About half (50%) of all Americans will develop hemroids at least once in his or her lifetime. While hemroids are generally not life threatening, they can be quite bothersome with symptoms of pain, burning and itching that can drive a person crazy. This article discusses several options one can try in order to treat and cure hemroids.
Hemroids, also called Hemorrhoids or “piles” are painful bulges inside or just outside of the rectum and caused by weakened blood vessels in and around the anus which expand, protrude and can eventually erupt and can pose serious problems. Pressure on the rectum such as excessive straining during a bowel movement, heavy lifting, pregnancy and long periods of sitting down are thought to be major contributors to the development of hemroids. They can range in size from simply small and annoying progressing to very large, painful masses which cause difficulty while walking, sitting and can result in bowel obstruction. Eruption of a hemroid can be a serious medical condition which can lead to significant blood loss and severe infection if not treated immediately. Fortunately, there are several options available to cure hemroids.
The first option most people including physicians recommend is the use of over the counter medications. These medications are applied topically either by rectal suppository or by cream or ointment which can be inserted rectally with an attached applicator. The most common type of medication used is anti-inflammatory and will either be a steroid, such as hydrocortisone or “shark liver oil” which is said to shrink tissue and relieve inflammation. Many OTC hemroid products will also contain a “caine” type local pain reliever such as dibucaine which will bring immediate but temporary relief of pain. While use of topical OTC products is generally the first option it is often only effective for smaller hemroids.
Many people suffering with hemroids have found a cure through herbal remedies. As a hemroid is caused by weakened blood vessels in and around the rectum, most herbal therapy is aimed at strengthening blood vessels and reduction of inflammation. Herbs such as bilberry extract and horse chestnut may be taken orally to strengthen blood vessels. To relieve inflammation, compresses or sitz baths with Aloe Vera and Witch Hazel are often recommended. People who are proponents of herbal therapy will admit that attempting a cure through this method may take several weeks or months and recommend additional lifestyle changes such as increasing fiber in the diet and reduction of time spent sitting down.
Surgery should be a last resort for most conditions, hemroids included. Hemroid removal by surgery can be done through several methods. “Rubber Band Ligation” involves a tight rubber band being placed around the base of the hemroid to cut off the blood supply. Laser or electric “coagulation” involves creating scar tissue at the base of the hemroid which again cuts off the blood supply. Hemorrhoidectomy is the actual surgical excision of the hemorrhoid. All surgical procedures are immediately effective but extremely painful and expensive. In addition, if lifestyle changes are not implemented, hemroids may reoccur.
To conclude, hemroids, hemorrhoids, or piles can range from annoying to serious. Treatment options vary widely in effectiveness and longevity but the best options appear to be use of topical over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and several types of surgery.