You’re not alone if you’d rather suffer with the discomfort of your hemorrhoids than talk to a medical professional about it.
We get it. At Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri, our board-certified family medicine physician, Dr. Betsy Clemens, focuses exclusively on anorectal disorders like hemorrhoids. Many of our patients wait a long time before reaching out for help.
The good news is you can start treatment for hemorrhoids at home. Here are some of the home remedies that can help heal your hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are enlarged, bulging veins in the anus and lower rectum. They’re very common, affecting about half of adults over 50 in the United States.
Researchers are still investigating what causes hemorrhoids but theorize that bulging veins develop from excess pressure. Constipation, spending too much time on the toilet, and straining during a bowel movement all put extra pressure on the veins, causing them to bulge.
Not everyone with hemorrhoids has symptoms. But they may cause anal discomfort, anal itchiness, or blood in the stool. Thrombosed hemorrhoids — formation of a blood clot in an external hemorrhoid ― causes severe anal pain that may make sitting unbearable.
Home remedies for hemorrhoids
Treatment for hemorrhoids usually starts at home. Some of the home remedies we recommend for hemorrhoids include:
More fiber and fluids
Constipation and straining during a bowel movement are conditions linked to hemorrhoids. We recommend adding more fiber and fluids to your diet to soften stools, improving constipation and straining.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds are all good sources of fiber. When adding fiber to your diet, go slow. Adding too much fiber too fast may worsen your constipation.
Fluid needs vary, but adults should get about 11 to 16 cups of fluids daily. Water makes the best choice.
A sitz bath eases hemorrhoid pain, supports healing, and cleanses the anal area. During a sitz bath, you sit in a shallow tub of warm water for 10 to 20 minutes three times a day.
Change in bathroom habits
Changing your bathroom habits may also help your hemorrhoids. We recommend limiting the time you sit on the toilet to 1 to 2 minutes. This reduces pressure on the veins and protrusion (bulging out) of your internal hemorrhoids.
When to get professional help
You should notice improvements in your hemorrhoid discomfort within a week after implementing home remedies. If you continue to have discomfort after a week of at-home care, you need professional help for your hemorrhoids.
We recommend you skip the home remedies if you have any rectal bleeding. Hemorrhoids are a common cause of blood in stool, but it’s not a symptom you should dismiss. Colon cancer also causes rectal bleeding.
After completing an examination, we can develop a plan of action to heal your hemorrhoids, which might include infrared coagulation (IRC), a nonsurgical treatment we perform at the office that coagulates (clots) internal hemorrhoids, cutting off blood supply, so they shrink and disappear.
Home remedies are the first treatment for hemorrhoids. But when at-home care fails, it’s time to get help. Call our office at 636-228-3136 to schedule an appointment today.