You know all about the benefits of pain. “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, they say. But when you have hemorrhoids, you simply just want to get rid of the pain now. Pronto.
While there isn’t a quick cure for hemorrhoids, the good news is that it is possible to get fast pain relief, even if it’s momentarily.
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, also known as piles (and also spelled as “haemorrhoids” in some parts of the world) are swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum area. They are similar to varicose veins.
These are the main types of hemorrhoids
This type of hemorrhoids develop inside the rectum. They are not usually seen or felt. They also rarely give you discomfort. However, when you strain while passing stool, it can cause some painless bleeding. You may see or notice blood on your toilet paper or in the toilet.
When the strain pressure is too much, it can also result to a prolapsed or protruding hemorrhoid, which is when the hemorrhoid pushes past the anal opening, which causes a great deal of pain and irritation.
This hemorrhoid type develops under the skin around the anus. This is easier to spot because the symptoms are more apparent. You may feel an itching or irritation in the anal region. There’s also often pain and discomfort when you sit, move or do any activity that bears pressure on the anal area like coughing, sneezing, sitting and so on. You may find swelling around the anus, which can often be accompanied by bleeding.
This is often a result of external hemorrhoids, if blood pools around and forms a clot or a thrombus. This can often result in swelling, inflammation, severe pain and a firm lump near your anus.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Knowing what physiologically happens when you have hemorrhoids will help us understand better what causes them. Hemorrhoids happen when the veins around the anus stretch, bulge or swell due to pressure.
The following are some known causes of hemorrhoids:
Constipation or straining during bowel movement
When you strain during bowel movement (which happens often when you are constipated), the veins in the anus and lower rectum can swell. These swollen veins will normally result in hemorrhoids.
Those who are obese or carry large amounts of excess weight commonly suffer from hemorrhoids. The excess weight bears pressure on the lower part of the body, constricting the veins and blood vessels around the colon and anus.
In the same scientific pattern to being obese, pregnancy brings excess weight to the abdomen and lower area of the body. The added weight brings pressure on the pelvis which can cause veins to swell in the lower body. Because there is a developing fetus, which also gains weight through the course of the pregnancy, this adds more pressure on the pelvis that may cause hemorrhoids.
Episodes of diarrhea, especially the burning kind, can also result in hemorrhoids. Even if diarrhea is technically the opposite of constipation, where you have to strain during bowel movement, the frequency of having to pass stool can also cause hemorrhoids.
Strictly speaking, anal intercourse itself will not necessarily directly cause hemorrhoids. However, chronic muscular tension, as well as lack of relaxation in the anal area can cause a break in the anal cushions. The anus does not have natural lubrication as well so when not done properly and safely, anal sex can cause tears around the delicate tissue in the anus.
Those who have existing hemorrhoids or history of it will likely have the hemorrhoids worsen or exacerbated with anal intercourse.
5 ways to get fast pain relief for hemorrhoids
We’re pretty sure you already know about how to change your lifestyle, diet and habits in order to prevent piles or hemorrhoids in the future. Don’t worry, as much as we know the importance of knowing those, we won’t regale you with all that.
After all, you’re here to seek quick and proven ways to relieve yourself from hemorrhoids pain, so here they are:
1. Ice therapy
If you look back to your childhood, you will recall that ice lollies were often given to you after you endured an episode of pain, such as a tooth extraction. Not only are cold treats a nice reward, they also take away one’s pain. Cold therapy reduces swelling, inflammation and numbs the affected or painful area immediately. So for a quick and effective pain relief from piles, we highly recommend ice packs for hemorrhoids.
These cool, nifty little things will be your best friend if you want fast and immediate pain relief from piles. Icing your anus with cryotherapy will help in soothing skin irritation and shrink any external hemorrhoid. These doctor-recommended hemorrhoids ice packs are definitely perfect for fast and easy relief from burning, soreness, pain, itching and more.
2. A sitz bath
A sitz bath or a hip bath is a type of therapy done by sitting in warm, shallow water. It helps clean and soothe the perineum (anal and genital) area. It comes from the German word sitzen, which means “to sit”. Sit or soak your anal area in warm water in the bath for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a day. If you add Epsom salt to the warm water, it provides faster pain relief.
How does this provide quick pain relief to hemorrhoids? A sitz bath helps increase blood flow to the anal area, which helps the muscles relax. Pain and itching from hemorrhoids are known to disappear albeit momentarily, during and right after a sitz bath.
3. Skip the toilet paper
We highly suggest skipping toilet paper while you have hemorrhoids, most especially if they are the external and thrombosed types. Using toilet paper while having hemorrhoids is akin to grazing sandpaper on an open wound. Yikes!
What are the alternatives? Well, you can use soothing wipes. There are wipes available in the market that have anti-hemorrhoid properties and ingredients like aloe vera or witch hazel. If going down the wet wipe path, make sure you choose a type that doesn’t have alcohol, perfume or other irritants.
You can also use a bidet. Bidets are plumbing fixtures that are installed as a separate unit in the toilet. It promotes handless washing of the anal and genital area with running water without having to use your hands.
4. Over-the-counter ointments
Fortunately, there are plenty of over-the-counter ointments and creams such as Preparation H that offer immediate pain relief from hemorrhoids. While others just numb the pain, some are formulated to reduce the swelling, helping the hemorrhoid to heal faster.
5. Oral pain relievers
If the pain is really unbearable, you can take the pain relief method a notch higher by taking pain relief orally. Ibuprofen such as Advil, Motrin IB and acetaminophen such as Tylenol and also aspirin are known to temporarily help relieve pain from hemorrhoids.
We urge you to consult a medical practitioner first before taking oral pain relief in order to rule out allergic or adverse reactions.
When should you see a doctor for your hemorrhoids?
If you are doing all, or a combination of, the above pain relief treatments alongside prevention of hemorrhoids (such as eating properly) and your symptoms have not abated at all within a week, or if symptoms worsen, please seek medical attention immediately.
We hope this has helped you find fast pain relief from hemorrhoids! If you have further questions or would like to know more about pain relief from piles, please do not hesitate to send us a message!