Diseases have been a constant companion of humans throughout history.
Many of them are certainly the same as those we see now, but some were poorly understood, and their names were often difficult to decipher. However, this is not the case when we talk about hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are one of the well-described conditions in the history of medicine. The reasons you get them and how to get rid of them are endlessly debated, and there is still no consensus on the most effective treatment method.
In Mesopotamia, around 1500 BCE, the earliest convincing observations of hemorrhoids and other anus and anal canal disorders were written down. The literature of Indian and Chinese civilizations, on the other hand, contains far ancient records, the exact age of which we do not know.
Hemorrhoids (HEM-uh-roids), often referred to as piles, are swollen, bulging veins that develop inside and outside the anus and rectum, causing discomfort. They can occur inside the rectum (Internal Hemorrhoids) or under the skin around the anus (External Hemorrhoids).
The condition is extremely common in men and women, affecting around half of the population by 50. Hemorrhoids affect many women throughout pregnancy and childbirth as the pressure of carrying a baby places additional strain on the blood vessels in the pelvic region.
As you may be aware, hemorrhoids can be a source of continuous discomfort or unbearable pain, and in some cases, both. Every treatment has three objectives: to alleviate the current symptoms, find ways to prevent worse, and address the root cause of the problem.
Diets high in fiber, bowel softeners, and over-the-counter therapeutic medicines are all effective methods to get rid of hemorrhoids. But if the pain gets severe, both surgical and non-surgical treatments may be used to remove it completely.
This article discusses how home remedies and over-the-counter medicines can help to alleviate the pain and suffering that hemorrhoids cause in the body. If none of these treatments work for you, go for specialist procedures or consider surgery to get rid of the pain.
Home Remedies to Cure Hemorrhoids
If you are suffering from painful hemorrhoids, you should consider trying one of the four home remedies listed below.
Warm Bath with Epsom Salt
A warm bath with 1/2 cups of Epsom salt dissolved is a tried-and-tested home cure for alleviating inflamed anal tissue and reducing the symptoms of hemorrhoids. If possible, use a sitz bath—a little plastic bucket that sits on the toilet seat and allows you to soak the infected area while using the toilet. Take a bath for over 15-20 minutes after each bowel movement to alleviate the discomfort and reduce the pain.
Witch hazel is a plant extract that carries astringent (drying) properties to treat wounds. It's frequently used as a cosmetic toner to cleanse the skin and minimize pores. Apart from that, it is a common ingredient of over-the-counter lotions, ointments, suppositories, or pads advertised to treat hemorrhoids.
Witch hazel has been shown to alleviate both itching and pain—the two most common symptoms of external hemorrhoids. Since it is a natural anti-inflammatory, it has the added benefit of reducing swelling. It's available in a liquid version that can be applied directly to external hemorrhoids.
Witch hazel's tannins and oils have an anti-inflammatory action on the skin, which can help reduce inflammation, and a minor vasoconstriction effect, which can help shrink tissue and prevent bleeding.
Pure Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera is a cactus-like plant traditionally used to treat many skin conditions, including acne. Aloe Vera's sticky sap has been used to treat hemorrhoids and other skin problems for years. It is believed to contain anti-inflammatory qualities, which may aid in the reduction of discomfort.
There isn't a lot of clinical data to support the use of Aloe Vera for hemorrhoids at this time. However, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health's Trusted Source, Aloe Vera is safe for topical application. However, use pure gel for hemorrhoids because other ingredients and chemicals can irritate them. You can extract pure gel directly from the inside of an Aloe plant's leaves at home.
Ointments, Creams, Wipes, and Anti-Inflammatories
Various ointments, creams, and wipes containing chemicals to calm inflamed tissue are readily available at local pharmacies. They are usually the first cure that people go for when they have a rash. These choices can lubricate the area and produce a relaxing or numbing sensation, which can help to alleviate some of the pain and discomfort.
One type of anti-inflammatory drug contains a component known as a vasoconstrictor, which constricts small blood vessels, causing swelling to subside temporarily. These ointments will not entirely heal the hemorrhoids but will definitely make you feel better.
Some prescription creams are also used for pain relief in addition to over-the-counter medicinal ointments and wipes. These products may contain a steroid that aids in the reduction of inflammation.
Low-dose cortisone cream is another over-the-counter alternative used when dealing with severe hemorrhoids. Applying a barrier cream such as zinc oxide and topical anesthetics such as dibucaine and lidocaine to the affected area may also prevent further irritation and pain.
When to See a Doctor
If you are experiencing bleeding during bowel movements or have hemorrhoids that have not improved after a week of home care, consult your doctor immediately. Never presume that hemorrhoids cause rectal bleeding until you have experienced changes in your bowel movements or noticed changes in the color or consistency of your stools. Rectal bleeding can be caused by various disorders, including colorectal cancer and anal cancer.
If you're willing to explore, there's a strong chance that you'll discover a home remedy or lifestyle adjustment that will provide relief from painful hemorrhoids. If this is not the case, there are numerous over-the-counter medications you can try, but remember that not all of them are likely to be effective. At last, if nothing works, minimally invasive procedures (such as those performed in a doctor's office) may be a better option before trying your last bet—surgery.