painful hemorrhoids

The Painful Reality of Hemorrhoids

Living with hemorrhoids can be painful and embarrassing. These swollen and inflamed veins around the rectum or anus can cause mild to severe discomfort for those who suffer from them. If left untreated, hemorrhoids can worsen, causing extreme pain and even bleeding.

What Causes Hemorrhoids?

A number of factors can increase your risk of developing hemorrhoidal symptoms. These include:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Excessive straining during bowel movements
  • Diarrhea
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Sitting for extended periods of times
  • Lower fiber diet

Treating Your Painful Hemorrhoids

Painful hemorrhoids can be treated with a variety of different methods. Some of the most common include:

  • Lifestyle changes – eating more fiber, getting more exercise, and drinking more water may help ease symptoms.
  • Over-the-counter creams, ointments, and suppositories – these may help with symptom relief, but may not be effective on advanced or large hemorrhoids.
  • Prescription creams and suppositories – your doctor may recommend a stronger medication to help with your symptoms.
  • Rubber band ligation – this outpatient procedure involves placing a band around the base of the swollen veins to cut off their circulation, causing them to shrink and fall off.
  • Surgical removal – larger and more persistent hemorrhoids may need to be surgically removed.

Managing the Pain of Hemorrhoids

For those who suffer from the discomfort of painful hemorrhoids, it’s important to take steps to manage the pain. Here are some tips:

  • Take a warm bath – this can ease the itching and discomfort.
  • Apply a cold compress – this may help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Take breaks when sitting – when sitting, frequently stand up and walk around.
  • Use a donut-shaped cushion – this type of cushion can help take pressure off the hemorrhoids.
  • Avoid straining during bowel movements – this can worsen symptoms, so instead use stool softeners or laxatives to soften stools when necessary.

Living with painful hemorrhoids can be difficult, but there are ways to manage the pain and discomfort. With proper treatment and lifestyle changes, those suffering from painful hemorrhoids can learn to cope and heal.

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