Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the lower rectum and anus, which can cause pain, itching, and bleeding. Fortunately, although hemorrhoids can be uncomfortable, there are some simple self-care strategies that you can use at home to manage these symptoms. If this is your first time dealing with hemorrhoids, make sure that you schedule an appointment to get a proper diagnosis before using these strategies.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
Dietary modifications, including drinking more water and increasing fiber, are one of the easiest ways to manage hemorrhoids. Water and fiber both make stools softer and easier to pass, which reduces pressure and irritation on hemorrhoids. Make sure that you drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Foods that are good sources of dietary fiber include oats, whole grains, beans, and fruit. You can also try taking a fiber supplement with psyllium husk, such as Metamucil.
Practice Healthy Bathroom Habits
Modifying your bathroom habits can also make a big difference in preventing and managing hemorrhoid flare-ups. Try to go to the restroom as soon as you have the urge, as waiting can worsen constipation and lead to hemorrhoids. You should also avoid straining when using the restroom, as well as sitting on the toilet for extended periods of time, for the same reason.
Try a Sitz Bath
A warm water soak is a good way to cleanse the area and relieve pain and inflammation related to hemorrhoids. A sitz bath is a small basin that fits over the toilet, which can make warm water soaks easier and more convenient. Sitz baths can be purchased at most pharmacies, and are typically used two to three times per day for 10 to 15 minutes.
Try an Over-the-Counter Remedy
There are a number of over-the-counter remedies that can be used for mild to moderate hemorrhoid symptoms. These include witch hazel and medications like Preparation H, which contain an ingredient that can temporarily shrink hemorrhoids. Keep in mind that these medications are not a cure for hemorrhoids, but can be used to manage symptoms for a period of time.
Know When to See Your Doctor
If you’ve tried these treatment strategies and are still dealing with hemorrhoid pain, bleeding, or other symptoms, it may be time to schedule an appointment. There are many safe and effective procedures that can be done in-office to remove hemorrhoids, such as rubber band ligation (also known as “banding”). You can contact the office at 310-360-6807 to schedule an appointment, or if you have any questions about hemorrhoid treatment. You can also book an appointment online by clicking below.