What are some treatments for hemorrhoids?


Quick Answer

Hemorrhoids are treated with simple diet changes, such as eating more fiber, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Fiber softens the stool and decreases anal pressure that may cause hemorrhoids. For symptom management, over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams may relieve the pain and itching.

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Full Answer

The American Gastroenterological Association defines hemorrhoids as swollen veins that sit either around the anus or inside the rectum. These veins stretch under pressure. When under excessive strain, the vessels swell. The most common causes of hemorrhoids include straining during bowel movements, obesity and pregnancy.

Most individuals do not eat enough fiber; the healthy range is between 25 grams and 38 grams per day for women and men respectively, according to Mayo Clinic. To increase fiber content, hemorrhoid sufferers can introduce more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into their diet. Over-the-counter fiber supplements made with psyllium and methylcellulose also help with hemorrhoid treatment. However, those who take these supplements should consume at least eight glasses of fluid a day.

Those with hemorrhoids should also avoid excessive wiping after each bowel movement. The American Gastroenterological Association recommends wiping the anus with moist toilet paper or taking a shower instead of wiping.

Individuals who experience persistent bleeding may require medical treatment, according to Mayo Clinic. A physician may remove hemorrhoids in her office using minimally invasive techniques such as rubber band ligation and sclerotherapy.

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