Inflammation, swelling, tears, or painful bumps around the anus could affect your daily activities and mental health. Knowing you can cope and get through these times is reassuring and helps you through recovery.
According to a report published in the USA, 50% of the country’s adults aged 50 and above may experience hemorrhoids. The commonality of this disease has contributed to intensive research that has gone into developing better medication. However, coping with hemorrhoids goes beyond medication. Some lifestyle changes can prove effective in making recovery easier. Let’s break them down:
Effective Coping Methods for Hemorrhoids
1. Eat Well
Hemorrhoids are most commonly caused unhealthy eating practices. When our body does not receive the required amount of nutrients, it suffers. Lack of fiber and insufficient water consumption is an unhealthy practice that may lead to hemorrhoids. This causes constipation, which is the leading cause of hemorrhoids.
To avoid this issue:
- Eat more whole grains and legumes. These include brown rice, quinoa, pulses, oats, lentils, beans, and nuts. These foods provide high doses of soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which are essential for a healthy digestive system.
- Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Eat leafy green and root vegetables like spinach, kale, capsicum, potato, celery, and cucumber. Also, eat apples, berries, and pears.
These vegetables and fruits are packed with essential dietary fiber and have high water content, promoting healthy gut activity and helping bulk up the stool.
- Drink sufficient water. Water helps in softening stool and making their expulsion more comfortable. With softer stools, your hemorrhoids have a chance of healing faster.
- Avoid coffee, tea, sodas or alcohol as much as you can. These can dehydrate your stool and cause constipation.
2. Try Home Remedies
Apart from eating well, you can apply certain homemade medication or incorporate some practices into your daily lives to help you get through these tough times.
- Depending on the severity of your hemorrhoids, coconut oil suppositories may prove helpful. The coconut oil helps line the inner sides of your rectum and lubricates your stools, allowing it to pass more comfortably. Using coconut oil has no side effects and is great for treating inflamed skin and wounds.
- Soak your bottom in warm water daily for at least 10-15 minutes, and repeat this 2-3 times a day. Clean, warm water helps with hemorrhoid flare-ups and soothes inflamed skin.
- Apply cold compresses or an icepack directly to the inflammed part of the anus for 10-15 minutes, 2-3 times a day. Doing so will help promote healing as warm blood rushes to the cold skin.
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel to the infected part of your anus.. Aloe vera has great natural healing properties and poses no side effects.
- Mix some witch hazel into warm water or oil, and apply it to your hemorrhoid with a cotton pad. Witch hazel reduces pain and itching and works as a great natural numbing agent.
- If passing stools is hurting you, coat your anus with petroleum jelly. It will lubricate the anus and allow the stools to pass more easily. It will also protect any anal tears or wounds from getting infected.
Keep it in mind that home remedies are not replacements for medical treatment. Consult your physician if the problem persists, becomes too painful, or reoccurs frequently.
3. Carry Out Daily Activities More Carefully
- Allow your anus to relax and heal for some hours by sleeping on your stomach or your side. Lying flat on your back might exert pressure on your hemorrhoids. This could trigger pain, discomfort, or even lead to the hemorrhoids bursting and getting infected.
Try keeping a pillow or cushion between your legs and sleep on your side for more comfort.
- Take time out for rest. Physical movement can cause friction and irritate your hemorrhoid.
- Get a step stool and place it in front of your toilet. Place your feet on the stool to elevate your legs and better position your rectum for comfortable expulsion of stools.
- Refrain from using toilet paper to clean yourself after using the bathroom. Toilet paper can irritate and reopen a healing wound. Always use water to clean yourself.
- Only wear loose-fitting cotton underwear or trousers to reduce friction and irritation. If your clothes get wet, change them immediately. Wet clothes can carry bacteria, infect the hemorrhoids, and cause irritation.
- If your hemorrhoids are still inflamed or recovering, refrain from running or walking fast. Both these activities can cause you to sweat between your buttocks. The moisture can irritate and infect your hemorrhoid.
4. Take Necessary Medication
- Buy an ointment or healing cream that contains hydrocortisone. This medicine is effective for reducing irritation and pain caused by hemorrhoids. It also helps with swelling and protects hemorrhoids from infection.
You can apply the hydrocortisone cream directly.
- Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication if the pain is preventing you from carrying out daily activities.
You can use oral medicines such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or Tylenol.
5. Seek Your Doctor’s Help
- Hemorrhoids can get very serious and dangerous if you avoid seeking timely help from a doctor. Let the doctor examine the severity of your hemorrhoid, and then do as the doctor prescribes. Knowing you have professional help can be very reassuring and save you from mental distress.
- Do not delay a necessary surgical or invasive procedure if your condition requires it. Avoiding it would only worsen your hemorrhoid. Untreated hemorrhoids can also become life-threatening. If you need surgery, seek psychological help to prepare yourself for the procedure.
Recovering from anal hemorrhoids can be stressful and painful. But it does not always have to be that way.
Eat food with high fiber content, use home remedies, rest more and avoid sleeping on your back. These coping methods will help you prevent your hemorrhoids from getting worse and speed up recovery.
Taking medication and seeking the doctor’s assistance would further help you recover from hemorrhoids better and more effectively.
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