According to numerous studies, as many as 70% of people have experienced unpleasant symptoms of hemorrhoids at least once in their life. Fortunately, in the majority of cases, those piles are not serious and bring just a light discomfort that disappears pretty quickly. However, around 5% of the patients do have more severe manifestations that require medical help and even surgery.
Modern lifestyle with its lack of physical activity, a lot of hours sitting at the office, and plenty of highly processed food are some of the reasons why more and more people start having such problems. Fortunately, the good news is that the advancement of innovative technologies provides for effective treatment of even the most complicated cases. In addition to that, there is a wide range of options to cure piles at home, and here is how.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Before turning to how you can prevent the appearance of piles and treat those that are already present, let’s brush up on what hemorrhoids are. Also called piles, they are defined as swollen veins in the area of the anus and lower rectum. In fact, they are similar to varicose veins but located in a specific region.
Even though doctors know a great many causes of this problem, it is not rare that the cause is hard to define and remains unknown. Piles are not always visible and many people do not even notice them. However, when blood forces the veins to expand outward creating typical lumps or bumps, this is the moment that the story starts to be painful and uncomfortable.
Types of Piles
Piles come in three major types: internal, external, and thrombosed. When browsing the internet for info on this topic, you may run into some articles that define four types of hemorrhoids, dividing the prolapsed form into a separate category. However, it is just an escalated form of internal piles, so it doesn’t make much sense to call it a type.
The signs and symptoms, as well as the ways to cure hemorrhoids, may vary in accordance with the particular form. By the way, if you wonder how long hemorrhoids last without treatment, the answer also greatly depends on the nature of these bumps. Some of them can go away pretty quickly, in less than a week, but others won’t disappear without medications and can worsen dramatically. Size matters here too, but first, let’s take a look at each type to better understand the difference between the three variants.
Just as their name suggests, internal piles are those formed in the rectum. They usually are not visible, especially when set too deep in the anus. Luckily, in the great bulk of cases, they are also not serious and have a tendency to vanish on their own.
Not so often, they can grow larger to cause itching, pain, and discomfort. If this happens, they can be very well visible, hence if apart from swelling in the area near your anus you also can see lumps, it is definitely time to visit a doctor because your condition worsens. The latter is called prolapsed and comprises four grades: while the first grade is assigned when your piles are not prolapsed at all, the fourth means that hemorrhoids stick out to such a degree that they can’t be pushed back unless the patient withstands a lot of pain.
External hemorrhoids lie under the skin in the area of the anus, and generally speaking, their location is the only major factor that differs them from the internal counterparts. The fact that external lumps are located outside the rectum doesn’t necessarily mean they can be easily seen. However, once they start to swell, it is much easier to spot those bluish veins under the skin. External piles are often more painful and cause more discomfort too, especially when people sit for a long period of time or during certain physical activities.
At the core, a thrombosed pile is an external hemorrhoid that has developed a blood clot (or thrombosis). This may happen if a patient doesn’t pay attention to the problem at the very beginning of the process. When left untreated, hemorrhoids can form blood clots within the tissue, which is not only painful but also dangerous, which is why thrombosed piles should be subject to immediate treatment.
Top Ways to Cure Piles
As already mentioned, in the majority of cases, the problems with piles are not serious and can be successfully treated at home. There is a range of widely available options that are able to soothe pain, swelling, and inflammation; this is all when talking about mild symptoms.
To start with, you can take advantage of a bunch of over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams, as well as suppositories intended to relieve pain and decrease inflammation. Additionally, you can try pads with witch hazel or a numbing agent.
A sitz bath that can be easily fit over the toilet is a great additional treatment for the piles. Fill it with plain warm water and use it two or three times a day for up to 15 minutes.
Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other foods rich in fiber. This type of diet will soften your stool and help avoid those painful moments, at the same time, minimizing the risk of further complications. However, doctors recommend increasing the intake of such foods slowly or otherwise, you may have problems with your digestive system.
Ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen can be taken orally to relieve pain, but keep in mind that none of them can be used for more than 5 days in a row without consulting a doctor. If the pain doesn’t go away, seek medical help.
Piles can cause certain discomfort but by using one of these treatments or combining them all, you can make them disappear in a week or so. However, do not wait too long to see a doctor if you don’t notice any improvements as to avoid further complications.