Signs and Symptoms
1. Bright red blood that may appear in the stool or on toilet tissue.
2. Pain during bowel movements.
3. Painful swelling or a lump near the anus.
4. Itching in or around the anus.
What to do now
1. Taking shower could be a remedy to ease the irritation: Sit in warm (not hot) water for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day, especially after a bowel movement.
2. Resist the temptation to scratch hemorrhoids; you’ll further irritate the veins and intensify itching.
3. Bathe regularly to keep the anal area clean, but be gentle. Excessive scrubbing, especially with soap, can worsen burning and irritation.
4. For external hemorrhoids, dab the area with witch hazel or apply a cold compress.
5. Insert a dab of petroleum jelly just inside the anus to make bowel movements easier and less painful.
6. Be gentle when wiping. Dampen your toilet paper first, or use cotton balls or alcohol-free baby wipes.
When to call a doctor
1. If you have persistent or severe pain. You may require treatment (which can include a surgery) to remove or shrink the hemorrhoids.
2. If bleeding persists for more than a few days. This may signal another problem that needs medical attention. You could have a more serious problem, such as colon cancer.
How to prevent it
1. Cut back on meat, animal fat, and alcoholic drinks.
2. Establish a regular time for your bowel movements.
3. To produce soft, easily passed stools, eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, bran cereals, and whole- grain bread (If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before making changes in your diet.) Also drink lots of liquids such as water of fruit and vegetable juices (at least eight glasses a day).
4. Since long periods of sitting reduce blood flow around the anus and may contribute to hemorrhoids, take frequent breaks if you have a sit-down job.
5. Tone up and strengthen the anal sphincter muscles by doing an easy exercise called the buttock press: Rhythmically tighten and relax the buttock muscles and anal sphincter muscles.
6. Try doing yoga which enhances blood flow, reducing pain and inflammation in hemorrhoid tissue.
7. Don’t sit on the toilet for more than five to ten minutes at a time.
8. Don’t sit on a “doughnut” cushion; these can trap blood in the swollen veins.