EmpowHER has had some questions recently from readers who want to treat their hemorrhoids on their own, naturally -- and others who aren't sure whether they have them or not. The first thing to do is find out if you actually have hemorrhoids, and initially it's best to get an actual diagnoses from a health care provider before self-treatment.
So what are hemorrhoids? Aside from being very unpleasant, hemorrhoids are bulging veins that feel thick and lumpy and can be found inside or outside the anal and lower rectal area of the body. They can cause painful bowel movements, discomfort, pain and bleeding -- another reason why an official diagnosis is a good idea since rectal and anal bleeding can have many causes -- some very serious.
Bloody hemorrhoids can be a frightening experience. This usually happens with internal hemorrhoids rather than the external ones. Blood can be found in the stool or in the toilet bowl, as well as when wiping. Wiping with a warm cloth or baby wipe can help with pain, as toilet paper can feel hard and sharp.
Bloody hemorrhoids need to be monitored so that they do not develop into clots, known as thrombosed hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoid. org has a great information page on the causes and treatments of bloody hemorrhoids.
People are more likely to get hemorrhoids from a lack of fiber in the diet that causes straining during bowel movements, pregnancy and childbirth, chronic cough, obesity and constipation/diarrhea. Hereditary factors can also be a cause. However, many people with none of these factors can get hemorrhoids for reasons unknown.
Hemorrhoids aren't always preventable but ways to help avoid them include a healthy, fresh diet, not straining during bowel movements, exercising and not waiting to go -- when you feel the need to empty the bowels, do so as soon as possible.
Home remedies can work pretty well and are very cost-effective. According to EmpowHER's Hemorrhoids page, a sitz bath can be very effective for treating symptoms. The average sitz bath costs between $10-$15, is reusable and can be bought at any drugstore.