Hemorrhoids are swollen, inflamed tissue in the rectum and anus that can cause anal itching and discomfort. Most people deal with hemorrhoids for a long time before seeking medical help for the problem. Hemorrhoids are very common, and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed to talk to a medical professional about it.
Board-certified colon and rectal surgeon Lisa Perryman, MD provides comprehensive colorectal care at her Parker, Colorado, office. She routinely helps patients manage hemorrhoid flare-ups, which can be particularly bothersome. If you’re having a hemorrhoid flare, there are things you can do to get some relief. Read on for our top tips.
Walk and hydrate
When it comes to managing hemorrhoid flare-ups, drinking water, walking, and not straining when you have a bowel movement can help keep hemorrhoids in check. Failing to drink enough water causes stool to harden, making it more difficult to pass. If you’re having a flare-up, it’s important to stay topped up on water to encourage a soft stool that’s easier to pass.
Sitting too long can also aggravate your symptoms when you have hemorrhoid flare-ups. If you have an office job, take breaks and go for short walks throughout the day. Even walking to the water cooler can help.
Keep your bottom cool and dry
Keep your bottom dry and friction-free. Choose loose-fitting clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton to keep things as comfortable as possible.
Don't sit on the sidelines—get up and get moving! Adding a moderate amount of physical activity to your day, such as brisk walking for 20 minutes, can improve bowel function. Exercise stimulates bowel motility and can help ease bowel movements. This, in turn, can help reduce the risk of flare-ups and new hemorrhoids.
Try a warm bath
A warm bath is a great way to reduce inflammation and ease the pain when you have hemorrhoids. Sitting in warm water for 10-15 minutes a day can relieve pain, boost blood flow, and promote tissue healing.
Increase fiber intake
Boosting your fiber intake is an excellent way to manage hemorrhoids. Fiber helps promote regular bowel habits, which in turn reduces the stress on hemorrhoidal tissues. Plan meals with ingredients that are high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Choose recipes that have some flexibility, so that you can substitute different ingredients depending on what you have available.
It helps to prepare your meals ahead of time to have on hand when you're hungry. It’s just as helpful to avoid alcohol consumption. Alcohol can make it harder to manage hemorrhoid flare-ups.
Easing hemorrhoid discomfort
If you still experience discomfort after implementing some self-care strategies, talk to Dr. Perryman. She may prescribe hydrocortisone-containing suppositories or creams to reduce inflammation and discomfort, and provide other treatment options.
If you’re dealing with hemorrhoids, we can help. Reach out to our office by phone or book online to schedule a visit with Dr. Perryman today.