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Haemorrhoids (Piles)

Pain, itching, and occasional bleeding in or around the anus due to swollen veins is called haemorrhoids. There are two types of haemorrhoids, a) internal haemorrhoids, which is the most common type, and b) external haemorrhoids. While the internal haemorrhoids develops inside the anus and causes painless bleeding, the external one is painful and may cause bleeding. Haemorrhoids are a common problem, but people feel embarrassed to talk about it and feel shy to seek help. Although there are creams, pads, suppositories, and ointments available in the market, it is advisable to use them as per the doctor’s advice. If you feel shy to talk about it, try these home remedies.

Change the way you sit

  • If you’re in a sedentary job, make sure you sit on a doughnut-shaped cushion. It will relieve pressure from anus.
  • Take a plastic bag, put a lot of ice cubes or crushed ice in it, wrap this plastic bag in a thin cloth – and sit on it. Sitting on this icepack for about 20 to 25 minutes will provide you a lot of relief as the cold will shrink the swollen veins. You may repeat this as many times as you want to, but make sure there is a gap of about 10 minutes between two applications. Try hot and cold packs one after another, it may also be helpful.

Warmth – the comforter

  • Fill a bathtub with warm water and lie down in it with knees raised. This will allow maximum exposure of the anus to the warm water, shrink swollen veins, and eventually, give you relief from pain and discomfort.
  • If you don’t have a bathtub or filling a bathtub means a lengthy process and wastage of water, you can use a plastic tub, which is already there in your home or buy a ‘sitz bath’ available in the medical stores. These sitz tubs are designed specifically for sitting in.
  • Add a handful of Epsom salts into a warm water tub, stir well to dissolve it in the water and then sit in this tub.
  • Tea has tannic acid, which helps reduce pain and swelling, promote blood clotting and stop bleeding. So, for external haemorrhoids, apply a warm and wet tea bag on the anus. It will soothe the pain.

To get relief from the discomfort

  • Take a cotton wool ball, put it in liquid vitamin E and wheatgerm oil, and apply it few times a day on the anus.
  • Ointment that contains comfrey and calendula will soothe the pain and promote healing. You will be able to find such an ointment in a medical store. Dab some amount of it on the anus.
  • Dabbing Vaseline may also help soothe the discomfort and pain caused by haemorrhoids.
  • Yarrow, a flowering plant, has mild astringent properties. Dab some cotton in a cooled, strained brew of yarrow and apply it on the haemorrhoids. It will shrink the swollen veins and soothe inflammation of the anus.

Limit lifting and sitting

  • When you lift anything heavy, you put pressure on the anus. So, whenever you need to lift a heavy object, ask others to give you a hand rather than lifting it all by yourself.
  • If you need to sit for a long time at a stretch, make sure you take a 5-minute breaks every hour and walk around. This will prevent haemorrhoids, as every time you get up, you ease the rectal pressure that often leads to haemorrhoids.

Bathroom policy

  • Do go to the latrine whenever you need to go; don’t avoid it. If you do, you tend to put more pressure on the anus when you do go. It may cause constipation and may make the matter worse. All of these may lead to haemorrhoids.
  • After a bowel movement, use a white, plain, and unscented toilet paper to wipe the anal area. Coloured, scented toilet papers are also available but the additional flavour and chemical may cause irritation.

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