Typically, a conservative approach will be tried first with lifestyle and dietary modifications, and medical management. Treatment options may include:
Sitz baths to relieve itching, irritation, and spasms of the anal sphincter muscle. You can buy a kit at most pharmacies, or use your own bathtub at home with a few inches of warm water. We recommend 15-20-minute Sitz baths after each bowel movement, up to 3x/day as needed for comfort.
These are warm water baths that decrease pain temporarily and reduce irritation from small bits of stool trapped around irritated blood vessels.
OTC and Prescription medications to temporarily relieve pain and itching and decrease inflammation.
Oral pain relievers to relieve discomfort.
Stool softeners or laxatives to help prevent straining with bowel movements which can make hemorrhoids worse
It’s important to avoid constipation
A stool softener can help soften stools and allow them to pass more easily
Brisk walking can help stimulate bowel function; however, avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity as these can make hemorrhoidal symptoms worse.
Increase the fiber in your diet or consider taking a fiber supplement like Metamucil, Citrucel, or Fiber Con can help soften the stool, make it easier to pass, and reduce pressure on hemorrhoids.
High-fiber foods include broccoli, cauliflower, beans, whole-grain foods, and fresh fruit.
Some people find that boosting fiber causes gas and bloating. Start slowly, and increase your fiber intake gradually. Drink plenty of water to help minimize gas and bloat.
Apply ice packs or cold compresses to relieve swelling.
Witch hazel wipes can be soothing
Other tips include:
Hygiene: Keep the anal area clean and dry.
Bathe or shower daily with warm water.
Avoid excessive wiping.
Avoid alcohol-based and perfumed-based wipes. Use non-scented, alcohol and perfume-free, moist wipes, or wet toilet paper.
Avoid rough and dry toilet paper.
Sit on a cushion or donut seat
Use a squatty potty to help with difficult bowel movements
When an external hemorrhoid forms a blood clot, the pain can be excruciating. Sometimes surgical removal is necessary to remove the hemorrhoid or clot from the vein.
If you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis), or if you fail to respond to conservative medical management, it’s always advised that you discuss your symptoms with your medical provider.
Just because bright red blood is noticed with wiping and/or a bulge is felt, doesn’t necessarily mean hemorrhoids are the cause of these symptoms. Colorectal cancer can present similarly.
Hemorrhoids and colorectal cancer can occur simultaneously and bleeding could be the result of a cancer rather than a hemorrhoid.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION WITH OUR OFFICE FOR A COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION OF YOUR SYMPTOMS TO AVOID DELAYED DIAGNOSES AND LIMITED OPTIONS FOR CARE.