health

Hemorrhoids: 8 Simple Home Remedies To Soothe The Pain

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

When it comes to health, there are a lot of issues that can be somewhat uncomfortable to talk about, even with a seasoned medical professional.

Still, what matters the most is that every health issue, no matter how small, is addressed before it turns into something worse.

Occasionally, that means opening up and getting really, really honest about everything — from reproductive health to how to combat constipation.

One common problem that afflicts around 3 million Americans every year is often glossed over by patients, who are embarrassed to have the necessary conversation.

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are painful inflamed veins in the rectum and anus that may cause bleeding.

Fortunately, though challenging to talk about, they are rarely serious and very treatable. Best of all, there are even a handful of simple ways to soothe a mild case of hemorrhoids at home, with a few simple ingredients and exercises.

Scroll through below to learn more!

Hemorrhoids 101

Hemorrhoids 101
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Hemorrhoids are a painful condition caused by inflamed blood vessels that develop in the rectum, the last part of the colon, and in the anus, the ring of muscle at the end of the rectum.

They are commonly caused by straining on the toilet and constipation, and are more common in pregnant women and people of middle age or older.

They can cause intense pain and burning or itching sensations, and also may lead to bleeding that is alarming, but not generally dangerous.

Hemorrhoid Remedy #1: Ice It

Hemorrhoid Remedy #1: Ice It
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

When the pain is immediate and persistent, it can be hard to think about long-term solution to the irritation.

Instead, give yourself time to relieve the sensation by literally cooling off the affected area.

Try icing your hemorrhoids, which will both numb the irritation and help the swelling go down. A simple bag of frozen peas can do the trick.

Hemorrhoid Remedy #2: Apple Cider Vinegar

Hemorrhoid Remedy #2: Apple Cider Vinegar
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Apple cider vinegar is a tremendous tonic for myriad problems, including hemorrhoids.

Drinking a couple of teaspoons daily may improve your digestion and prevent the painful spots from occurring in the first place.

Meanwhile, if you already have a case, consult a doctor before applying a small amount of diluted ACV to the affected area with a cotton swab, which will help to soothe the burning sensation, and help shrink the blood vessels.

Hemorrhoid Remedy #3: Sit In The Bath

Hemorrhoid Remedy #3: Sit In The Bath
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Unsurprisingly, hemorrhoids are particularly painful immediately after a bowl movement.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most effective ways to treat the affliction is to take a seat in a warm bath.

The warm water will sooth the pains, and also help to make sure that the area is extra clean; anything left behind after using the bathroom can aggravate the condition.

Hemorrhoid Remedy #4: Squat, Don’t Sit

Hemorrhoid Remedy #4: Squat, Don’t Sit
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: humans are not designed to sit on the toilet.

Our bodies are designed for squatting out in nature, like our ancient ancestors; the miracle of modern plumbing has the unfortunate side effect of causing us to strain more on the toilet because our bowels are misaligned.

Rectify the problem by putting a small stool under your feet at the toilet, to recreate the squatting motion and reduce the strain that cause hemorrhoids and other problem in the lavatory.

Hemorrhoid Remedy #5: Keep Exercising

Hemorrhoid Remedy #5: Keep Exercising
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Exercising when you’re in pain might seem counterintuitive, but it’s a proven way to reduce the effects of hemorrhoids over time.

According to Harvard Medical School, getting 20 to 30 minutes of exercise daily helps to regulate the bowels, reducing the risk and severity of hemorrhoids.

Plus, exercise naturally improves circulation, which can help to redirect blood that may be pooling around the anus and causing the problem.

Hemorrhoid Remedy #6: Fiber And Fluids

Hemorrhoid Remedy #6: Fiber And Fluids
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

One of the worst things you can do for hemorrhoids is to try to “hold it” to avoid the pain, which can cause constipation.

Instead, keep things moving by loading your diet with fiber to bulk up your stools and make them pass easily, and water, to prevent the stools from becoming dehydrated and compacted.

These two simple steps will make trips to the toilet easier and reduce hemorrhoid pain over time.

Hemorrhoid Remedy #7: Switch To Cotton Underwear

Hemorrhoid Remedy #7: Switch To Cotton Underwear
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Hemorrhoids can cause bleeding into your underwear every now and then, so it’s a good idea to keep a clean supply handy and change whenever necessary into loose, cotton undies.

Make sure you avoid anything that’s not breathable or fits too tightly; these qualities can increase discomfort and irritate the sore spots further.

Naturally, skip thongs completely; even if you don’t have hemorrhoids, these may cause them.

Hemorrhoid Remedy #8: Aloe Vera

Hemorrhoid Remedy #8: Aloe Vera
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Aloe is a well-known treatment for sunburns and other skin irritations, so it should come as no surprise that it’s equally useful for treating hemorrhoids.

The cooling gel can help to moisturize and soothe the sore area, and it may help to encourage the healing process.

If you choose this route, just make sure that you use pure aloe — not a cream claiming aloe is an ingredient, which may further irritate the affliction.

Above all, please remember that you should consult with your doctor if you are concerned about hemorrhoids.

Have you heard of any of these home remedies before? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to SHARE for friends who aren’t afraid to talk about life’s more uncomfortable issues!