedyl Ointment: Proctosedyl has cinchocaine, a local anaesthetic that provides pain relief, and hydrocortisone, a low-potency corticosteroid that reduces inflammation and itching.
- Scheriproct Ointment: Scheriproct contains two active ingredients, a local anaesthetic called cinchocaine that relieves pain and irritation and a steroid called prednisolone that reduces inflammation, swelling, and itching.