Hemorrhoids, those annoying clumps of swollen veins on your bottom, make it nearly impossible to get through your day comfortably. You shift around in your seat and try to alleviate the itching discreetly, but in the end, you know you need some help.
Dr. Darrien Gaston at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants in Chicago, Illinois, specializes in diagnosing and treating hemorrhoids so you can get back to your carefree life.
However, not all hemorrhoids need professional treatment. Here are Dr. Gaston’s best tips for soothing minor hemorrhoids at home.
When you have hemorrhoids, you know it. There’s no mistaking the classic symptoms of anal itching, burning, and pain. If you reach down and touch the area, you’ll feel a firm lump or cluster of lumps that sometimes burst and bleed, especially during a bowel movement.
There are two types: internal hemorrhoids inside your rectum and external hemorrhoids under the skin around your anus.
Anyone can develop hemorrhoids, but you’re most susceptible if you’re pregnant or overweight. Sitting on the toilet too long (we’re looking at you, bathroom readers) and staring when you go can lead to hemorrhoids, too.
Natural at-home treatments for hemorrhoids
Minor hemorrhoids can be a pain, but there are several natural remedies to help soothe the symptoms at home:
Pure aloe vera gel is known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties and reduces swelling and discomfort. Apply it directly to your external hemorrhoids.
Essential oils, like tea tree and lavender oil, manage inflammation and pain. Mix these oils with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, before applying to ensure safety and effectiveness.
Known for its astringent properties, witch hazel can help shrink hemorrhoids and relieve pain. Apply it with a cotton ball to the affected area.
A cold compress or ice pack can reduce inflammation and numb the area, alleviating pain.
Regular sitz baths, where only your hips and buttocks are submerged in warm water, provide immediate relief from hemorrhoid-related itching and pain. Aim for 15-20 minutes several times daily, particularly after bowel movements.
Eating fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can soften your stool and reduce straining during bowel movements. Also, optimal hydration is crucial, so drink plenty of water.
OTC creams and ointments also relieve inflammation and pain. Opt for those containing hydrocortisone.
Medical treatments for hemorrhoids
If natural remedies don’t provide sufficient relief, see Dr. Gaston. He offers several non-surgical and surgical treatments.
Minimally invasive procedures
Dr. Gaston uses the CRH O’Regan System® to cut off the blood supply to your hemorrhoids. It’s a non-surgical method with a nearly 100% success rate.
If you have severe hemorrhoids, Dr. Gaston may perform a surgical hemorrhoidectomy to remove the hemorrhoids.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to suffer from hemorrhoids. Schedule an appointment at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants today.