Hemorrhoids, or sometimes called piles, are swollen veins that can be found in the lower rectum or around the anus.
In a previous article, we have addressed the causes, symptoms, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the condition which in most cases happen to people aged 50 or above.
In this article, we will talk about lifestyle changes and natural remedies that would help treat and prevent hemorrhoids.
Changes to your lifestyle
Making changes to your lifestyle can help lessen the chances of developing hemorrhoids and manage symptoms of hemorrhoids for people who already have the condition.
These lifestyle changes include the following:
Proper bathroom habits
When using the bathroom, there are a few practices you need to consider doing in order to manage or prevent hemorrhoids.
These practices include the following:
Do not force bowel movements.
As much as possible, do not force your stool to come out.
This is especially important for people who already have hemorrhoids, pushing and straining may worsen your condition.
Sit on the toilet bowl after eating.
If you’re having worries regarding unpredictable bowel movement, staying seated on a toilet bowl for a few minutes after eating can help.
If there’s still no bowel movement after waiting for 2 to 3 minutes, leave the bathroom and wait for a few minutes before trying again.
Do not hold in your stool.
It is imperative to listen to your body. If your stomach starts to send signals that it needs a bowel movement, it’s best to listen and follow it.
A lot of people experience this in social and awkward scenarios and decide to hold it in.
However, this can actually lead to the stool backing up and causing unnecessary constipation and more straining. If you have hemorrhoids, you must avoid holding in stool as much as possible.
Use a damp paper or cloth when wiping after a bowel movement. To some, a dry toilet paper may be irritating. If you belong to this group of people, we highly recommend you use a damp toilet paper or wet wipes.
If you’re going to use wet wipes, choose ones that are alcohol-free and fragrance-free.
There are also wipes that are specifically tailored for people with hemorrhoids so if you have hemorrhoids, try to get your hands on such wipes.
Squat while having a bowel movement. Squatting relaxes the muscles and clears the rectum. Doing a squat while pooping requires less force and makes pooping much easier.
Wearing loose and breathable undergarment can help speed up hemorrhoids healing. Tight clothing can make the area affected by hemorrhoids sweat and result in irritation.
So as much as possible, wear only loose undergarments, preferably made of cotton material.
Eat lots of fiber
Including fiber-rich foods in your diet is very important in normalizing your digestive performance. Fiber is capable of absorbing water and adding mass to your stool.
Fiber foods help soften the stool and make is pass through the intestines with less difficulty.
Drink plenty of water
Research suggests that a good number of anal problems are caused by a shortage of liquids in a person’s diet.
Drinking plenty of water on the regular can help soften stool and make it pass through the intestines easier.
A soft stool requires less force and energy to release, which means less straining and less irritation
Natural remedies you could try at home
If you’re already suffering hemorrhoids, there are different treatment options available.
Some can be bought over the counter while others can be made by yourself. These treatment options include:
If the pain is too distressing and no longer tolerable, you may opt to try some over-the-counter drugs and topical treatments.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help relieve your symptoms.
Topical treatments such as hydrocortisone can relieve symptoms of hemorrhoids as well.
Application of ice packs to the area surrounding the hemorrhoids can help soothe inflammation and prevent flare-ups.
For a home-made application, carefully wrap pieces of ice in a towel. While sitting down, apply the ice pack in the affected area so as to numb the pain and reduce the swelling.
Leave it on for at least 15 minutes. Don‘t hesitate to repeat the process if the symptoms manifest again.
By now, we already know that aloe vera has numerous functions and benefits It contains soothing properties that can be used as a remedy for different skin conditions.
Studies show that aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in healing wounds. Using aloe vera as a remedy to treat different issues has been utilized by different cultures.
It can relieve itching, burning, and swelling and can be an effective treatment option for hemorrhoids. If you’re planning to use this as a remedy, use only pure aloe vera.
Do not add any other ingredient and preservative to it.
Natural coconut oil
Coconut oil can be an effective moisturizer for the body. Staying moisturized can help reduce the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Apply coconut oil to the areas surrounding the hemorrhoids. This can reduce flare-ups and irritation, and may also help reduce itching around the area.
Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer, which may also help with hemorrhoid symptoms.
Witch hazel is an ingredient known to help lessen bruising. Research also shows that witch hazel contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
It can be an effective treatment for hemorrhoids however, it must be done with extra precaution. Since pure witch hazel is an astringent, a large amount should not be applied directly to the affected area.
Add only a few drops of pure witch hazel to a cotton pad or cotton ball and dab it onto the affected area. If this method makes your symptoms worse, you should try a less direct way to apply the witch hazel.
Be careful not to mix the witch hazel with alcohol so as not to further dry and irritate the affected areas.
A nice warm bath
Soaking yourself in a tub filled with lukewarm water can help ease the symptoms of your hemorrhoids and reduce the inflammation temporarily.
You may also add small amounts of ingredients such as apple cider vinegar and Epsom salts. This is a very fast and effective way to temporarily reduce the symptoms of hemorrhoids.