In some people, hemorrhoids go away after a few days. In other cases, they may become a regular occurrence.
Hemorrhoids arise from small clusters of veins located in the anus and lower rectum. They develop when the veins are swollen or irritated. Some people may need medications or medical procedures to ease their symptoms and shrink the hemorrhoids. They can cause pain and make simple activities, such as sitting or walking, uncomfortable or difficult. In this article, you will learn more about how long hemorrhoids last, including during pregnancy and after childbirth, and how to relieve them with treatments and home remedies. We also look at when to see a doctor and the recovery period.
Duration of hemorrhoids
There is no fixed duration for hemorrhoids. Small hemorrhoids can disappear without treatment within a few days. Large external hemorrhoids can take longer to heal and cause significant pain and discomfort. If the hemorrhoids have not disappeared within a few days, it is best to consult a doctor for treatment.
For severe or recurring hemorrhoids, they include:
– not consuming enough fiber
– a sedentary lifestyle
– chronic constipation
– chronic diarrhea
– effort during defecation.
Some of the aforementioned factors can also make it difficult for hemorrhoids to heal, allowing the problem to linger longer.
Hemorrhoids are a common problem during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. The extra weight a woman carries during pregnancy can put a strain on the veins in the anus and rectum. The growth of the uterus also puts pressure on the veins located near the rectum. Hormonal changes can relax the veins in this area, making hemorrhoids more likely. Hormonal and physical changes can also cause gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation or diarrhea, which increase the risk of hemorrhoids.
The development of hemorrhoids can also take place 1-2 days after childbirth. Childbirth can increase the risk of hemorrhoids by about 8 times.
A 2022 study reported the occurrence of hemorrhoids in 38% of women after the first pregnancy; this figure increases further after the other pregnancies.
Causes of hemorrhoids developing after birth include:
– the method of childbirth, where women with normal and instrumental childbirth have a higher risk of developing hemorrhoids.
– prolonged birth
– prolonged pregnancy and second stage of labor
– an exercise duration of more than 20 minutes
– high weight of newborns
Treatment for hemorrhoids depends on the type and severity. Most cases of hemorrhoids heal on their own with simple lifestyle and diet changes. During this time, the person should rest and avoid doing anything that puts strain or pressure on the area. A few mild cases of hemorrhoids require medications and non-surgical procedures. However, severe cases require surgery when all other treatment options have proven ineffective.
Medicines for hemorrhoids are available over-the-counter in the form of:
– topical creams
If over-the-counter treatments have little or no effect, a doctor may be able to prescribe more effective ointments. Here are some of the commonly prescribed topical medications:
– Corticosteroids: These can help reduce inflammation resulting from hemorrhoids. However, prolonged use of corticosteroids can damage the skin.
– Lidocaine: Lidocaine acts as a local anesthetic. This combination can help reduce inflammation as well as promote the recovery of local blood vessels.
– Phlebotonic drugs: These drugs can improve the general symptoms of hemorrhoids and reduce bleeding.
People who often get hemorrhoids or have complications, such as blood in the stool, should see a doctor. The latter may recommend alternative treatments or perform tests to rule out underlying causes.
Treatments for severe hemorrhoids
People with severe hemorrhoids may need more intensive treatment, including medical procedures. These procedures may include:
– Rubber band ligation: This is the most common non-surgical procedure for removing hemorrhoids. A doctor places a small, tight band around the hemorrhoids to cut off circulation to the tissue and allow it to fall.
– Sclerotherapy: During this operation, a doctor injects a chemical medicine into the hemorrhoids to make them shrink. Doctors may also use heat, light, or freezing temperatures.
– Surgical removal: Doctors recommend this only in cases where hemorrhoids do not respond to home or office methods. Surgery is usually effective and prevents hemorrhoids from coming back.
Here are some home remedies for hemorrhoids:
– take fiber supplements
– sit in a hot water bath, also called a sitz bath
– apply a cold compress
– drink enough fluids
– take painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
When to consult a doctor
People should see a doctor if they have the following symptoms:
– rectal bleeding
– dizziness or vertigo
– change in stool color
– persistence of symptoms even after a week of home remedies.
Doctors can confirm the diagnosis of hemorrhoids by performing a digital rectal exam and other procedures. They will recommend appropriate treatment based on the severity and type of hemorrhoids.
Early detection and treatment of hemorrhoids helps to prevent the development of severe cases, which are quite painful and have a negative impact on the person’s quality of life.
Certain diet and lifestyle changes can help with recovery and prevention for people who regularly have hemorrhoids.
Straining during bowel movements is a common cause of hemorrhoids, but people can make dietary adjustments to reduce their need for straining. It is generally beneficial to include plenty of fiber-rich foods in your diet. Plant fibers help collect water in the stool, making it softer and easier to pass. They come from:
Supplementing the diet with soluble fiber can reduce constipation. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps ensure that the body is sufficiently hydrated for healthy digestion, which can also alleviate constipation.
Way of life
Making a few small lifestyle changes can help minimize hemorrhoid symptoms. here are a few tips
– use a small seat to support the legs during defecation to change the position of the anal canal, which can facilitate the evacuation of stools
– avoid delaying the evacuation of stools when the need arises
– take regular showers
– gently wash the anus in the shower after each bowel movement or use wet wipes or water from a bidet
– take a warm sitz bath to relieve symptoms
– sit on an ice pack to reduce pain or discomfort
– exercise regularly to stimulate bowel movement.
If you spend too much time on the toilet, blood can accumulate in the veins of the rectum or put unnecessary pressure on them.
Hemorrhoids aren’t usually serious, but they can be bothersome and make everyday life difficult. The duration of hemorrhoids can vary from person to person, but there are a variety of over-the-counter remedies and medical options to treat them. There are also simple changes people can make to their diet and lifestyle to relieve symptoms and prevent new hemorrhoids from forming.
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