Hemorrhoids Care (aka Hemroids Care)
Introduction To Hemorrhoids Care
Hemorrhoids care can be a sticky subject, especially considering the embarrassing nature of hemorrhoids themselves.
However, hemorrhoids are the end result of bodily trauma, and thus deserve all of the care and attention any trauma gets.
Hemorrhoids care is essentially no different than care for any health disorder, including both physical and emotional support.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins just inside or just outside the anus.
Internal hemorrhoids produce pain if they come out of the anus with a bowel movement because they are constricted. Once they come out, the skin around them and the veins themselves can become inflamed.
External hemorrhoids cause pain most or all of the time because of their location right on a sensitive nerve band.
While both internal and external hemorrhoids are usually seen as minor health disorders, they can cause serious problems, which is why hemorrhoids care becomes so important.
Hemorrhoids Physical Care
Hemorrhoids need tender physical care just like any inflamed, swollen part of the body.
Inflammation is a sign that something is wrong and the body's trying to fix it. In the case of hemorrhoids, what's wrong, is that a vein wall has collapsed due to strain.
Because of this collapse, the tissue around the vein gets dragged along with the collapsed wall. This causes the body to react with inflammation and swelling, to try and protect the tissue from damage. Swelling is the body's attempt to create a cushion, after all.
However, this swelling combined with the weakening of a vein wall means that hemorrhoids are often prone to bleeding even when they're not causing other misery.
A bleeding hemorrhoid can make life absolutely miserable, and it's often dangerous besides.
Whenever a hemorrhoid bleeds, hemorrhoid care becomes even more important, as it means you have an open wound in one of the most infection-prone areas in the body.
Because of the nature of hemorrhoids, the first step in hemorrhoids care is to be as gentle as possible with them.
That means no hard straining on the toilet, no scrubbing or harsh wiping with rough toilet paper, no irritating dyes or perfumes and creating bowel movements that don't cause more damage.
In addition, proper hemorrhoids care means avoiding tight or irritating clothing, and keeping cotton next to your skin instead of synthetic materials.
One of the goals of hemorrhoids care is to eliminate all causes of trauma to the area as much as possible.
Hemorrhoid creams form an important part of hemorrhoids care.
There are hundreds if not thousands of hemorrhoid creams and ointments available today. Remember that these hemorrhoid care products are all for external use only.
A hemorrhoid cream can help if an internal hemorrhoid is causing irritation to the external skin just around the anal sphincter, but these types of hemorrhoids care products should never be placed inside the body without a prescription.
Creams provide hemorrhoids care in a variety of ways, depending on the ingredients.
Most of this sort of hemorrhoids care products start with a lubricating, moisturizing base of some kind, such as petroleum jelly or cocoa butter. You may want to try several of these creams to see which one provides the best hemorrhoids care and symptom relief for you.
Some people are sensitive to mineral based hemorrhoids care products, such as petroleum jelly, while others have problems with organic hemorrhoids care products like cocoa butter or beeswax.
Remember, if any hemorrhoids care product - cream or otherwise - causes irritation or discomfort, discontinue use immediately and call your doctor.
Hemorrhoids creams can contain various and sundry medications to address different symptoms.
Some of these hemorrhoids care products contain a local anesthetic to numb painful swelling fast, while others have astringents to dry out and soothe itchiness.
The two biggest medication classifications to watch out for are vasoconstrictors and corticosteroids.
Vasoconstrictors can interact badly with several long term maintenance medications and chronic health problems, while corticosteroids will eventually thin muscle walls if used for too long.
Therefore, check with your pharmacist to find the best over-the-counter hemorrhoids care product for your unique health history and circumstances.
Hemorrhoids Care - The often elusive Hemorrhoids Home Relief
Hemorrhoids care doesn't start and stop with over the counter medications, of course.
For either kind of hemorrhoid, internal or external, oral ibuprofen stands out as one of the best hemorrhoids care product to consider, as it can help with both swelling and pain. Acetaminophen will do if that's all you've got, but ibuprofen is better because it both works on the pain itself and helps directly reduce inflammation.
Another one of the old standbys of home hemorrhoids care is the sitz bath. Simply put, a sitz bath is a bath you sit in, meant to affect the "sitting area". Draw a few inches of water as warm as you can comfortably stand, and sit in it for up to twenty minutes at a time. You can add alluvial oatmeal powder to the bath to soothe external hemorrhoids or itchy external skin, but you should keep any harsh soaps or perfumes out of it.
After the sitz bath, if you need more relief, you can wrap an ice pack in a towel and sit on that. The alternation of heat and cold will help get the circulation in the area going, which reduces pain and flushes toxins out of the area. Remember to never put bare ice or a bare ice pack directly on skin, always put a towel in between.
There are a huge number of home hemorrhoids care techniques, including hemorrhoids diets and remedies involving home supplies. In addition, most herbal hemorrhoids care remedies are best used at home.
Hemorrhoids Emotional Care
Hemorrhoids care doesn't stop with the physical end. Hemorrhoids can cause you a lot of grief, both practically and emotionally. While they're a minor health problem, they're an embarrassing health problem.
In addition to the social anxiety and embarrassment hemroids can cause, the chronic pain hemroids can bring can also cause emotional problems in and of itself.
It's important to be gentle with yourself while you're treating your hemorrhoids. Remember that pain makes people snappish, impatient, and often bad at decision making. Social anxiety and potential embarrassment can really make your life miserable as well, contributing to your bad mood. Remember to forgive yourself often both for feeling anxiety and irritation.
If the pain is so bad it's interfering with your daily life, don't just buck up and take it. That's not the brave thing to do, it's foolish. Go see a doctor and get the pain under control. Even if you can gut it out and work despite the pain, you won't be functioning at your best. Over time, it will start to show.
If you find that you're getting snappish and irritable, remember to explain to the people you live with every day that you're in a lot of pain. Ask their understanding and forgiveness in advance. Ask for help to do things that cause you a lot of pain as well. In effect, get the support and understanding of the people you love up front.
If you're snappish and irritable at work, well, you can't really ask for those people's love and understanding. That sort of thing doesn't always go over well at the office, after all. What you can do is make sure your pain and bleeding (if present) are under control using whatever means are appropriate. If you're not worried about bleeding through your clothes, that's one less stress.
Also remember to give yourself treats during the day. Take a five minute walk during your breaks and try to let all of your stress go. Build a small self-indulgence into your schedule, such as going out to a small park on your lunch break or a small mid-afternoon snack you love.
Advanced Medical Hemorrhoids Care
Advanced medical hemorrhoids care usually involves a surgical procedure of some kind.
If your hemorrhoids have gotten bad enough to warrant this, then work with your doctor to pick the least invasive kind for you.
Each hemorrhoid is different, and so is each person attached to a hemorrhoid.
Your hemorrhoids may respond best to laser coagulation or latex banding, which are two of the less invasive ways to go about it. On the other hand, you may have to go in for a full hemorrhoidectomy, or even a laser hemorrhoidectomy.
Whatever surgical procedure you're looking at for advanced hemorrhoids care, do be sure it's absolutely necessary.
Any and all surgical procedures anywhere on or in the body carry risks, and you have a right to know about them ahead of time.
Your doctor ought to be willing to sit down and discuss the matter with you, answering any and all questions you've got. If he or she isn't willing to have this discussion, find a new doctor.
If you do need a surgical procedure to take care of your hemorrhoids, then the support and understanding of your friends and family will be even more important.
Many hemorrhoid surgical procedures have a week to two week recovery time, and you often can't do much during that period.
In addition, most surgical procedures are going to cause pain.
While you'll often get a prescription for painkillers after your surgery, those painkillers might make you dozy and may not take care of all of the pain. Get the physical and emotional support you need.
If you don't live with family and don't have friends willing or able to help, be sure and tell your doctor prior to undergoing surgery.
He or she can help you find the help and support you need, but only if you say something about it.
Hemorrhoids Care: Hemorrhoid Prevention
Hemorrhoids care starts and ends with hemorrhoids prevention.
Wouldn't it be nice if you never had to worry about this particular problem again?
While that's not possible for everyone, particularly people suffering from long term health conditions such as Crohn's disease, minimizing the opportunity for hemorrhoids is the best way to care for yourself.
Hemorrhoids prevention mostly consists of eliminating irritants, eating a good diet and getting enough exercise. Pretty basic, right?
The really nice thing about hemorrhoids prevention is that, carried to its fullest, the lifestyle changes necessary will also prevent multiple other, more serious, health problems.
Hemorrhoids Care in Conclusion
Hemorrhoids care needs to be approached from the same perspective as all other health care, namely to treat you as a person.
You are not your hemorrhoid, after all.
A hemorrhoid is bit of tissue attached to one of the most irritating, annoying areas possible.
You are a deep, rich, complex human being who deserves to be treated as more than a health condition.
Take your pain and embarrassment seriously, treat them accordingly, and treat the hemorrhoid with the fastest healing and symptom relief method possible.
References used for Hemorrhoids Care
Taber's Medical Encyclopedia
Wuest J.R. and Gossel T.A. Continuing Education. Advising consumers on OTC hemorrhoidal remedies: an update. Massachusetts State Pharmaceutical Association Newsletter 1992;9(2):25-29.
Sause R.B. Self-treatment of hemorrhoids. US Pharm 1995;20(6)32-40.
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