Piles or hemorrhoids are painful, but usually subside in a few days’ time. As hemorrhoids can be repetitive, it’s better to know these hemorrhoids treatments to reduce piles itching and discomfort.
1. Self-care with dietary changes
Constipation is a leading cause for hemorrhoids and can be controlled and prevented by keeping stools soft and regular. Include fruits, vegetables, cereal and whole grain bread in your diet to increase your fiber intake.
Drink as much water as possible and avoid or limit your caffeine intake.
Avoid straining to pass stools as it only worsens your hemorrhoids. If constipated, taking laxatives helps empty your bowels.
After passing stools, use moist toilet paper or baby wipes to pat dry and not rub your bottom, instead of dry toilet paper.
Do not hold or wait for the urge to go away if you feel the need to have a bowel movement. It hardens the stools, which inflames the hemorrhoids even more.
A warm bath reduces the pain and increases blood flow to reduce the size of swollen veins. If you can’t take a full bath, at least sit in about 8 cm of warm water for a few minutes, a few times a day, especially after bowel movements.
There are various over-the-counter medications like creams, ointments and suppositories you can apply to your bottom for piles relief. Use only for 5-7 days at a time as prolonged use can irritate the sensitive anal skin. Don’t use more than one product at a time.
Corticosteroid cream which contains steroids can treat severe inflammation in and around your bottom. Don’t use it for longer than a week as it can thin the skin around your anus and worsen the irritation.
While common painkillers like paracetamol do relieve hemorrhoid pain, avoid codeine painkillers as they can lead to constipation. Products with local anesthetics are effective hemorrhoids treatments. Just use them for a few days as the skin around your anus is rather sensitive.
3. Non-surgical piles treatments
Banding and sclerotherapy is suggested if the hemorrhoids develop above the dentate line. Banding involves tightly tying an elastic band around the hemorrhoid base to cut off its blood supply. The hemorrhoids then fall off within a week.
This is a day procedure performed without anesthesia wherein you can return to your normal activities the next day. There may be some pain and discomfort for a day or two which can be alleviated with normal painkillers.
You won’t know when the hemorrhoids fall off as they pass out when you go to the toilet, indicated through mucus discharge within a week of the procedure. While some blood on the toilet paper after bowel movements is normal, there shouldn’t be excessive bleeding. If there is, consult your doctor immediately.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a chemical solution into the anal passage blood vessels to relieve pain by numbing the nerve endings. The injection hardens the hemorrhoid tissue to form a scar which shrivels up after 4-6 weeks.
It’s better to avoid strenuous exercise for a day after the injection. While there may be some minor pain and some bleeding, you can resume normal activities and work a day after the injection.
4. Infrared coagulation
This involves using infrared lights to burn the hemorrhoids tissue and cut off its blood supply. The procedure can also be carried out using an electric current and is called diathermy or electrotherapy.
10% of cases may require surgery for piles treatment. Surgery is performed under anesthesia on hemorrhoids developed below the dentate line. While there are various surgical options available, they usually involve removing the hemorrhoid or reducing its blood supply and shrinking them.
One or a few of these piles treatment options can offer relief and help for your hemorrhoids pain, discomfort and swelling. If home care and over-the-counter treatments don’t work, consult your doctor for your surgical options.