External Hemorrhoids Treatment at Home: Sitz Bath and Other Practical Remedies
1. Sitz bath. Soothe the hemorrhoids by sitting in a warm water mixed with table salt or better, Epsom salt, for at least 10 minutes several times a day specially after bowel movement. Soaking in a warm tub is also a good alternative. This will help shrink the swelling and reduce the pain and itchiness.
2. Anoint them with soothing creams or ointments. Anti-hemorrhoidal ointments or creams are available over-the-counter. They should be applied three to five times daily particularly at night and after bowel movements. However, take note not to use an over-the-counter product for more than one week unless directed by a physician. These products can cause side effects such as skin rash, inflammation and skin thinning.
3. Consume more fiber-rich vegetables, fruits and legumes. Fibers help in regulating bowel movement. Dr. Steven Pratt, author of “Superfoods Lifestyle: Proven Strategies for Lifelong Health”, recommends increasing the fiber intake by 4-8 grams per week until you reach the goal of 45 grams daily for adult men and 32 grams daily for adult women. Among the top fiber food choices are beans, whole grain cereals, fruits like apple, pear, raspberry, stewed prunes, and vegetables like winter squash, green peas, sweet potato skin, cauliflower, spinach etc.
4. Increase fluid intake to at least 8 glasses daily. This is extremely important especially as you increase your fiber intake. Increased fiber intake without sufficient fluid intake will actually cause constipation which may aggravate the pain and swelling.
5. Take a stretch. Sitting for long periods often aggravates hemorrhoids. Staying active reduces pressure in the anal and rectal veins that results from being in one position too long. Exercise can also help prevent constipation.
6. If constipation is your big problem, take in senna tea or sennaed prunes as laxative. Senna is a herb which can be prepared as tea and is available in health-food stores. Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, a specialist on Women’s Health and Alternative Medicine, recommends preparing sennaed prunes by pouring enough boiling water over a cup of prunes. Drop in a senna tea bag and remove it after 5-20 minutes. Refrigerate the prune-senna mixture overnight before eating.
7. During defecation, do not strain or hold your breath. Clean the rectum with moistened wipes instead of dry toilet paper. If hemorrhoids are swollen, wear cotton underwear and loose nonbinding clothing.
If these at-home treatments do not relieve your symptoms of external hemorrhoids then it is best to seek medical help as soon as possible.
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