How Long Hemorrhoids Last? Causes and Prevention Tips
How long haemorrhoids last? The problem of hemorrhoids is extremely common-more than half of all women will experience the problem at least once before their 50th birthday. Anyone can get hemorrhoids, but they are more common in older people, pregnant women, people with GI conditions, and those with a family history of recurrent hemorrhoids.
In hemorrhoids, the veins in your rectum and anus become swollen. Depending on where they occur, they may be internal (inside the rectum) or external (around the anus).
In the case of hemorrhoids, you may have a lot of questions. How long do hemorrhoids last? What’s the fastest way to get relief? We can help you with these questions and more thanks to Florida Medical Clinic gastroenterologist Dr. David R. Heiman.
How do you know if you have hemorrhoids?
The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids are:
- Anal pain/painful bowel movements
- bleeding (seeing blood when you wipe or in the toilet)
- Swelling around the anus
Symptoms like these could also be a sign of something more serious, like anal cancer or polyps. Many hemorrhoids and anal fissures share many symptoms. Both are caused by tearing of the skin surrounding the anus. Hemorrhoids are painful, but anal fissures tend to be more painful.
Whether or not you have hemorrhoids, it’s still a good idea to see a doctor to rule out any serious conditions, especially if you are over 50 years old.
How long do hemorrhoids last?
Hemorrhoids last for different amounts of time for different people.
In general, a few days is all that is necessary for small hemorrhoids to disappear. The pain, swelling, and itching from large hemorrhoid can be difficult to treat on your own. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor to determine if any treatment is necessary. After giving birth, patients with hemorrhoids may find that their hemorrhoids have disappeared.
It is possible for hemorrhoids to return after treatment. When hemorrhoids return or don’t go away, your gastroenterologist can help recommend solutions.
Prevention Tips & How to Find Relief
Patients seeking at-home treatment options have numerous options to choose from. Small hemorrhoids are successfully treated at home with dietary changes and over-the-counter medications.
- Get more fiber in your diet. By eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (commonly referred to as ‘roughage’), you can ease digestion. Talk to your doctor if you have trouble changing your diet and ask if a fiber supplement will help. Drinking more water can also be helpful.
- Use over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and hemorrhoid creams. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are both commonly used pain relievers. Itching and pain can also be relieved with topical creams (like Preparation H).
- Soak in a sitz bath. In a sitz bath, you sit in a warm, shallow bath for 10 to 15 minutes to stimulate blood flow and keep the perianal area clean. You can use a regular bathtub or sitz bath apparatus that attaches directly to the toilet seat. Some brands make sitz bath apparatuses that can be attached directly to the toilet seat.
- Sit on a donut cushion. You can reduce the pressure on your tailbone when sitting by using donut-shaped cushions (also known as tailbone cushions). These cushions can alleviate anal pain and discomfort, especially for people who sit for long periods of time at work.
- Limit your time on the toilet. Sitting on the toilet too long can increase pressure in the veins in your rectum and anus, resulting in hemorrhoids. You may find it helpful to remove any magazines or books you keep in the bathroom and not stay in the bathroom for longer than you need to.
When to See a Doctor about Hemorrhoids
You should see a doctor if you notice bleeding during a bowel movement or if you produce red or black stool. Moreover, if the discomfort doesn’t disappear after a week of using at-home remedies for hemorrhoids, you should also see a doctor.
There are many patients who find it difficult or embarrassing to discuss gastrointestinal issues with their doctor. But you should know that your doctor is there to help you find solutions to your medical concerns, and you’re not the first patient they’ve seen with this issue! Your doctor is the best person to help you find lasting relief from your symptoms.
Can Hemorrhoids Go Away on Their Own?
Some hemorrhoids, such as minor ones, may go away on their own. Most hemorrhoids, however, will require some form of care at home. Depending on your condition, you might need medical care for hemorrhoids.
How Long Do Hemorrhoids Take to Shrink?
With home care, hemorrhoids sometimes shrink within a week. It is important to see a doctor if hemorrhoids do not heal on their own or if the condition becomes worse. As a result, you are less likely to experience complications, such as blood clots or strangulated hemorrhoids.
Are Hemorrhoids Permanent?
Generally, hemorrhoids do not last forever, but they can occur frequently or persist. You should seek treatment if hemorrhoids cause ongoing problems, such as bleeding and discomfort.
What Should I Eat with Hemorrhoids?
Besides whole grains, eating foods that are high in fiber can help alleviate symptoms of hemorrhoids, such as swelling and discomfort. Hemorrhoids can also be prevented by eating these foods, which bulk up and soften the stool. Hemorrhoids are often caused by straining, so you need to avoid them. In order to reduce the risk of gassiness from increased fiber consumption, do so gradually.
How Can You Reduce Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can be treated with topical medications, although these products mainly treat pain and other symptoms rather than shrink hemorrhoids. You can choose from various products, including creams, pads, and ointments. Oral pain relievers may also provide temporary relief. Additionally, soaking in a sitz bath or warm water can help ease the pain.