Hemorrhoids, known as piles, are swollen veins. They are found in the anus and rectum. These swollen areas may hurt, itch, or bleed. One in every 20 Americans deals with hemorrhoids. They can be inside or outside your body. Most hemorrhoids get better by themselves within a few weeks. Yet, they often cause discomfort. This piece shares info on caring for hemorrhoids at home. This includes both home treatments and medicines you can buy without a prescription. We’ll talk about when it’s best to see a doctor. Also, we’ll touch on advanced treatments.

Understanding Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus or rectum. They can cause pain, itching, and rectal bleeding. These are a natural part of our bodies. They might grow bigger and hurt, becoming hemorrhoids. Learning what types and what causes them helps manage this issue.

What Are Hemorrhoids?

There are two kinds of hemorrhoids: internal or external. Internal ones form inside the rectum and you can’t usually see them. External ones grow on the skin around the anus. They are more visible and you might feel them.

About one in every 20 Americans gets hemorrhoids. This makes them a common health problem.

Types of Hemorrhoids

Internal and external hemorrhoids are the main two types. Internal ones sit inside the rectum. They are usually too soft to feel with a rectal exam. External ones are on the skin around the anus and can be felt. They appear as swollen blood vessels.

Causes of Hemorrhoids

Straining during bowel movements, chronic constipation, and pregnancy are common causes. So are obesity and getting older. A lack of activity, a diet low in fiber, and long times sitting or standing can also lead to hemorrhoids. Plus, if it runs in your family, you might be more at risk.

Home Remedies for Hemorrhoid Relief

Many home remedies can ease the pain of hemorrhoids. They are a good way to start. These methods can help without needing a doctor’s appointment right away.

Warm Baths and Sitz Baths

Soaking in a warm bath helps a lot. A sitz bath is perfect if you can’t take a full bath. It fits over the toilet. This warm water eases the area and gives you a break from the pain.

Cold Compresses

Cold compresses are also useful. They lower swelling and pain, especially for big hemorrhoids. The cold helps shrink the blood vessels, which can make you feel less pain.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a great natural remedy. It’s made from a plant and works as an astringent. You can use witch hazel pads or products like creams or wipes. They help with itchiness, pain, and swelling.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is known for its soothing properties. It helps calm and heal the area around the hemorrhoids. One study shows that mixing it with other things can lower pain and swelling.

Try these methods to feel better. They work well for many people with mild to moderate symptoms. It’s a good way to get relief without going to the doctor right away.

home remedies for hemorrhoids

Over-the-Counter Treatments

Along with home care, you can use OTC items for hemorrhoid trouble. For quick relief, try OTC creams like Preparation H. These products calm pain, itch, and swelling. They have hydrocortisone that cuts down on redness. Adding stool softeners or psyllium, a fiber, to your plan can help a lot. They prevent constipation, easing toilet time. These over-the-counter choices work well for light to medium hemorrhoid issues.

Hemorrhoid Creams and Ointments

Using OTC creams and ointments can quickly soothe hemorrhoid signs. They use hydrocortisone to lower soreness and treat pain, itch, and swelling. Follow the directions for best results. These therapies give brief comfort for milder cases.

Stool Softeners

Keeping stools regular and soft helps with hemorrhoids. Taking stool softeners or psyllium can make this happen. They ease passing and lessen the pressure on hemorrhoids. This makes bathroom visits more bearable, cutting down on discomfort.

Dietary and Lifestyle Changes

Changing what you eat and how you live can be key in handling or stopping hemorrhoids. More fiber in your diet softens your stool. This makes going to the bathroom easier and cuts down on strain. Drinking lots of water helps too. It prevents constipation and makes bathroom trips smoother.

Increase Fiber Intake

It’s important for adults to eat 21–38 grams of fiber daily for a healthy gut. Add fiber by eating foods like lentils, artichokes, and fruits. For instance, a cup of cooked lentils has about 16 grams. And a medium pear has nearly 6 grams of fiber. Include these in your meals to meet your daily fiber goal.

Stay Hydrated

Water is your best friend in fighting against hemorrhoids. Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses every day keeps your stool soft. This makes it easier to go to the bathroom without much strain. This is helpful in preventing or reducing hemorrhoid troubles.

Exercise Regularly

Move your body often, like with brisk walks, to boost your gut and blood flow. This keeps hemorrhoids at bay. These simple activities are great for handling hemorrhoids and stopping them from coming back.

dietary changes for hemorrhoids

Preventing Hemorrhoids

In addition to curing hemorrhoids, you can stop new ones from forming. Eat lots of fiber, drink plenty of water, and stay active. This helps keep your bowel movements easy and regular. It stops you from putting too much pressure on your bottom, which can cause hemorrhoids. Try not to sit or stand for a long time. When nature calls, go to the bathroom right away. This is important for stopping hemorrhoids from forming. Keeping your bowels healthy and living well is the main way to do this.

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent HemorrhoidsBenefits
High-Fiber DietSoftens stool and reduces straining during bowel movements, lowering the risk of hemorrhoids.
Adequate HydrationPrevents constipation and makes bowel movements more comfortable, helping to reduce the risk of hemorrhoids.
Regular ExerciseImproves bowel function and circulation, which may help prevent the development of new hemorrhoids.
Avoiding Prolonged Sitting or StandingReduces the strain and pressure on the veins in the anus and rectum, thereby lowering the chances of hemorrhoids.

Make these changes part of your daily life. This will help you avoid getting hemorrhoids and stop them from coming back. It’s all about keeping your bowel health in check and living a balanced lifestyle.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Most times, you can treat hemorrhoids at home. It’s done by using remedies we talked about and changing your lifestyle. But if your symptoms don’t get better in a week or if they get worse, you should see a doctor for hemorrhoids. Also, if you have a lot of pain, bleed too much, or you see blood clots in your hemorrhoids, you need to get medical help.

Your doctor will check you and might do some tests. They could suggest treatments like rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, or even surgery. A small number of people with hemorrhoids might need surgery. Remember, always seek help if your hemorrhoid symptoms are severe or if home treatments don’t work.

when to see a doctor for hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids Self-Care

Self-care is key for easing hemorrhoids discomfort. Take warm baths or sitz baths to soothe and reduce swelling. Using cold compresses can also ease up irritation by reducing inflammation.

Warm Baths

A warm soak, known as a sitz bath, can improve hemorrhoid symptoms. It lessens irritation and supports blood flow, cutting down on swelling. You should aim for two soaks per day, lasting 10 to 20 minutes each time.

Cold Compresses

Use cold packs on the area for relief from hemorrhoid pain and swelling. This method shrinks blood vessels and lowers inflammation. Do this 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

Over-the-Counter Remedies

Around-the-house aids are good, but there’s also over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments. You can get creams, ointments, or suppositories with hydrocortisone, witch hazel, or numbing agents. These can counteract pain, itching, and burning linked with hemorrhoids.

Using these self-care steps is effective for many with hemorrhoid problems. It might bypass the need for more complicated medical attention.

Diagnosing Hemorrhoids

The first thing doctors do is find out if you have hemorrhoids. They use several ways to do this.

Digital Examination

Doctors sometimes do a digital rectal exam. They wear a glove and use lubrication. They check inside for any lumps or swelling. This tells them if you might have hemorrhoids. They also find out how bad they are.

Visual Inspection

Doctors also look inside with tools like an anoscope. Or a sigmoidoscope may be used. This helps them see if you have internal or external hemorrhoids. It’s a way for them to make sure of the diagnosis. They can also see if other problems are happening.

Getting a correct diagnosis of hemorrhoids is the start. It helps figure out the best treatment plan. By doing a careful digital rectal exam and visual inspection, doctors know more. They can suggest how to best manage your hemorrhoids.

Medical Treatments for Hemorrhoids

If simple home or store treatments don’t work, or if a person has severe or often coming back hemorrhoids, other medical treatments might be needed. These can involve using small rubber bands, injecting a solution, or applying heat to the affected area.

Rubber Band Ligation

Rubber band ligation is a simple process. It involves a small rubber band placed around the hemorrhoid’s base. This band stops its blood flow, making it shrink and fall off in about a week. It’s a good way to treat tougher or advanced clots.


Sclerotherapy shrinks the hemorrhoid by injecting a solution. It’s done outside the hospital and is useful for more serious or repeating cases. This treatment can be very effective.

Coagulation Techniques

Coagulation methods use laser, light, or heat to treat bleeding hemorrhoids. This technique is easy and can help when other treatments don’t work. It’s good for advanced cases.

Surgical Procedures

Sometimes, when other treatments don’t work, surgery might be needed for bad or repeating hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoidectomy is the surgery to remove extra hemorrhoidal tissue. It’s seen as the best and full way to treat severe hemorrhoid surgery. This surgery is usually done with the person asleep.


Hemorrhoidectomy removes extra hemorrhoidal tissue in a surgery considered the best for severe hemorrhoidectomy. It’s usually done under general anesthesia.

Hemorrhoid Stapling

Hemorrhoid stapling (stapled hemorrhoidopexy) is a different surgery. It uses a stapling tool to move hemorrhoids back into the body. It’s less painful than a hemorrhoidectomy. But it has a bigger chance of the problem coming back. Doctors use both surgeries when other treatments don’t work.

Preparing for a Doctor’s Appointment

If you have symptoms of hemorrhoids, making a doctor’s appointment is key. Remember any diet or prep instructions. Note your symptoms, their duration, normal diet, fiber intake, and meds. This info aids in a spot-on diagnosis and treatment plan.

Preparing questions is also smart. Ask about symptoms’ cause, treatment choices, and recovery time. Your prep will make your visit more informative. It helps with finding the best way to handle your hemorrhoids.


Hemorrhoids are common and can be quite uncomfortable. Luckily, there are many at-home treatments and care steps. These includes warm baths, cold packs, and special creams. Eating right and changing some habits can help a lot too.

If these steps don’t work after a week, it’s time to see a doctor. Severe pain, lots of bleeding, or blood clots are also signs to get medical help. Healthcare providers have more ways to help, like with rubber bands, injections, or surgery.

Knowing how to care for hemorrhoids at home and when to get help is key. By using home remedies and visiting a doctor when needed, you can feel better and enjoy life more.


What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins found in the anus and rectum. They cause pain, itching, and bleeding. They come in two types, internal and external.

What causes hemorrhoids?

The main causes are straining, constipation, pregnancy, obesity, and old age. Leading a sedentary life and not eating enough fiber can also lead to hemorrhoids. Prolonged sitting or standing is another factor.

How can I treat bleeding from hemorrhoids at home?

Warm baths, cold compresses, witch hazel, and aloe vera are effective home treatments for hemorrhoids.

What over-the-counter treatments are available for hemorrhoids?

Over-the-counter products like Preparation H creams and ointments help with symptoms. Stool softeners and fiber supplements can ease discomfort as well.

How can dietary and lifestyle changes help with hemorrhoids?

Eating more fiber, drinking plenty of water, and staying active are beneficial. They can help soften your stool, improve your bowel movements, and lessen your hemorrhoid risk.

When should I seek medical attention for hemorrhoids?

If home care does not relieve your symptoms in a week, seek a doctor. Also, for severe pain, heavy bleeding, or blood clots, get medical help.

How are hemorrhoids diagnosed?

Doctors check by feeling inside the rectum and looking at it. This allows them to diagnose hemorrhoids and exclude other issues.

What are the medical treatments for hemorrhoids?

If simple treatments do not work, more advanced options like ligation, sclerotherapy, or coagulation are available.

When is surgery recommended for hemorrhoids?

Doctors suggest surgery for severe, persistent hemorrhoids that do not respond to other treatments.

How can I prepare for a doctor’s appointment for hemorrhoids?

Before your visit, note symptoms, bowel habits, diet, and medications. Also, include any supplements you might be taking. Your doctor will use this to help with your diagnosis and treatment.

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