Hemorrhoids are a common medical problem that often occurs among people aged between 45-75 years. However, anyone can be affected by hemorrhoids at any age. Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels that develop in the rectum and around the anus. They form as a result of straining the rectal muscles through anal sex, obesity, constipation, diarrhoea, and lifting heavy weights, which in turn cause swelling of the blood vessels. There are two types of hemorrhoids, which entail external and internal hemorrhoids. As the names suggest, external hemorrhoids occur on the exterior part of the anus while internal hemorrhoids develop inside the rectum.
Types Of hemorrhoids
Notably, hemorrhoids are also called piles. The symptoms of external and internal hemorrhoids vary in terms of appearance and intensity.
Internal hemorrhoids often cause bleeding, which is noticeable when passing stool. Internal hemorrhoids do not cause pain or discomfort hence they often go unnoticed until the patient spots blood in their stool, but this does not exempt them from being serious.
External hemorrhoids occur on the surface of the anus hence they are exposed to touch and other harsh elements such as heat and friction. As such, the patient experiences pain during bowel movements, itchiness, swelling around the anus, and bleeding. More often than not, external hemorrhoids lead to thrombosis, whereby a blood clot forms inside a hemorrhoid causing extreme pain.
How long do hemorrhoids last?
First, Do hemorrhoids go away on their own? the question to that is clear – no, hemorrhoids will not go away on their own without any kind of treatment. Worse than that – in most cases if no proper treatment has been applied things will only get worse and you may even find yourself in need of a surgery. So hemorrhoids should not be neglected, and should not be left without some kind of treatment. Do not underestimate the complication that may arise!
So if proper treatment is being given, how long do hemorrhoids last?
While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact duration, it depends on several factors. The severity of the hemorrhoids, the type, cause the and mode of treatment chosen. In general, the duration ranges from one week to three month.
• Mild cases of hemorrhoids involving a small number of vessels may heal mostly in a week or two. But Severe type of hemorrhoids may take up to two month to heal (with the proper treatment). An Example of severe hemorrhoids are internal ones that have become so enlarged as to stick out of the anus. External hemorrhoids can take up to three month to clear, especially if there’s a clot.
• People who are experiencing hemorrhoids for the first time might heal much faster to those who have recurring hemorrhoids. In most cases, first times may heal in around two weeks.
• Hemorrhoids affecting pregnant women are mainly caused by the pressure exerted on the lower abdomen as the pregnancy continues. Hormones secreted by the body during pregnancy may also contribute to the problem by causing the veins to swell. As a result the hemorrhoids will most likely persist until the end of the pregnancy and then will disappe
Home remedies for hemorrhoids
Most people tend to opt for natural home remedies before visiting the doctor. This is a good option but one should make an appointment with the doctor if their home remedy is not bearing fruits or the symptoms are extreme. This will help you heal faster and unearth any other serious underlying ailments if applicable. So here are popular natural remedies, that will help you get rid of hemorrhoids:
Many people who suffer from piles tend to opt for home remedies as a first solution. There are several home remedies available for treating piles hence the choice is yours to make in accordance with what products are within your reach. For starters, the most basic form of hemorrhoid relief is a warm bath. A warm bath cleans the affected area while soothing the pain and itching. After the bath, make sure you dab the anus dry with a dry cloth to remove moisture from the affected region. This is because moisture aggravates the symptoms of hemorrhoids. Additionally, you may use a cold compress on your anus after the bath in order to contract the swollen blood vessels and offer immediate pain relief.
Topical application of essential oils such as almond oil will help in relieving itching. Coconut and olive oils also soothe itching hence reducing the symptoms of hemorrhoids. One of the most effective topical ointments is witch hazel, which numbs the swollen area to reduce pain and itching. Witch hazel may be used in form of the ointment or pads containing the numbing agent which you can wear throughout the day.
Hydration is important during the treatment of hemorrhoids since it makes bowel movements easy and prevents further pain and swelling. Physical hydration of the affected area is possible through the application of vitamin E on the swollen lumps on the anus. After passing stool, opt for wet wipes instead of dry tissue paper. Wet pipes will clean the anus and even disinfect the area for additional sanitation. Dry tissue paper is rough on the skin hence it aggravates the swelling of hemorrhoids.
You may choose to visit your doctor when hemorrhoids occur as the first choice of treatment or a second choice when the home remedies are not effective. The doctor will analyse your hemorrhoids and suggest the best treatment option which may include medication or simple non-surgical procedures. Medications for piles include ointments for topical application of the affected region, oral painkillers such as ibuprofen and pads containing pain relief ingredients such as witch hazel. Such medications are offered to patients with mild symptoms of hemorrhoids. It is important to report to your doctor if the medications do not work within a few days in order to get advanced treatment options.
Non-surgical procedures for treating piles include injection, coagulation, rubber band ligation and thrombectomy. Injection entails the doctor injecting a chemical solution into a hemorrhoid in order to shrink it. Thrombectomy entails making an incision in the hemorrhoid and draining the clot. Coagulation uses laser technology to harden and eliminate internal hemorrhoids. Rubber band ligation is a basic yet effective process that entails tying a rubber band at the base of the hemorrhoids,, which in turn cuts off blood circulation and kills the hemorrhoid. It has been noted that rubber band ligation is the most effective non-surgical procedure since it reduces the chances of hemorrhoid recurrence.
Surgical treatment of hemorrhoids is necessary when all other treatment options have failed. The surgical procedures include hemorrhoid removal through the hemorrhoidectomy process and hemorrhoid stapling. Hemorrhoidectomy is done under anesthesia. The process entails complete removal of damaged tissues that cause bleeding in and around the anus. After the procedure, the patient is advised to maintain high levels of hygiene in order to enhance the healing process. Pain medication and warm baths help in soothing the pain after the surgery.
Hemorrhoid stapling is applicable for internal hemorrhoids where blood circulation is cut off from the swollen blood vessels. The process causes minimal pain in comparison to hemorrhoidectomy. However, it is less effective as it has a higher chance of recurrence.
Hemorrhoids are hereditary for some people but in most cases, they are a lifestyle disease. As such, a change in lifestyle will ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids and prevent their recurrence. Take a balanced diet that is rich in fibre since fibre eases bowel movements. It is important to take the minimum required eight glasses of water to keep your body hydrated. Engage in regular exercises and physical activities to enhance proper blood circulation in the body.