How to shrink hemorrhoids
WHAT ARE HEMORRHOIDS, EXACTLY?
Hemorrhoids are caused by swelling and movement of the tissues of the anus and rectum. They can be painful and uncomfortable, but they are usually not serious.
The internal hemorrhoids are located inside the rectum. They do not usually cause pain since this region does not have sensory nerves.
The external hemorrhoids develop under the skin near the opening of the anus. They can swell, cause itching and be very painful, especially during the passage of stool. When the hemorrhoids are external and cannot be replaced inside, a medical consultation is necessary.
The mixed hemorrhoids are a combination of internal and external hemorrhoids.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OR RISK FACTORS?
Hemorrhoids can occur at any age but are more common between the ages of 45 and 65 years. In younger people, they occur most often in pregnant women or women who have just given birth. More than 50% of North Americans suffer from it or have already experienced.
The exact cause is not determined, but several factors contribute to the development of hemorrhoids. Thus, you are at higher risk of suffering from hemorrhoids if:
- you are constipated or force while passing stools;
- you have a low fiber diet;
- you are pregnant or have given birth;
- you frequently lift heavy objects;
- you sit for a long time;
- you are obese.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH HEMORRHOIDS?
Symptoms caused by hemorrhoids include:
- pain or burning sensation, especially if the hemorrhoids are external;
- slight bleeding
Who are the people who suffer from hemorrhoids?
Most people have hemorrhoids at one time or another. Some elements can make you more vulnerable. People whose parents had hemorrhoids are more likely to have them. Pregnant women often suffer from hemorrhoids because of the weight associated with pregnancy and childbirth efforts. Obesity, standing too long, or lifting heavy objects can make hemorrhoids worse.
Should I consult my doctor?
Consult your doctor if you see blood. He will make sure that it is hemorrhoids and not colitis, cancer or any other disease. Bleeding from the rectum or anus or stool with blood may be a sign of a more severe problem such as cancer.
The clinical examination allows your doctor to make a diagnosis of hemorrhoids. Sometimes he will offer you an anoscopy or another test. Anoscopy is an examination that allows your doctor to see the inside of the anus using a light tube inserted into the anus.
What can I do for my hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are a temporary problem. Constipation is one of the main causes of hemorrhoids.
Prevention of constipation
- Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. The fibers soften the stool. Fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, cereals and whole grain bread are excellent sources of fiber.
- Avoid low fiber foods, e.g., ex. Ice cream, cheeses, white bread, and meats.
- Drink plenty of liquids (except alcohol). Ideally, drink eight glasses of water a day.
- Exercise regularly.
- It may be helpful to take laxatives that increase stool volume, e.g., ex. Sound, psyllium (e.g., Metamucil, Fibrepur, Novo-Mucilax, Prodiem [nature]) and others (Fibyrax). Other types of laxatives can cause diarrhea, which can aggravate hemorrhoids.
- The use of laxatives should be occasional unless they increase stool volume.
- If you feel the need to have a bowel movement, do not wait too long. The longer you wait, the sadder your saddle becomes hard and dry.
- In the meantime, the following tips may help. Even though stores offer many hemorrhoid medications, some have not proven effective, and others may be harmful if you abuse them. Consult your family doctor to find out which ones are helpful.
HOW CAN YOU RELIEVE YOUR SYMPTOMS?
- Prevent or relieve constipation. Increase your fluid and fiber intake (fruits and vegetables, for example). If your hemorrhoids are not severe, this may be enough. If the diet is not enough to correct your constipation, a fiber supplement with sufficient fluid or stool softener, such as sodium docusate, can be used.
- Avoid forcing during defecation or sitting on the toilet for a long time.
- If your hemorrhoids have come out of the anus, cold compresses can reduce inflammation.
- Take sitz baths in lukewarm water (about 40 ° C) for 10 to 15 minutes, three or four times a day to relieve the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
- Do not sit too long. Make short walks, get up and stretch periodically.
- Use an eggshell cushion when sitting. Avoid donut shaped pillows as they increase pressure in the rectum and anus and aggravate hemorrhoids.
- Avoid activities that require lifting heavy objects.
- Avoid foods that promote hemorrhoid problems like spicy foods, nuts, coffee, and alcohol.
- Lose weight, if necessary.
WHAT MEDICATIONS CAN RELIEVE YOU AND TREAT THE PROBLEM?
There are various useful over-the-counter products to relieve your symptoms and treat your hemorrhoids problem:
- Hamamelis water compresses help ease the discomfort, burning, and itching caused by hemorrhoids;
- local anesthetics ease pain momentarily but quickly;
- astringent agents protect the affected area from irritation, reduce inflammation and relieve the burning and itching sensation;
- protective agents form a barrier on the skin and reduce redness;
anti-inflammatory agents ease itching and decrease inflammation of external hemorrhoids;
- wet towels can be used after each bowel movement to clean the area and prevent infections;
- If the pain is too troublesome, painkillers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can relieve you and supplement the action of topical medications. Ask your pharmacist for advice first before taking them because these products may not be suitable for you.
When complicated, hemorrhoids can lead to more severe problems, such as severe bleeding, infection, or thrombosis. If such problems occur or if hemorrhoids persist for more than seven days, consult a doctor.
If you have questions about the prevention and treatment of hemorrhoids, do not hesitate to consult your pharmacist.
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