- Include more fiber in your diet. Fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, and whole-grain breads and cereals are good sources of fiber.
- Drink plenty of fluids (except alcohol). Eight glasses of water a day is ideal.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid laxatives, except bulk-forming laxatives such as Fiberall, Metamucil, etc. Other types of laxatives can lead to diarrhea, which can worsen hemorrhoids.
- When you feel the need to have a bowel movement, don't wait too long to use the bathroom.
Relieving the pain
- Take warm baths.
- Clean your anus after each bowel movement by patting gently with moist toilet paper or moistened pads such as baby wipes.
- Use ice packs to relieve swelling.
- Use acetaminophen (one brand name: Tylenol), ibuprofen (one brand name: Motrin) or aspirin to help relieve pain.
- Apply a cream that contains witch hazel to the area or use a numbing ointment. Creams that contain hydrocortisone can be used for itching or pain.
Don't use hemorrhoid medicine without talking to your family doctor first.
Will I need surgery?
Painful hemorrhoids usually stop hurting on their own in 1 to 2 weeks. If yours keep causing problems, talk with your doctor.
Rubber band ligation can be used to treat internal hemorrhoids. It involves placing a small rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid. This stops the flow of blood to the area and the hemorrhoid withers away.
Internal hemorrhoids can also be destroyed by injecting them with a chemical. A hemorrhoidectomy (surgical removal of the hemorrhoid) may be needed if internal hemorrhoids are prolapsed or very large.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff