External hemorrhoids, also called piles, is a medical condition in which one or more blood vessels in the anal region becomes inflamed and swollen. This results in an unbearable throbbing and stinging pain with or without bleeding. (1)
Hemorrhoids can be internal or external. Internal hemorrhoids are deep inside the rectum. (2) Due to the lack of pain-sensing nerves, you can’t usually feel them.
Often, the only sign of internal hemorrhoids is rectal bleeding or the presence of bright red blood in your stool. Internal hemorrhoid may hurt if it prolapses or gets pushed outside with bowel movements.
- Internal vs. External Hemorrhoids
- Causes of Hemorrhoids
- Naturally Treating Hemorrhoids
- Tips for hemorrhoids relief
Internal vs. External Hemorrhoids
External hemorrhoids are usually not harmful to the body and most clear up within a few days to a couple of weeks. In some cases, external hemorrhoids can be persistently inflamed, swollen, and painful; at times requiring surgical intervention. Frequent occurrences or persistent external hemorrhoids can begin to negatively affect one’s life.
It’s the external hemorrhoids that wreak havoc on your body and life; causing severe pain, frequently with bleeding. It seems that external hemorrhoids often have no intention of completely going away.
Causes of Hemorrhoids
You might develop hemorrhoids due to a hereditary predisposition or an overindulgent lifestyle that strains your digestive tract. Direct factors that contribute to straining the blood vessels in the anal region include prolonged and forceful bowel movements due to diarrhea or constipation. The vessels may also strain during pregnancy, especially the third trimester and during the delivery process.
Naturally Treating Hemorrhoids
The condition is painful and tiresome, and carrying a hemorrhoid pillow around with you can be embarrassing. If you’re a victim of this condition, some effective home remedies can help you get some relief.
In extreme conditions, seeking medical advice is necessary. Less severe cases of external hemorrhoids can often be improved or resolved utilizing some home remedies.
Here are six convenient and inexpensive methods to effectively improve (and possibly resolve) your external hemorrhoids:
Method 1: Use Coconut Oil
With the coconut oil craze gaining momentum, almost everyone knows about its antimicrobial properties. But what you’ll be interested in here is its ability to heal hemorrhoids.
Coconut oil can be taken orally to improve internal hemorrhoids. Topical application of coconut oil to external hemorrhoids may reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acid molecules, a type of healthy saturated fat, that help reduce inflammation in the intestinal tract, aid digestion and reduce overall strain on the rectum during defecation (having a bowel movement).
Including virgin coconut oil in your diet can help heal internal hemorrhoids and prevent the recurrence of internal and external hemorrhoids.
The lauric acid present in coconut oil is responsible for its antimicrobial properties that, in conjunction with its healing properties, can effectively treat external hemorrhoids through topical application.
Always opt for unprocessed, organic coconut oil over the refined variety commonly found in stores. You can find organic coconut oil in any health store.
Things you’ll need:
- Organic coconut oil (help reduce inflammation)
Dip a cotton ball into the organic coconut oil and dab it over your hemorrhoids. Only use fresh and sterile cotton balls to prevent any chance of infection.
Repeat 2 or 3 times a day until your hemorrhoids heal completely.
Method 2: Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
When it comes to hemorrhoids, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is another popular folk remedy. This remedy can also be administered in two ways – topically for external hemorrhoids and orally for internal hemorrhoids.
While it may sting, apple cider vinegar’s effectiveness makes topical application worthwhile. The astringent properties of apple cider vinegar can swiftly reduce the swelling of the blood vessels, thus bringing down the pain and inflammation.
Pectin, present in apple cider vinegar, is a soluble fiber that aids digestion and regularizes bowel movements. Apple cider vinegar also encourages the growth of good bacteria in the intestinal tract.
This promotes good digestion, regular bowel movements and soft stools, which is extremely important for those suffering from hemorrhoids as it significantly reduces strain during excretion.
Regular oral consumption of apple cider vinegar can not only cure internal hemorrhoids but also keep them from coming back.
Things you’ll need:
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV) (brings down pain and inflammation) – 1 to 2 tablespoons
- Warm water – 1 cup
Mix apple cider vinegar into warm water
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of warm water and mix thoroughly.
- Consume this apple cider vinegar drink twice a day on an empty stomach until your hemorrhoids go away.
Making it a permanent part of your routine will prevent those hemorrhoids from returning.
Always use raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar instead of the filtered variety for maximum benefits. The former has a cloudy appearance with sediments floating around in it.
Method 3: Use Rutin
Rutin is a bioflavonoid that strengthens the blood vessels. It enhances the action of vitamin C in the body to improve blood circulation. Due to strengthening and flexibility of blood vessels, it is believed that rutin aids in the healing of hemorrhoids.
Rutin has been used by some healthcare providers to aid patients in recovery after having hemorrhoid surgery (hemorrhoidectomy).
Rutin also helps the production of collagen, which promotes healing by helping to rebuild and strengthen the damaged or broken skin near the hemorrhoids. (3)
Rutin can be found in a variety of natural food sources like citrus fruits, apple peels, buckwheat bran, figs, asparagus, cranberries, mulberries and some green tea infusions. It can also be taken as a dietary supplement to effectively treat hemorrhoids and keep them from coming back. When taken as a dietary supplement, Rutin should be taken alongside vitamins C and B6.
It can safely be taken during pregnancy through natural food sources, which can prove quite beneficial for those with pregnancy-induced hemorrhoids. When taken as a supplement, Rutin makes for a safe and inexpensive hemorrhoid remedy. You can easily find it online or in reputable health stores.
Ensure that you get your Rutin from a reliable brand. Rutin should be taken as recommended by the manufacturer of the brand of rutin which you purchase.
You should consult with your healthcare provider before taking Rutin to make sure that it does not interfere with any of your current medications. Pregnant and nursing women should talk to their healthcare provider or obstetrician prior to starting any rutin regimens
If you take blood thinners, aspirin, or anti-platelet medications, or if you have a bleeding disorder, consult your healthcare provider prior to starting any rutin regimens. Rutin can cause one to be more likely to develop spontaneous bruising or bleeding.
Method 4: Use a Cold Compress
Using a cold compress is an easy, inexpensive way to get relief from extremely painful hemorrhoids. The cold temperature helps numb the pain and reduce the inflammation. (4)
You can use an ice pack or a makeshift cold compress, such as a bag of frozen vegetables. If you use a frozen food product bag to treat your hemorrhoids, be certain to throw away the bag of food after using it on your hemorrhoids.
Things you’ll need:
- Ice cubes (helps numb the pain)
- Cotton cloth
Make an ice pack
- Place a few ice cubes in a cotton cloth.
- Lift the sides of the cloth and bundle the ice cubes in it.
- Apply the ice pack over the inflamed anal region for 15 to 20 minutes, taking a couple of small breaks in between.
- You can easily do this several times a day to get relief from the stinging pain of the hemorrhoids.
Repeat as needed.
Method 5: Use Black Peppercorns
A surprise cure for hemorrhoids comes in the form of black peppercorns which is helpful in treating a number of gastrointestinal disorders. (5) While there aren’t extensive studies detailing how it works, many find peppercorns to be an extremely effective remedy.
Black peppercorns, which have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, can provide relief from the pain of the hemorrhoids.
Things you’ll need:
- Black Peppercorns (provide relief from pain)
Consume black peppercorns for relief from hemorrhoids
Consume 5 whole black peppercorns twice a day for relief from hemorrhoids. Have the peppercorns on an empty stomach for best results. You can either swallow them whole or crush them before chasing them down with a mouthful of water.
If the peppercorns seem to upset your stomach, you can lessen the dosage. If there is no adverse effect in your body, you can increase the dosage up to 25 peppercorns a day. They should be swallowed in multiple batches of 5.
Method 6: Use a Sitz Bath
A sitz bath is a warm bath for the perineal area or the area around the perineum, which is the space between the rectum and the genitals. It involves submerging the perineal area into warm water, which increases the blood flow to the area, especially improving the circulation in the inflamed blood vessels.
By improving the circulation in the vessels, a sitz bath speeds up healing in the area. It can help relieve itching, irritation, and pain in the area.
You can also ask your healthcare provider to prescribe additives to put in your sitz bath for better results. (6) Certain additives may have antibacterial or pain-relieving properties. Some natural additives that you can put in your sitz bath include table salt, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda.
The best feature of a sitz bath is that it’s safe for people of all ages. You can either purchase a sitz bath kit, or you can use your bathtub.
- Sitz bath kits can usually be placed over your toilet seat for ease of use. The kits usually come with instructions.
- When taking a sitz bath in your bathtub, ensure its cleanliness before and after taking the sitz bath. Scrub the bathtub with a solution of 2 tablespoons of bleach mixed in 1 gallon of water and rinse thoroughly. This will disinfect your tub and make it suitable for taking a sitz bath.
- Fill the bathtub with enough warm water to comfortably submerge your perineal area. You can also run a full bath. It’s entirely up to you.
- Soak your perineal area in warm water for about 20 minutes or until the water becomes cold.
Tips for hemorrhoids relief
- You can also make a suppository (a solid conical or cylindrical medical preparation) of coconut oil and insert it into your rectum for relief from external as well as internal hemorrhoids.
- Witch hazel oil, olive oil, castor oil or aloe vera can also be used topically like coconut oil to heal hemorrhoids.
- Always test the temperature of the bath water before taking a sitz bath so that you don’t sustain any burns by accident. Test the temperature by putting a little water on your wrist to find a comfortable temperature.
- Some people like to follow a warm sitz bath with an ice pack. The warm temperature dilates the vessels and the cold contracts them. The idea is to exercise the blood vessels with the temperature change and develop elasticity in them, making them stronger in order to prevent future hemorrhoids.
- You can also use crushed ice in your ice pack if ice cubes feel prodding and uncomfortable.
- While suffering from hemorrhoids, switch to baby wipes instead of dry toilet paper that can further aggravate the hemorrhoids. Baby wipes will be far gentler on the inflamed rectal area.
- Use the help of a squatting tool to correct your posture and ease your bowel movements when you go to the toilet.
- Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle that aims at keeping your digestive system in great condition, with regular bowel movements and constipation and diarrhea at bay. Your stool should be soft and your bowel movements regular in order to keep hemorrhoids at bay.
- Lohsiriwat V. Hemorrhoids: From basic pathophysiology to clinical management. World Journal of Gastroenterology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3342598/. Published May 7, 2012.
- Hemorrhoids | Piles. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/hemorrhoids.html. Published February 7, 2019.
- Corsale I, Carrieri P, et. al. Flavonoid mixture (diosmin, troxerutin, rutin, hesperidin ... International Journal of Colorectal Disease. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00384-018-3102-y. Published November 2018.
- Hardy A, Cohen CRG. The acute management of hemorrhoids. Annals: The Royal College of Surgeons of England. https://publishing.rcseng.ac.uk/doi/10.1308/003588414X13946184900967. Published October 2014.
- Butt MS, Pasha I, Sultan MT, Randhawa MA, Saeed F, Ahmed W. Black pepper and health claims: a comprehensive treatise. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23768180. Published 2013.
- Enlarged hemorrhoids: Overview. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279467/. Published November 2, 2017.
Summary of How to Get Rid of Hemorrhoids
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