Hemorrhoids, or piles, can be a literal pain in the butt. Even though hemorrhoids are painful, they aren’t life-threatening, and their symptoms go away on their own without treatment. Speaking of treatment, there are a lot of natural ways to treat hemorrhoids. Check out the list below for eight different remedies you can try at home so you can finally live without fear… of pain in the rear.
Although there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of aloe vera gel against hemorrhoids, the National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health still recommends it as safe for topical use. Aloe vera gel has been a staple in treating various skin conditions as well as hemorrhoids. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce skin irritation. Aloe vera gel is a common ingredient in many topical ointments and skin products. We recommend using only pure aloe vera gel, which can be extracted directly from inside an aloe plant’s leaves.
Be careful, though: if you are allergic to garlic or onions, you might be allergic to aloe vera as well, as they come from the same plant family. Check for an allergic reaction by rubbing a dime-sized amount onto your forearm, and then wait 24–48 hours. If no reaction occurs, it should be safe to use.
Witch hazel has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which could help in reducing the swelling of the rectum. It can also reduce both itching and pain, two main symptoms of hemorrhoids. Witch hazel is available in liquid form, which can be applied directly to the hemorrhoids. Witch hazel is also an ingredient found in products like anti-itch wipes and soaps.
Warm bath with Epsom salt
Warm baths can help soothe the irritation caused by hemorrhoids. You can use a sitz bath, which is a bowl that fits over a toilet seat so you can easily soak the painful area. You can also take a full-body bath in your tub. According to Harvard Health, taking a warm bath for 20 minutes after every bowel movement will be most effective. Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) can also reduce swelling. Adding them to your sitz bath can provide further relief by reducing pain.
Using dry and rough toilet paper after a bowel movement can aggravate existing hemorrhoids. To prevent this, use soothing wipes to help keep you clean without causing further irritation. There are also a lot of wipes made with soothing, anti-hemorrhoid ingredients, such as witch hazel or aloe vera. Choose wipes that do not contain alcohol, perfume or other irritants, as these substances could cause further irritation instead of relieving them.
Ice can act as a sort of anaesthetic because of its numbing effect on the skin. You can relieve pain right away by placing an ice pack on an external hemorrhoid. It will also help reduce the blood clot.
Use the ice for 15–20 minutes at a time, and keep a cloth between the ice and your skin to prevent skin damage. For large, painful hemorrhoids, this can be an extremely effective treatment. Always wrap ice inside a cloth or paper towel, and never apply something frozen directly to the skin.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, stool softeners or fiber supplements, like psyllium, can help reduce constipation and make it easier to have quick, painless bowel movements. Many of these stool softeners come in forms like powders, capsules and liquids that you take by mouth between once and three times a day.
Loose, cotton clothing
Swapping out tight clothes made with polyester with ultra-breathable cotton (especially cotton underwear) can help keep the anal area both clean and dry. This can potentially reduce symptoms. Avoid using perfumed detergents or fabric softeners to reduce irritation.
Making changes in your lifestyle and diet is the best way to prevent hemorrhoids. Consuming foods rich in fiber (especially from plants) and drinking plenty of water will keep the digestive process moving correctly and prevent constipation. Avoid sitting for long periods and maintain an active lifestyle with regular exercise. Go to the bathroom when you first feel the urge and do not delay bowel movement as this reabsorbs water from the stool. This makes stool harder when you finally do go.
When to see your doctor
Hemorrhoids usually clear up on their own. However, there are very rare instances where a hemorrhoid could lead to other complications. Chronic blood loss from a hemorrhoid, for example, could cause anemia, which is a shortage of red blood cells. Internal hemorrhoids can also have their blood supply cut off, resulting in strangulated hemorrhoids, which can cause extreme pain.
If you have been experiencing hemorrhoids for more than two weeks or if home treatments do not seem to work, make an appointment to see a doctor who can diagnose and treat hemorrhoids. They can issue prescriptions for medicated creams, ointments and suppositories. If these treatments don’t work, they may recommend treatments like rubber band litigation or surgery to remove the hemorrhoids. You should also make an appointment to see your doctor right away if you notice rectal bleeding for the first time or if your rectal bleeding increases.
Got a question or anything I can help with? My name is Steve Stretton, I’m the owner and manager at Gelpacks.com. You can drop me a line here. Good luck!