The Gold Standard in the Treatment of Hemorrhoids

The Gold Standard in the Treatment of Hemorrhoids thumbnail
Hemorrhoids are very common and can usually be treated at home.

Hemorrhoids are swollen or inflamed veins located in the anus and lower rectum. The condition is common, affecting around half of all adults by age 50, according to the Mayo Clinic. Fortunately, there are effective hemorrhoid treatments available over the counter. There are also lifestyle changes that can help heal and prevent hemorrhoids. When these methods fail, minor surgery can remove hemorrhoids.

  1. Symptoms

    • According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of hemorrhoids include itching or irritation of the anus, pain or discomfort, swelling around the anus, bleeding, sensitivity around the anus and leaking of feces. Some hemorrhoids are asymptomatic and do not require treatment.

    Topical Treatments

    • Over-the-counter ointments and creams are available for relieving the symptoms of hemorrhoids. These creams typically contain hydrocortisone, an anti-inflammatory and anti-itch medication. They also often contain phenylephrine, a vasoconstrictor (blood vessel constrictor) that reduces swelling, according to

    Diet and Exercise

    • According to the website, eating a diet high in fiber can help soften the stool, reducing the strain on delicate anal membranes. Drinking plenty of water can also help to keep stool soft. If you can’t get enough fiber in your diet through whole grains, fruits and vegetables, you may want to consider taking a fiber supplement.

      Exercise can dramatically reduce the pressure on veins. Pressure on veins occurs most when standing or sitting for long periods of time. Sitting is particularly bad, as it often leads to constipation. This increases pressure on veins and can lead to hemorrhoids.


    • If hemorrhoids are chronic or extremely painful, they may require minor surgery called ligation. The surgeon ties off the hemorrhoid at the base and it eventually falls off. This procedure can sometimes cause mild discomfort, but it is a permanent solution for the hemorrhoid, although it is still possible for others to form, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons says.

    Home Remedies

    • The Mayo Clinic recommends using moist towelettes instead of toilet paper. Toilet paper can be abrasive and can exacerbate or cause hemorrhoids. The clinic also recommends not sitting on the toilet for long periods of time and avoiding straining, which puts pressure on anal veins.

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