Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.
Follow your doctor's advice about caring for your hemorrhoids at home. Some treatments help relieve symptoms right away. Others involve making changes in your diet and exercise habits. These can help ease constipation and prevent hemorrhoid symptoms from coming back.
Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to help ease your symptoms. The following tips will also help relieve pain and swelling.
Take Sitz Baths. Taking a sitz bath means sitting in a few inches of warm bath water. Soaking for 15-20 minutes twice a day can provide welcome relief from painful hemorrhoids. It can also help the area stay clean.
Develop Good Bowel Habits. Use the bathroom when you need to. Don't ignore the urge to go. This can lead to constipation, hard stools, and straining. Also, don't read while on the toilet. Sit only as long as needed. Wipe gently with soft, unscented toilet tissue or baby wipes.
Use Ice Packs. Placing an ice pack on a thrombosed external hemorrhoid can help relieve pain right away. It will also help reduce the blood clot. Use the ice for 15-20 minutes at a time. Keep a cloth between the ice and your skin to prevent skin damage.
Use Other Measures. Laxatives and enemas can help ease constipation. But use them only on your doctor's advice. For symptom relief, try using cotton pads soaked in witch hazel. These are available at most drugstores. Over-the-counter hemorrhoid ointments and petroleum jelly can also provide relief.
ADD FIBER TO YOUR DIET
Adding fiber to your diet can help relieve constipation by making stools softer and easier to pass. To increase your fiber intake, your doctor may recommend a bulking agent, such as psyllium. This is a high-fiber supplement available at most grocery and drugstores. Eating more fiber-rich foods will also help. There are two types of fiber:
Insoluble fiber is the main ingredient in bulking agents. It's also found in foods such as wheat bran, whole-grain breads, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oat bran. Although soluble fiber is good for you, it may not ease constipation as much as foods high in insoluble fiber.
DRINK MORE WATER
Along with a high-fiber diet, drinking more water can help ease constipation. This is because insoluble fiber absorbs water, making stools soft and bulky. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking fruit juices, such as prune juice or apple juice, can also help prevent constipation.
GET MORE EXERCISE
Regular exercise aids digestion and helps prevent constipation. It's also great for your health. So talk with your doctor about starting an exercise program. Low-impact activities, such as swimming or walking, are good places to start. Take it easy at first. And remember to drink plenty of water when you exercise.
Discover leading-edge gastroenterology care. Call Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County at 949.612.9090 or simply use the Request an Appointment form.