9 DIY Remedies for Natural Hemorrhoid Relief
7 minute read
Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are an extremely common condition that plague adults everywhere. There are two different kinds: an internal hemorrhoid and an external hemorrhoid.
Both types can recur, but take time to heal whenever they return. For relief while you wait, here are 10 at-home remedies to ease the pain and discomfort.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
External hemorrhoids are diagnosed by a simple visual test, but a deeper examination of the anal canal is needed to diagnose internal hemorrhoids. While hemorrhoidal cushions are an integral part of the body, as they control continence, hemorrhoids occur when “veins in those cushions become swollen and bulge” and mature based on the rising of pelvic floor pressure.
Internal hemorrhoids often treat themselves and don’t typically cause much pain, but they require speedy treatment if they begin to bleed. External hemorrhoids, on the other hand, cause much pain and discomfort. Both instances typically last a few days but can end up recurring.
9 At-Home Hemorrhoid Remedies
1. Just Let It Go
Holding in your waste can cause detrimental damage to your body, including constipation. When you are out running errands or working, it’s better to visit the restroom when needed rather than wait until you get home.
Constipation can lead to added strain on the pelvic floor and could eventually cause hemorrhoids of both kinds.
2. Warm Baths
Warm baths are said to help aid and ease the irritation and discomfort that comes with external hemorrhoids. Harvard Health indicates that taking a warm bath for 20 minutes after every bowel movement is integral to easing the pain.
Adding in the magnesium sulfate compound known as epsom salts to the warm water can also ease discomfort as epsoms salts are said to reduce pain and soreness in the body.
3. Sitz Baths
Sitz baths can help reduce pain and itching from the anal and genital region while also keeping the area clean. There are two ways this bath can be done: a bathtub or with a sitz bath bowl.
The bathtub method requires three-to-four inches of warm (not hot!) water, with a hint of salt or prescribed medications. Then gently lower your body into the water, sitting on the bottom of the bathtub. There is a possibility of slight pain upon first impact with the water, but the pain should subside within a few minutes.
The second option uses a plastic container that is attached to a toilet. The clean sitz bath bowl is placed on the toilet bowl and filled with warm water. Depending on your set, there can be different components and mixtures but each set should come with its own set of instructions.
Sit in the sitz bath for 20 minutes then gently pat dry. Use this process roughly two to three times a day.
4. Epsom Salts and Glycerin Mixture
Colorectal surgeon Massarat Zutshi, MD suggests using a mixture that can be made at home whenever the pain arises.
Apply a mixture of two tablespoons of epsom salt and two tablespoons of glycerin to a gauze pad and gently placed on the affected area. Leave the mixture on the painful area for 15-20 minutes and repeat the process twice a day.
5. Pure Aloe Vera
Research suggests that aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that can help the body and ease discomfort by reducing inflammation. The National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health indicates aloe vera as very safe for topical use.
However, this home remedy is absolutely important to use in its purest form, as using an aloe vera cream with various other ingredients can have an adverse effect on the affected area.
6. Cold Compress
When you’ve accidentally hit your head, it’s common to apply a cold compress to the swollen area that may come after. The same can be done to hemorrhoids.
Cold compresses and ice packs can effectively reduce swelling and ease pain. Apply the cold compress to the affected area for about 15 minutes as a time, as leaving for long periods of time can cause even more discomfort.
It is important to remember that you should never apply frozen objects directly onto skin, especially a hemorrhoid, so always remember to wrap your cold compress with a clean cloth.
7. Change Your Clothes
Tight clothing is definitely fashion-forward. However, it’s not doing your hemorrhoids any favors. Wearing tight, unbreathable fabrics can cause sweating and even more discomfort in the affected area.
Opt for looser-fitting clothing like gym shorts or dresses and switch to cotton underwear to keep the anal region clean and dry.
8. Tea Bags
For years, social media influencers and beauty editors alike have been praising used (cooled down) tea bags for their anti-inflammatory properties. Typically, used tea bags have been used on eyes to reduce puffiness and swelling.
The same can now be said with other swelling throughout the body, such as external hemorrhoids. The tannic acid in the tea can aid in reducing of swelling and easing of pain and discomfort.
9. Lifestyle Changes
Having a poor diet can lead to various issues, including hemorrhoids. The Permanente Journal highlights a distinct lack of liquids in the diet as a main cause for anal issues including hemorrhoids.
Consuming at least eight glasses of water a day can help keep stool soft and regular, removing added strain on the pelvic floor. There are even extra benefits from drinking warm or hot water.
Adding fiber into your diet is another key element to reducing your risk of developing hemorrhoids, as it also helps increase the regularity of passing stool.
| Related: Why Is Fiber so Important for Good Health? |
Adult males should consume roughly 38 grams of fiber a day while adult women should consume about 25 grams a day.
The Bottom Line
For the most part, hemorrhoids can be treated by at-home remedies, but if anything seems unusual or at-home treatments aren’t cutting it, do not hesitate to visit your doctor.
Also, while you may be seeking fast relief from hemorrhoid discomfort, don’t start trying these all at once or one on top of another. Too much attention can actually cause irritation, making discomfort even worse. Experiment to see which of these remedies works best for you.