If you suffer from hemorrhoids, or think you may have them, then you’ll likely want to know how long before they disappear. While most of the time hemorrhoids won’t severely impact your quality of life, unfortunately they are very common, and most adults suffer from them from time to time.
If the burning and itching is getting to you then read on to find out what causes hemorrhoids, what you can do to treat them, and how long they’re likely to last.
We’ll also look at some ways to avoid hemorrhoids in the future.
What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that are located in the rectum and anus. Many times, the walls of these blood vessels stretch, allowing the veins to bulge. When this happens, they can get irritated.
Swollen hemorrhoids are also known as piles. According to WebMD, they are one of the most typical causes of rectal bleeding. They are usually benign and will go away quickly. If you have bleeding, then you may want to get checked out for more serious conditions. Also, you may need help with hemorrhoids that are painful and won't go away.
What Is the Difference Between Internal and External Hemorrhoids?
You might be wondering what type of hemorrhoids you're suffering from. Internal hemorrhoids are deep inside of the rectum. You typically won't see or feel them. Since you don't have many nerves there, they will not cause pain. The way that you know they are there is if they bleed.
External hemorrhoids are under the skin around the anus. There are more nerves there, so you will tend to feel pain from them.
Hemorrhoids can get bigger and bulge outside of the anal sphincter. This may allow you to see them. They appear as moist bumps that are pink in color. They can cause you some pain when you relieve yourself.
These prolapsed hemorrhoids will tend to go back on their own. If they don't, many times they are easily pushed back into place.
Blood clots can develop in external hemorrhoids, changing them to a purple or blue color. This is called a thrombosis. The condition may cause you some pain and bleeding.
What Are the Symptoms of Hemorrhoids?
According to Mayo Clinic, the following are signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids:
- Painless bleeding during bowel movements. This usually appears as bright red blood.
- Itching or irritation in the anal region.
- Pain or discomfort.
- Swelling around the anus.
- A lump near your anus, which might be sensitive or painful.
How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last?
Depending on where you have the hemorrhoids and their severity, they can last for one or two days or up to a few months.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that external hemorrhoids usually last from a few days up to a week. They advise that you should see your doctor if the symptoms don't clear up within a few days.
Internal hemorrhoids that have prolapsed can take a lot longer to clear up. If you get hemorrhoids when you are pregnant, the itching and pain may last for your full term.
How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last if Untreated?
Small external hemorrhoids will probably go away by themselves if you use home remedies. However, certain types of hemorrhoids may need medical procedures to get rid of them.
Internal hemorrhoids persist for a longer time than external ones and are more difficult to treat. If external hemorrhoids are big and painful, a surgeon may cut them away. It may take a number of weeks for them to heal after surgery.
How Do You Treat Hemorrhoids?
You can gain hemorrhoid relief often without getting surgery to remove them. You should begin with over-the-counter products, lifestyle changes and natural remedies. Remember that, if you are pregnant, you should consult with your doctor about any treatments that you apply.
You can soothe the pain and the itching by taking a sitz bath. To do this, sit in about three inches of warm water for 15 minutes, several times a day. This will help diminish the swelling and will relax your sphincter muscle. It is particularly good to take the bath after going to the bathroom.
You can also apply a little petroleum jelly just inside your anus to make relieving yourself hurt less.
Other things that you can apply are witch hazel and over-the-counter creams and ointments. You can use a 1% hydrocortisone cream on the skin outside the anus to relieve pain. However, don't use it for longer than a week without approval from your doctor.
One other remedy is using a cold pack on the tender area for a few minutes to reduce the swelling.
A high-fiber diet is great for hemorrhoids. You should also avoid processed foods. You can also take a fiber supplement or stool softener if you don't get enough fiber in your diet. Avoid laxatives. They may cause diarrhea that can irritate hemorrhoids.
Try to drink seven to eight glasses of water a day. If you live in a hot environment, you may need even more.
If you have severe symptoms that aren't getting any better, you may need to go in for a procedure to shrink or remove the hemorrhoids.
Your doctor can give you an injection if you have an internal hemorrhoid. This will create a scar and seal off the hemorrhoid. The shot is not very painful.
Another procedure called rubber band ligation is often used for prolapsed hemorrhoids. The doctor will use a tool to put a little rubber band around the hemorrhoid. This will cut off the blood supply to it so that it will dry up and fall off.
Yet another procedure is called coagulation or cauterization. Using an electric probe, the doctor will make a tiny burn to remove tissue and seal the end of the hemorrhoid. This will cause it to close off and shrink.
For large internal hemorrhoids or very painful external hemorrhoids, your doctor may want to actually remove them.
How Does a Hemorrhoid Pillow Help?
While we would all like to know how to get rid of hemorrhoids fast, if you’re currently suffering and want something to help in the meantime there are things you can do to lessen the pain.
If you’re finding it difficult to sit as a result of your hemorrhoids then relaxing can actually be painful. Sometimes, even standing up can cause discomfort.
If this is the case for you then a donut cushion can help relieve the discomfort until your hemorrhoids either go away or are treated as it helps lessen the pressure on the affected area.
Additionally, the cushion can elevate the back of the rear for maximum weight relief.
It will offer balance so that there is no tilting when rotating or reaching.
It will also improve your posture so that natural blood flow will be increased to the affected area.
Finally, it will reduce pressure points in the legs, upper thighs, and rear.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are four things that you can do to prevent hemorrhoids from happening in the first place:
- Use the bathroom when you need to go...
- ...but don't spend too long in there
- Pay attention to your diet
- Get some exercise
Use the bathroom when you need to go
You shouldn't delay going to the bathroom. If you do, then your stool may become hard and dry in your bowel. This will make it harder to pass. If you strain yourself when you defecate, then your risk for hemorrhoids increases.
Don't spend too long in the bathroom
You should think of the time that you spend in the bathroom as a necessity, not as leisure time. If you keep a lot of reading material in the bathroom, then you should consider moving it to another room.
Pay attention to your diet
To put an end to hemorrhoids, your stools must be soft and easy to pass. You can achieve this by making the appropriate dietary choices and staying hydrated.
To avoid constipation, you need to get enough fiber. Try eating more green vegetables and 100 percent whole grains. If it is necessary, you should ask your doctor about a fiber supplement. However, you should try to avoid this if possible. You should try to get all of the fiber that you need through your diet.
There is one thing to be cautious about, though. Some people have something called slow transit constipation. This is a condition where the bowels move more slowly than usual. For these people, too much fiber tends to stay in the gut and makes constipation worse.
Get some exercise
Exercise can help improve or prevent many bowel and digestive issues. If you don't get enough activity, your body slows down. This includes the slowing down of your bowels.
Exercise will help the waste in your system move through your intestinal tract. You can try any exercise that keeps you active. Whether walking or running, as long as you stay active, you will keep your system moving.
One note of caution is that, if you suffer from hemorrhoids, you may want to skip squats and other exercises that increase abdominal pressure. These exercises may actually cause more hemorrhoids.
Unless you have very severe hemorrhoids, they will probably go away fairly quickly with some home treatment. However, if you have pain and burning for an extended period of time, you may need to consult with your doctor to find a resolution to your problem.
If you want some additional, in-depth guidance on getting rid of hemorrhoids then you may wish to check out the popular resource Hemorrhoid No More which has helped thousands of people with their hemorrhoid problems.
I hope this has been useful and that you manage to find some relief from hemorrhoids soon. If you have any additional tips not covered here please get in touch and let us know.