What are the right treatments for hemorrhoids?
While there is no specific reason that you have hemorrhoids, just remember you are not alone. 50-75% people suffer from hemorrhoids at some time or the other. Often minor issues resolve on their own. Hemorrhoids can be treated in various ways.
Initial treatment for hemorrhoids
If your piles or hemorrhoids are found in the early stages you may help yourself with home remedies, warm baths, over-the-counter creams, and other options.
Your doctor may recommend medicines such as:
- Pain killers for pain
- Corticosteroids to eliminate symptoms and shrink the piles
- Laxatives to help with bowel movements
In case, these don’t resolve your piles you may have to opt for other treatments.
More advanced treatment options
Sometimes, you may not even go to a doctor when you have mild symptoms. If symptoms worsen, your pain becomes unbearable, or you have bleeding, you may then go to a medical specialist. The following are basically non-surgical options.
At this stage, and depending on the diagnosis, there are other treatment options such as:
- Rubber band ligation or banding – the doctor will attempt to cut off circulation to the hemorrhoids. This is done using a kind of medical rubber band at the base of the hemorrhoids. When blood cannot circulate, the hemorrhoid will die and fall off. This is used for internal hemorrhoids and can be quite uncomfortable.
- Sclreotherapy or injection – your doctor will inject a medicine into the piles to shrink them and resolve the issue. This may be effective only in early stages of piles.
- Infrared coagulation therapy – infrared, laser or bipolar lights are used to cause coagulation in the piles. This will harden them and cause them to shrink, just like the previous two options. This is an easier option and causes the least discomfort.
If your hemorrhoids are in an advanced stage, surgery may be the only option you have. Surgery always carries some risks. However, thanks to advancements in medicines in the modern day, these surgeries are quite common and rarely cause any complication.
Two surgical options are:
Hemorrhoidectomy – under local anesthesia, internal and external hemorrhoids are cut out. The skin may need stitches or may be left to heal on its own, depending on various factors. This procedure may be quite painful post surgery and you will have to take painkillers to deal with the pain.
Stapled hemorrhoidectomy – this is a new method and does not require stitches. It does not remove the hemorrhoids, but the surrounding tissue that causes the problem. Using a special stapler, the offending tissue is caught inside the stapler and the ends brought together with the stapler. This is a safer and faster procedure. The staples used for this eventually fall off and pass out in the stool.
Depending on the number of hemorrhoids and their positioning and grade, one or even both procedures may help you.
It is best if you treat hemorrhoids early when natural remedies and over the counter medications can help. Once the hemorrhoids reach the 3rd or 4th stage, surgery may be the only option left.
It is also important that you eat a fiber-rich diet, don’t strain when passing stool and try to be as regular as possible. If constipation is your constant companion and you strain while having a bowel movement, you are at greater risk of developing hemorrhoids.