Just about everyone suffers from hemorrhoids at some point in life. Studies suggest that nearly 50 percent of Americans will suffer with hemorrhoids by the time they reach age 50. This uncomfortable condition develops when the veins around the anus become inflamed and swollen. Itching, pain and rectal bleeding are all symptoms of hemorrhoids. While the condition can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, there are several ways to treat them at home. Listed below are some of the best home remedies for external hemorrhoids.
Keep it Clean
If you want to rid yourself of hemorrhoids once and for all, you need to keep the anal area clean, especially after a bowel movement. Use unscented toilet paper to prevent further irritation. You may also want to consider using baby wipes if you have extra sensitive skin or your skin is badly irritated. Just keep in mind that you cannot flush baby wipes.
Keeping the anal area clean and reducing irritation alone can help heal your hemorrhoids.
Avoid Sweating and Straining
Straining can cause or worsen hemorrhoids. You should only be using the toilet long enough to defecate without straining. If you are having difficulty, you may want to wait until you feel the urge to go, rather than forcing a bowel movement.
Make sure that you keep your body hydrated. This keeps the digestive system moving. Drink at least eight large glasses of water each day, or other non-caffeinated beverages. Avoid sugary drinks that deplete your fluids. Make sure that you eat plenty of high fiber fruits and vegetables, which are naturally packed with water.
Change Your Diet
One of the most effective ways to heal hemorrhoids is to change your diet by incorporating more fiber. Fiber should be added to your diet gradually. If you consume too much fiber too quickly, you may experience diarrhea, gas and abdominal cramps.
Foods that are high in fiber include:
Again, you want to gradually increase your fiber intake over time. Women should be consuming approximately 25 grams of fiber each day, while men need 38 grams.
To reduce swelling and minimize pain, soak a cotton ball in undistilled witch hazel and apply to the affected area. Keep the cotton ball on the hemorrhoids for a minimum of three minutes.
Witch hazel is one of the most tannin-rich herbs, which helps reduce inflammation. It’s a powerful astringent that will reduce swelling, facilitate healing and provide pain relief.
Hemorrhoids are painful because of inflammation. To relieve the pain and to help heal the hemorrhoids, you need to reduce the swelling. Tea bags can help you do this. Much like witch hazel, tea bags contain tannins that help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
A warm, wet tea bag can be applied to the hemorrhoids while sitting on the toilet. This will make the treatment as comfortable as possible. The warmth of the tea bag will also help provide you with some relief.
Exercise is often recommended as a complementary treatment for hemorrhoids. Keeping your body active helps keep the digestive system active. This makes it easier to go, and reduces straining. Strenuous exercise is not necessary to see results. A brisk walk a few times a week will do the trick.
Try a New Position
To help heal your hemorrhoids and to prevent them from getting worse, try a new position. Squatting is considered a more natural and comfortable position for moving the bowels. Unfortunately, most Western toilets are not designed this way. You can make some adjustments by propping your feet up on a small footstool. Pull your knees in the direction of your chest to further help move the bowels.
Take a Hip Bath
A hip bath can help minimize pain and discomfort while helping your hemorrhoids heal. Take a hip bath for 30 minutes, three to four times per day. You can invest in a sitz bath or you can sit in six inches of water on a doughnut cushion.
Wear the Right Clothes
What materials are your undergarments made from? Choosing breathable fabrics is the best choice. Not only are they soft on your bottom, but they also allow the affected area to get some much-needed oxygen. Cotton is the best choice and will be the most comfortable material to wear.
Aloe Vera is a “wonder plant” for skin. It soothes, moisturizes and heals. Apply Aloe Vera gel to the anal area several times per day to facilitate healing and relieve the pain.
Triphala is an Ayurvedic treatment that consists of three myrobalans: Bibhitaki, Amalaki and Haritaki. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, this treatment is used to help relieve constipation and improve digestion, among many other things. You can purchase Triphala in capsule form online or from any health food store. Just make sure that you follow the dosage and directions carefully.