Got hemorrhoids? You’re not alone! In fact, recent surveys suggest half of all adults over the age of 50 experience at least one episode of hemorrhoids over the course of their lives. While this uncomfortable condition is rather common, it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
These literal “pains in the butt” are actually enlarged veins located either inside or outside of the anus. If left untreated, this condition could lead to serious complications like anemia.
Thankfully, there are many at-home treatments and medical procedures available for people suffering from this condition. Keep reading to learn the causes, treatments, and preventative steps you need to know to take care of your hemorrhoids.
Top Warning Signs & Risk Factors of Hemorrhoids
The most common symptom people with a hemorrhoid experience is an intense itch in the anus. This is sometimes accompanied by painful sensations, especially when going to the bathroom. In more serious cases, patients might see blood in their stool.
Doctors now know that there is a hereditary component to this condition. There are, however, other risk factors that come into play. Besides genetics, a few reasons people develop this painful condition include chronic constipation, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Pregnant women are also at a higher risk of developing a hemorrhoid.
Natural Remedies & Prevention Strategies
Relaxing Warm Baths
As mentioned above, there are many different treatment options available for this condition. The easiest treatment patients can try at-home is taking a warm bath for at least 15 minutes per day. You can add Epsom salt to this bath and/or soothing essential oils like cypress to reduce inflammation further. It’s best to take this bath right before bed because it can induce drowsiness. Not only will a warm bath help reduce inflamed veins, it can significantly reduce chronic stress.
Reduce Stress With Meditation
Numerous studies now show that heightened stress has a negative impact on our sense of well-being. While stress might not be the primary cause of a hemorrhoid, people often notice a significant reduction in symptoms when they get their anxiety levels under control.
In addition to the Epsom salt baths, one of the most effective ways to reduce stress is to practice meditation on a daily basis. Set aside at least 15 minutes every day to sit comfortably, close your eyes, and follow your breath. When thoughts come into your mind, simply acknowledge them with an attitude of non-judgment and bring your attention back to your breath. After a few weeks of dedicated practice, you should notice a tremendous improvement in your health.
How To Avoid Constipation
If chronic constipation is the root cause of your hemorrhoid issue, then you should consider changing your diet to include more fiber-rich fruits and veggies. A few excellent high-fiber foods to add to your diet include lentils, brussels sprouts, oatmeal, pears, and blueberries. You could also add fiber into your diet by taking a supplement like psyllium husk every day.
Benefits of Horse Chestnut
In terms of herbal remedies, some people experience tremendous benefits with horse chestnut. A few studies have suggested using horse chestnut has a positive impact on blood flow, which can help reduce the size and severity of this condition.
How To Use Cayenne Pepper
Another popular herbal remedy to consider is cayenne pepper. Like horse chestnut, cayenne is well known for its ability to assist the heart and improve the circulation of blood. Cayenne also has the added benefit of stimulating peristaltic motion in the colon, which helps clear out excess waste and prevents constipation.
Note: a little goes a long way with cayenne pepper. Just put a quarter teaspoon of cayenne powder in a glass of warm water and gradually build up to a teaspoon over a week or two. You could also purchase cayenne pepper in capsule form.
Standard Medical Procedures
For patients with a stubborn hemorrhoid issue, there are a few medical procedures offered by conventional doctors. The most common hemorrhoids cures performed in a hospital are rubber band ligation and sclerotherapy.
Basics Of Rubber Band Ligation
The first in-office hemorrhoids cure, called rubber band ligation, uses a special device to place a rubber band around the patient’s affected area. This therapy works because it temporarily starves the hemorrhoid of blood, which causes the vein to reduce dramatically.
What Is Sclerothearpy?
Sclerotherapy, on the other hand, is a hemorrhoids cure that uses a chemical called sclerosant to cut off blood supply and reduce the size of the hemorrhoid. Doctors who perform this procedure have to inject this chemical directly into the patient’s inflamed vein.
Of course, it’s always best to discuss your symptoms with a medical professional to discover the best possible treatment strategy for your needs.