Hemorrhoids may not be something that comes up in everyday conversation, but they are an extremely common ailment among many people. They are annoying and sometimes painful, but generally do not cause any serious medical problems. If you are among the millions of people wondering how to get rid of hemorrhoids, below you will find a list of the most up-to-date treatment options for improving and removing those pesky hemorrhoids.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are veins that have become swollen in the lower part of your anus and rectum. They can be considered one of the most common reasons for rectal bleeding but are rarely dangerous. Hemorrhoids usually do not cause any serious medical complications, other than discomfort and possible bleeding. These swollen areas of your body can go away on their own or be treated through a variety of methods, depending on the type of hemorrhoid you have.
Below you will find information on how to get rid of hemorrhoids, but first you will need to figure out which type of hemorrhoid you have. The two types are considered:
- Internal. These types of hemorrhoids are found inside the rectum far enough that you typically cannot feel or see them. Internal hemorrhoids usually do not cause much pain because of the very-few nerves there. The only sign you may have of this type is bleeding.
- External. These types of hemorrhoids are found under the skin in the area around the anus. This type can bleed, but also be very painful because of the many nerves surrounding that area.
Sometimes, a hemorrhoid could become larger and bulge outside of your sphincter. These prolapsed hemorrhoids typically go back in on their own but can be painful.
Causes and Prevention
There are many reasons for developing hemorrhoids, but genetics can certainly play a large part. If your family history includes a tendency for hemorrhoids, you may be more likely to develop them yourself. Aside from a genetic-disposition, you can develop hemorrhoids from being over-weight, pregnant, pushing too hard during bowel movements, and straining too hard during physical activity.
There are simple things to do in your daily life to help curb your tendency to develop hemorrhoids, however. Adding more fiber into your diet, and not sitting or standing for long periods of time can decrease the risk.
How to Get Rid of Hemorrhoids
If you suffer from pain and discomfort and are wondering how to get rid of hemorrhoids, there are many things you can do. You should change what you can about your lifestyle to help avoid developing more, but when the discomfort or bleeding becomes unbearable, you should consult your physician to decide which treatment option is best for you.
Your treatment options will be determined by the type of hemorrhoid you have, as well as the severity and other medical issues you may have. It is essential to discuss all symptoms and past/current medical history with your doctor.
Prescription Medicines and Topical Treatments
For most hemorrhoids, medications and creams can be used to alleviate pain and discomfort. These options can be prescribed by your doctor or found over-the-counter at most pharmacies:
- Over-the-counter topical creams contain small amounts of anesthetic that can help alleviate pain. You can also use over-the-counter creams or suppositories that contain hydrocortisone. These can help relieve discomfort and itching but should not be used for more than a week at a time (for risk of atrophy-of-the-skin).
- Oral pain relievers may not help cure or remove your hemorrhoids, but medicines like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen can help alleviate mild discomfort.
- Prescription medicines are not commonly given to most hemorrhoid cases, as over-the-counter medications can do most of the same tasks. A doctor may prescribe stool softeners to assist in making bowel movements easier or even prescribe the same types of over-the-counter medicines with higher formula-strengths.
Surgical and Medical Procedures
In the minority of cases, hemorrhoids can become so painful or enlarged that removal-treatments are the only option. If you’re wondering how to get rid of hemorrhoids when medicine doesn’t work, there are a wide variety of options for everyone; both surgical and non-surgical:
- Rubber band litigation is considered the most common procedure for hemorrhoid removal. The non-surgical procedure involves placing a small elastic band around the base of hemorrhoid. “The band causes the hemorrhoid to shrink and the surround tissue to scar as it heals.” After a few sessions, the hemorrhoid is completely eliminated. Rubber band litigation causes minimal discomfort and is used mostly on external hemorrhoids.
- Sclerotherapy is an injection-procedure used on inflamed hemorrhoids that are causing pain or bleeding. These injections are made into the base of the hemorrhoid and contain a solution that creates a scar on the hemorrhoid and closes it off. The medical procedure is performed by your doctor and usually only causes minimal pain.
- Coagulation techniques involve infrared, laser, or bipolar light or heat. During this non-surgical procedure, a doctor uses a laser or other heat source to shrink internal hemorrhoids. The hemorrhoids harden under the heat and shrink. This procedure causes little discomfort and comes with minimal side effects.
- Hemorrhoidectomy procedures are surgical procedures performed on large, protruding, external and internal hemorrhoids that have not been helped by other methods. A hemorrhoidectomy involves a narrow incision being made around the tissue and the removal of the affected blood vessels. This procedure has an extremely high cure-rate but requires general anesthesia for the pain.
- Stapled Hemorrhoidectomy procedures are relatively new. During this surgery, you are given a general anesthetic and a doctor staples an internal, protruding hemorrhoid back into place.
Hemorrhoids can be painful and uncomfortable, but with the right treatment they don’t have to control your life. Whether your hemorrhoids are minimal or severe, there are a wide variety of treatment options out there. No matter the severity, you should consult your doctor right away to discuss how to get rid of hemorrhoids the best possible way for you.