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Common Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids: How to Treat Hemorrhoids Naturally

Hemorrhoids can be an uncomfortable subject to talk about and to experience, but you're not alone. Hemorrhoids are actually a lot more common than you may think. In reality, almost nearly three out of four adults will have hemorrhoids some time in their life.1 Hemorrhoids (also sometimes called piles) are basically just swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum that can develop inside or outside. These swollen blood vessels can cause a variety of symptoms, including: itching or irritation in the anal region, pain, discomfort, swelling, bleeding, painless bleeding during bowel movements, or a hemorrhoid pushing through the anal opening. 1

Depending on the type of hemorrhoids you have or any complications, they can cause minimal pain and irritation or quite a lot. Not to worry, however, as there are many options for treatment at home and your doctor can help as well.

Can you use home remedies to treat hemorrhoids without a doctor?

There are few effective home remedies for hemorrhoids to help you get relief from pain and discomfort. While it’s possible to get relief from hemorrhoids with these home remedies, it's also important to remember to see your doctor if you have bleeding during bowel movements or your hemorrhoids don’t improve after a week of home care.1 Some other conditions can cause rectal bleeding, so it's vital to check with your doctor if that's the case. If your condition worsens or you experience large amounts of bleeding, light headedness or dizziness, seek emergency care.1

What are some common home remedies for hemorrhoids?

There are plenty of home remedies that can help treat hemorrhoids, but they might not all work for you equally well. These home remedies for hemorrhoids may help soothe your discomfort and pain.

Some home remedies include:

  1. Warm Sitz Baths

    Take a warm bath that's not too hot and sit for 10-15 minutes. A sitz bath, in particular, is a tub that sits over your toilet and you can just sit in instead of having a full bath. Take several of these a day to help relieve itching and irritation, and remember to pat yourself dry instead of rubbing dry.2
  2. Keep a High-fiber Diet 

    Eating a diet high in fiber with plenty of fluids will help make your bowel movements easier to pass and help reduce hemorrhoidal bleeding and inflammation caused by that stress. You can also try incorporating a fiber supplement to help keep your bowel movements easier. 2
  3. Use Topical Creams  

    There are plenty of over-the-counter creams that help reduce inflammation and relieve itching. You can use creams that contain lidocaine, hydrocortisone or phenylephrine to stay comfortable. 2
  4. Apply Witch Hazel 

    You can also try applying witch hazel to the problem area. Pat cotton pads soaked in witch hazel on the affected area and they may help reduce inflammation over time. 2
  5. Keep Comfortable 

    While it seems simple, sometimes simple is best! When you have a hemorrhoid flare-up, stay comfortable when sitting by using extra cushions. 2

 

Simple Ways to Prevent Hemorrhoid Issues

While there's no 100% certifiable way to prevent all hemorrhoid issues, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help lessen the chances of having a flare-up. First, try not to delay bowel movements. This can cause unneeded pressure and straining. Also, try not to sit on the toilet for long periods of time. Then, make sure to keep everything clean after bowel movements. After you're finished wiping, gently clean your anal area with a cleansing wipe or simple cloth soaked in warm water. 2 Another good tip is to continue your high-fiber diet even when you're not having hemorrhoid issues, as this diet can help make bowel movements easier and more frequent. 2

If you're still not sure what to do about your hemorrhoids or certain lifestyle changes you want to make, reach out to your doctor or healthcare provider. They'll be able to assess your condition and help you make a plan! 

Person testing the water temperature in a bathtub

SOURCES:

1. Hemorrhoids: symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemorrhoids/symptoms-causes/syc-20360268/. Accessed 3/19/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.

2. Natural remedies for hemorrhoids. Harvard Medical School Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/natural-remedies-for-hemorrhoid-2021022321942/. Accessed 3/19/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.

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