Hemorrhoids are a common issue, especially among older people and those who have a job that requires a lot of sitting. Understanding the condition and treatment options can help you decide how to get rid of this embarrassing and painful condition.
Hemorrhoid Risk Factors
Hemorrhoids are common among the aging population, but they are not at all uncommon among younger people. Your lifestyle and bowel habits can put you at risk.
Constipation and straining can lead to hemorrhoids, but so can diarrhea. Stress is another factor because people under a great deal of home or work pressures tend to have digestive issues, which can lead to the straining that causes the swollen veins in the annual area.
Pregnancy puts pressure on the uterus, and this presses on the veins in the colon, leading to bulging
There are other habits and lifestyle choices that lead to hemorrhoids.
- Heavy lifting
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Anal intercourse
If you have any risk factor for hemorrhoids, you can take steps, like losing weight or moving more, to lower your risk or keep hemorrhoids from coming back.
Symptoms To Watch For
Symptoms of hemorrhoids can be scary and unpleasant. However, they are generally not a cause for concern.
These symptoms include:
- Anal bleeding
- Irritation and itching
- Swelling or lumps
- Fecal leakage
- Pain and soreness
If you are having symptoms, keep in mind it's best to get checked out by a doctor. Some conditions are easily mistaken for hemorrhoids.
- Anal fissures
- Colon polyps
- Colorectal cancer
Because the symptoms, like bleeding, can point to more serious conditions, like cancer, it's best to have a doctor diagnose you before trying the home treatment.
At-Home Treatment Options
You can use over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments to reduce swelling and other discomforts. Oral pain relievers also offer some pain relief.
Some other at-home treatments include:
- Taking a warm bath
- Eat high-fiber foods
- Use pads to reduce itching
- Use suppositories for swelling
If these treatments do not help ease irritation and swelling, your doctor can advise on the next steps for you.
If your hemorrhoids don't respond to home treatment, there are some non-surgical options. Most cases so respond well to home treatment, but if you have large hemorrhoids, your doctor might recommend another course of treatment.
- Rubber band ligation — The doctor places a rubber band around hemorrhoids to cut off circulation.
- Coagulation — The doctor uses a laser or heat to make the hemorrhoid shrivel up
- Injection — The doctor injects a chemical into a hemorrhoid to shrink it
Only a small percentage of hemorrhoid cases require surgery.
You shouldn't let embarrassment stop you from seeing a doctor and getting the right treatment to help ease your pain and discomfort. Contact a clinic like The Oregon Hemorrhoid Clinic to learn more.