Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Sitting in a few inches of warm water three times a day for 15 to 20 minutes
may help decrease the inflammation of the hemorrhoids.
It is important to dry off the anal area completely after each Sitz bath to
minimize irritation of the skin surrounding the anus.
Increased fluid intake and dietary fiber (roughage) will decrease the potential for
constipation and lessen the pressure on the rectum and anus during a bowel
movement, minimizing further swelling, discomfort, and bleeding. Dietary fiber
supplements may also help bulk up the stools
Stool softeners may help, but once hemorrhoids are present, liquid stools
may cause inflammation and infection of the anus. A health care professional or
pharmacist are good resources to discuss their use.
Individuals with hemorrhoids should not sit for long periods of time and may
benefit from sitting on an air or rubber donut available at most local
Exercise is helpful in relieving constipation and in decreasing pressure on
the hemorrhoidal veins. Individuals should be encouraged to have a bowel movement
as soon as possible after the urge arises. Once that urge passes, stools can
become constipated and straining with a bowel movement may occur.
Many creams, ointments, and suppositories are available for symptom relief
and may be used for comfort. However, they do not "cure" hemorrhoids. Often
they contain a numbing medication or a corticosteroid to decrease inflammation
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