Hemorrhoids can range from the occasional nuisance problem to a chronic, debilitating condition. In many cases, at-home care can be used to manage the occasional flare-up of hemorrhoids, but in some instances, non-surgical treatments are the best option.
Keep Stools Soft
Keeping your stools soft can help you avoid aggravating hemorrhoids and prevent current issues from becoming worse. You should gradually incorporate more fiber into your diet, preferably through changing the foods you eat. Try eating whole-grain cereals, breads, and pasta. Fresh fruits and vegetables frequently contain fiber and can keep stools soft. Start by incorporating a single item that is rich in fiber into each meal and increase your fiber over several weeks, assuming it is well tolerated. When you are increasing your fiber, you also need to increase your water intake to minimize gas and so the fiber has something to absorb. If you still have problems with harder stools, include a stool softener that does not contain a laxative.
Depending on the amount of pain you have with hemorrhoids, there are several approaches you can use to reduce inflammation and potentially reduce the size of hemorrhoids. Retail creams, wipes, and suppositories are a common way to reduce inflammation and discomfort. Make sure to follow the package instructions since some products may contain steroids and are not intended for frequent or long-term use. If you experience significant pain from hemorrhoids, you can add NSAIDs, which can also reduce inflammation and make going to the bathroom more comfortable. Try regularly soaking your hemorrhoids in a bathtub with a few inches of warm water and Epsom salt. Ideally, you should soak several times each day to reduce swelling.
Consider Non-Surgical Treatments
When hemorrhoids are a chronic or severe problem, non-surgical treatments may be the answer. Rubber band ligation is one option to treat hemorrhoids. During the procedure, each hemorrhoid is tied off at the base so the extra, inflamed tissue eventually shrinks and dies. Another option is sclerotherapy which blocks the bulging blood vessels. The doctor injects medication into the blood vessel with the goal of stopping blood flow. If blood flow can be stopped to the vessel, it will eventually shrink. It is important to engage in lifestyle changes that minimize the occurrence of hemorrhoids since they can return after treatment.
Keeping your stools soft is the best way to reduce the discomfort associated with hemorrhoids. When at-home remedies are not effective or you experience severe discomfort, non-surgical treatments are the next step to treat hemorrhoids.
For more information, contact a clinic like The Oregon Hemorrhoid Clinic.