Hemorrhoids can be thought of as something abnormal by most people, but they are common in all walks of life.
Hemorrhoids are Common
Hemorrhoids can be a common condition, even though most people believe they are unusual. Hemorrhoids help control bowel movements. Hemorrhoids can cause problems. They are only considered abnormal or disease if hemorrhoidal clumps form.
Nearly everyone experiences hemorrhoids. An estimated 75% will experience enlarged hemorrhoids at one time. Only 4% of people with hemorrhoids will visit a doctor. Hemorrhoids can cause problems in both men and women. Their prevalence is highest between 45-65 years old.
Hemorrhoids: Treatment and Medication Options
Most hemorrhoids can either be treated at home or in the doctor’s office with simple medical procedures, depending on the type and severity of the symptoms.
Hemorrhoid Treatments and Remedies at-Home
Hemorrhoids can be treated by avoiding constipation. Lifestyle and diet changes can help to reduce hemorrhoids symptoms, particularly if you eat more fiber. Constipation can be prevented by using a fiber supplement like Metamucil (psyllium) or stool softeners like Citrucel, (methylcellulose). Avoid laxatives as they can cause diarrhea or worsen hemorrhoid symptoms.
You can ease hemorrhoids discomfort at home by doing several things:
- Take a sitz bath. A sitz bath is a shallow, warm bath that targets the area. Most drugstores have a kit that can be fitted over your toilet.
- Ice packs are a good option.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements.
- After each bowel movement, clean your anus thoroughly.
- To reduce swelling and prevent the formation of new hemorrhoids, it is better to sit on cushioned surfaces than on hard ones.
- Take over-the-counter pain relief as needed.
You can also try over-the-counter creams and ointments or pads that contain witch hazel or hydrocortisone. These products can reduce swelling, pain, itching, and inflammation. Hydrocortisone products can cause skin to become thinned or weaker and should be stopped for no more than one week.
Hemorrhoids can be prevented by maintaining a soft stool and regular bowel movements.
These tips can help you avoid constipation.
Make sure you eat plenty of fiber. High-fiber diets can make stool bulkier and more flexible, which will allow it to pass easily. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that adults over 50 eat at least 38 grams of fiber per day, while women younger than 50 should eat 25 grams. The recommendation for those over 50 is lower at 30 grams and 21 grams respectively. To avoid excessive gas and bloating, however, you should slowly increase fiber intake to prevent excess gas.