Hemorrhoids affect nearly 50% of adults under 50 years of age, including approximately 10 million Americans annually. This common condition happens when veins stretch and begin to bulge. They are not life-threatening, but they can be very uncomfortable.
Signs of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids can appear in and around the anus, so this is where you will notice the symptoms. Adults with hemorrhoids often experience:
- Extreme itching and irritation in the area
- Painful lump or swelling
- Painful bowel movements
- Fecal leakage
- Blood after bowel movements
Who Gets Hemorrhoids?
There are several factors that can make you more likely to develop hemorrhoids. The condition can be passed genetically or may be the result of certain activities or conditions. Obesity increases the risk as well as constant strain on the body and frequent heavy lifting. Too much standing without breaks can also cause hemorrhoids. Other causes include pregnancy, diarrhea, and consistent anal intercourse.
How to Cure Hemorrhoids
Some hemorrhoid treatments are performed at the doctor’s office while others can be done at home. Common solutions include:
- Soaking for Pain Relief
Soaking in a tub of warm water for 10 minutes or more daily can provide relief from hemorrhoid pain. Some patients sit on a water bottle to sooth external hemorrhoids. If the discomfort is significant, you can use an over-the-counter suppository.
- Hemorrhoid Cream
A hemorrhoid cream like hydrocortisone can help reduce the symptoms of hemorrhoids while you heal. This can be done along with daily soaking.
- Rubber Band Ligation
When home remedies do not work, patients may be advised to get a rubber band ligation. Your gastroenterologist cuts off circulation to the affected area using a rubber band. This forces the hemorrhoid to shrink.
If you experience painful hemorrhoids, contact your gastroenterologist to learn more about available treatment options.