Home Remedies to Treat Piles (Hemorrhoids)
Hemorrhoids or piles are generally caused by excess pressure on the veins in the rectal and pelvic area and can put a damper on your everyday life. These inflamed swollen veins occur either inside the anus (internal hemorrhoid) or outside near the anal opening (external hemorrhoid).
Some Common Symptoms of Hemorrhoids are:
- Blood clots or lumps around the anus
- Bleeding during bowel movements
- Irritation near the anal region
- Urge to have a bowel movement even when there is no stool
Potential causes of Piles Include:
- Straining at the time of bowel movement (this may be due to constipation)
- During pregnancy
- Prolonged sitting
- Rectal cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Hemorrhoids often go away on their own without treatment in a couple of weeks. Luckily, there are several useful home remedies for hemorrhoids, as well as some steps to take to help deal with or avoid hemorrhoids or piles altogether.
1. Warm Baths
Sitting in a tub of warm water that is filled just enough to cover the legs may help ease the swelling and reduce irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
You can also choose to add other ingredients to the bath in order to help reduce symptoms even further. These ingredients can be a cup of Epsom salt or apple cider vinegar.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer, which may also help with hemorrhoid symptoms. Applying coconut oil may reduce the irritation and swelling, and it may also help reduce the urge to scratch.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and may help heal wounds. Aloe may provide relief from the burning, itching, and swelling caused by hemorrhoids when applied to the anus. Purity is very important, as additives and preservatives can make symptoms worse.
4. Ice Packs
Applying ice or cold packs to the hemorrhoid may also help relieve pain and inflammation. Applying an ice pack can help numb pain and temporarily reduce swelling.
Wrap the ice in a small towel to avoid damage to the skin. Leave the ice pack on for 15 minutes and repeat the process hourly.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Some people say that apple cider vinegar can bring instant relief to hemorrhoids, reducing itching and pain. But doctors recommend not overusing this remedy as it may burn the skin.
6. Psyllium Husk (Ispaghol)
Psyllium husk or Ispaghol is a supplement that helps increase your fiber intake, and softens stools to make them easier to pass. Be careful not to increase fiber too much, too quickly, as it may also cause gas or stomach cramping.
7. Tea Tree Oil
The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil may reduce swelling and itching caused by hemorrhoids. Some early research found that a gel made with tea tree oil decreased symptoms, but studies are lacking.
8. Epsom Salt and Glycerin
This less-known home treatment can help painful hemorrhoids. Use these simple ingredients to make a compound to apply directly to the inflamed area:
- Mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts with 2 tablespoons of glycerin
- Apply the mixture to a gauze pad and place it on the painful area
- Leave this application on the area for 15-20 minutes
- Repeat every four to six hours until the pain eases
9. Petroleum Jelly
Plain old petroleum jelly can also help with piles by forming a protective barrier. Apply it over the infected area to stop further damage and reduce itching.
10. Drink Lots of Fluids
Stay well hydrated to keep stool soft so it is easier to pass. Water is the best choice. Drink plenty throughout the day. Prune juice is a natural laxative and can also help.
Making certain lifestyle changes can either reduce the risk of developing piles or limit the time that a person has them. These include:
- Exercise regularly
- Even brisk walking 20-30 minutes every day can help
- Fiber-rich diet
- Diet high in fiber is important for digestive health, especially when it comes to bowel movements
What to Wear
Wear loose-fitting, breathable, cotton underwear and pants. This can help prevent the area surrounding the hemorrhoids from becoming irritated by excess sweat, and help reduce symptoms.
Things to Avoid
Commercial baby wipes or perfumed toilet papers that are common in many households should be avoided. Hemorrhoids are highly sensitive, and perfumes and other chemicals may make symptoms worse. It is also important not to wash the anus with soap while hemorrhoids are present. This can dry out and irritate piles even more.