Hemorrhoid banding is a very simple and pain-free method of removing hemorrhoids. It requires no non-invasive surgery and is done by inserting a rubber band ligator, like the Nexus System, into your anus (for internal hemorrhoids) via an anoscope, pulling the hemorrhoid taut and away from the rectal wall, and placing a rubber bacd around it. The band cuts off blood flow to the hemorrhoid, causing it to wither away and fall off. [Read more…]
If you suffer from hemorrhoids, you may have used over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments to relieve symptoms. But are these medications as useful as you think?
Medicated Over-The-Counter Hemorrhoid Treatments
Medicated over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments include products like creams, pads, and suppositories that contain medications like hydrocortisone, witch hazel, or numbing agents to relieve pain and itching. Oral pain relievers like Tylenol and Advil can also help treat hemorrhoid symptoms.
Brands like Preparation H include a decongestant that acts like a vasoconstrictor, meaning it shrinks blood vessels and temporarily relives pain and swelling associated with hemorrhoids. This medication can come in creams, suppositories, or pads.
These treatments are considered effective in treating the symptoms of hemorrhoids. Do not use over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments for more than a week unless directed by your doctor.
Over-application of treatments like pads and creams can cause your skin to thin out. If you have certain medical problems like high blood pressure or you are taking certain medications, talk to your doctor before starting a home treatment regimen.
Non-Medicated Over-The-Counter Hemorrhoid Treatments
There are also non-medicated over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments that include:
- Sitz baths: These warm baths can help reduce swelling and relaxes your muscles.
- Cold packs: Ice helps numb pain and reduce swelling. Remember to wrap the ice in a towel and apply for only several minutes at a time to prevent ice burns.
- Eating high-fiber foods: A fiber-rich diet makes going easier and helping prevent constipation that can worsen hemorrhoids.
- Moist wipes: These wipes are gentler than dry tissue paper and will not irritate hemorrhoids as much. Wipes can also be medicated and contain ingredients like witch hazel and aloe.
These treatments are considered effective in helping relieve pain, itching, and swelling associated with hemorrhoids and are sometimes the only treatment some people need to find relief.
However, it is important to remember to use caution while self-treating at home — especially if taking dietary supplements or using “natural” remedies. These can interfere with prescription medications you may be taking or irritate your skin. Before starting at-home hemorrhoid treatments, talk to your doctor.
What If Over-The-Counter Treatments Are Ineffective?
Despite the effectiveness of over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments, it’s important to remember that what works for one person may not for another.
If you find that your hemorrhoids aren’t responding to over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments, reach out to your doctor to discuss non-surgical treatment options like rubber band ligation. Your doctor will be able to recommend treatment options based on your needs.
You can sometimes prevent hemorrhoids from developing in the first place by living a healthy lifestyle and practicing healthy bathroom habits like not straining or sitting on the toilet too long. If your hemorrhoids start bleeding, contact your doctor.
Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are clumps of swollen blood vessels in the anus or lower rectum that are itchy and can cause pain or even bleed, which can make sitting and going to the bathroom unpleasant.
If you’ve had hemorrhoids before or have never suffered from them, you may be asking yourself, “How can I prevent hemorrhoids from happening in the first place?”
Thankfully, hemorrhoids can be prevented with a few easy lifestyle changes. [Read more…]
No one likes talking about hemorrhoids in everyday conversation, and it is common to feel embarrassed about them. However, it is important not to let this feeling prevent you from seeking proper medical care. Understanding what hemorrhoids are will help you as a patient realize that there is nothing to be embarrassed about so you can seek the diagnosis and treatment you need. [Read more…]
Acid reflux, which is also commonly known as heartburn, or acid indigestion, occurs when some of the acid content in your stomach flows upward into esophagus — causing feelings of burning and chest pain. If you experience acid reflux more frequently than twice per week, you may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
Normally, a ring of muscle at the entrance of your stomach known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) prevents any stomach acid from entering your esophagus by acting as a valve that closes the entrance to your stomach. But when your health is compromised by one or more risk factors, sometimes your LES will fail to close or open up when it shouldn’t — often resulting in acid reflux. [Read more…]