Bulging Blood Vessels
The human body is a marvelous biological engine with many odd quirks. Sadly, one such oddity is how blood vessels near the surface of the anus can become swollen and painful. This bothersome medical condition is called “hemorrhoids.” The location obviously makes hemorrhoids a bit difficult to examine and treat without help. Fortunately, a fair number of well-understood methods exist for addressing this distressing problem.
Simple Preventative Measures
It is natural to wonder what is the best treatment for hemorrhoids at home, where barely concealed smirks will be mercifully absent. The simplest methods are often the most effective, and prevention is the best method of all:
Chronic constipation, typically resulting from a lack of dietary fiber, tends to cause straining that can aggravate incipient hemorrhoids. Regular daily consumption of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables not only supplies soluble fiber that bulks up stools for easy excretion, it improves nutrition and leads to generally healthier blood vessels. Failing this, supermarkets and drugstores almost universally carry inexpensive containers of powdered, water-soluble fiber. A small amount of supplemental fiber taken once or twice a day will quite likely reduce straining. A few individuals may be allergic to the main ingredient used in Metamucil and some other preparations, however.
Immediately heed the call of nature. Ignoring an urge to visit the toilet will cause stool to become compacted, significantly increasing the chances of subsequent straining that puts pressure on delicate blood vessels. Setting a habitual time for daily defecation will train the body when to “expect” removal of fully processed foodstuffs. A simple trick is to relax and allow the body to unhurriedly push out the accumulated stool. This will usually work much better than aggressively trying to rush the process.
Aerobic exercise has a remarkable power to improve overall muscle tone and health. Even a gentle, 30-minute walk three times a week promises a better experience with daily toilet visits.
Warm Sitz Baths
The best home treatment for hemorrhoids that have already erupted may be sitz baths, which are warm water baths that sooth inflamed blood vessels and reduce sphincter muscle spasms. With recurring hemorrhoids, it may be worth undertaking a 20-minute sitz bath immediately following each bowel movement. A bathtub may be filled with a few inches of warm water, or a small, plastic tub meant to be placed over a toilet seat may be purchased from a pharmacy.
Additional Common Treatments
Over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams contain local anesthetics for temporarily defeating pain and are widely available. Hydrocortisone suppositories and creams can also be helpful, but extended use beyond a week risks serious atrophying of skin. Small wipes impregnated with natural witch hazel will reduce irritation without side effects. Alternately, a disposable ice pack may be placed for a few minutes on the anus to relieve swelling and pain.
Close Professional Attention
For more difficult cases such as thromboses, the best treatment for hemorrhoids may be medical intervention. Banding, cryosurgery or laser treatment are common options. A physician can more fully cover these and other modern procedures.