Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins in the anus and rectum. They can be internal, located inside the rectum, or external, located outside the anus. Haemorrhoids can cause discomfort, itching, and pain, and can sometimes bleed. They are a common condition, affecting about 50% of adults by the age of 50.
In most cases, haemorrhoids can be treated with home remedies, such as increased fibre intake, regular exercise, and over-the-counter creams and ointments. However, in some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat haemorrhoids.
Causes of Haemorrhoids
Haemorrhoids are caused by a number of factors, including:
- Straining during bowel movements: Straining during bowel movements can cause veins in the anus and rectum to become swollen and irritated, leading to haemorrhoids.
- Constipation: Hard and dry stools can cause irritation and injury to the anus and rectum, leading to haemorrhoids.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women are at an increased risk of developing haemorrhoids due to increased pressure on the blood vessels in the rectum and anus.
- Aging: As we age, the tissues supporting the veins in the anus and rectum can weaken, leading to the development of haemorrhoids.
- Chronic diarrhoea: Chronic diarrhoea can cause irritation and injury to the anus and rectum, leading to haemorrhoids.
- Sitting for long periods: Prolonged sitting can increase pressure on the veins in the anus and rectum, leading to the development of haemorrhoids.
- Obesity: Excess weight can put additional pressure on the veins in the anus and rectum, leading to the development of haemorrhoids.
- Genetics: Some people may be predisposed to developing haemorrhoids due to genetic factors.
It is important to keep in mind that these are some of the most common causes of haemorrhoids. If you have any concerns about your symptoms, it’s best to speak with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
14 Effective Home Remedies To Treat Haemorrhoids
Haemorrhoids while they can be uncomfortable and painful, there are several effective home remedies that can provide relief:
- Sitz (Warm) bath: A sitz bath involves sitting in a shallow bath of warm water for 10-15 minutes to relieve pain and discomfort associated with haemorrhoids. Sitting in a warm bath for 10-15 minutes can provide relief from haemorrhoid pain and itching.
- Cold compress: Applying a cold compress, such as a cold pack or a bag of frozen vegetables, to the affected area can help reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
- Aloe vera: Aloe vera gel can soothe and moisturize the skin, reducing discomfort and itching associated with haemorrhoids.
- Witch hazel: Witch hazel is an astringent that can help reduce swelling and discomfort caused by haemorrhoids. Apply witch hazel directly to the affected area using a cotton pad. Using witch hazel wipes after a bowel movement can help soothe and clean the affected area, reducing discomfort and itching.
- Fibre-rich foods: Increasing your intake of fibre-rich foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, can help prevent constipation and soften stools, reducing the risk of haemorrhoids.
- Hydration: Drinking plenty of water and other fluids can help prevent constipation and keep stools soft, reducing the risk of haemorrhoids.
- Over-the-counter creams: Over-the-counter creams and ointments, such as those containing hydrocortisone or lidocaine, can provide temporary relief from haemorrhoid symptoms.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity can help prevent constipation and improve bowel function, reducing the risk of haemorrhoids.
- Epsom salt bath: Adding a cup of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soaking for 10-15 minutes can help relieve pain and discomfort associated with haemorrhoids.
- Horse chestnut: Horse chestnut is an herbal remedy that is believed to improve circulation and reduce swelling, making it a useful treatment for haemorrhoids. You can find horse chestnut extract in supplement form or use creams and ointments containing horse chestnut extract.
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that make it a useful treatment for haemorrhoids. Dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and apply directly to the affected area using a cotton swab.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C and has anti-inflammatory properties that make it a useful treatment for haemorrhoids. Mix lemon juice with water and drink regularly or apply lemon juice directly to the affected area using a cotton swab.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties that make it a useful treatment for haemorrhoids. Apply coconut oil directly to the affected area or include coconut oil in your diet by using it for cooking and baking.
- Dandelion root: Dandelion root is an herbal remedy that is believed to help regulate digestion and improve liver function, making it a useful treatment for haemorrhoids. You can find dandelion root in supplement form or as a tea.
These are just a few additional home remedies that may help relieve symptoms associated with haemorrhoids. However, it’s important to remember that these remedies may not work for everyone and may not address the underlying cause of haemorrhoids.
If you experience persistent symptoms, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider. They may recommend additional treatment options, such as medications or procedures, to provide long-term relief.