This article will examine how your body tries to heal piles, some general tips on taking medications, the treatments for piles and then explain in some detail what results you should expect and when you should see those results.
However, for those just wanting some general guidelines on how much longer your piles are going to last:
Dr. Hogg stated it will take at least 6 months for a full healing, provided you do everything right, including dietary and lifestyle changes. So that’s six months for the hemorrhoids to go away and, of course, they should start shrinking noticeably before then.
[Even if you don’t do everything right, healing and symptom relief appears attainable, but you should always try to eliminate the causes of your hemorrhoids and that invariably means looking at a hemorrhoid diet as well.
If your problem is bleeding piles, then you can mostly stop the bleeding within 7 days and obtain relief from bleeding piles almost straight away.
There are some piles treatments that you can buy online: Venapro, H-Hemorrhoids and NeoHealar work to speed up the healing and bring remarkable symptom relief very, very fast.
Your body has very advanced and rather beautiful ways of looking after itself, and the natural healing process is one of them.
The parts of your body that look after the immediate response to injury or infection is referred to as the immune system, although its quite a nebulous system that doesn’t exactly sit in one place like the gastrointestinal system does.
Because the immune system is comprised of the white blood cells as well as a lymphatic system of nodes, it moves round the body to where it is needed.
When an area is damaged, the cells in it release different chemicals to the ones they normally release – alarm bells, in essence.
These alarm bells attract the cells of the immune system as well as changing the properties of the tissue near the injury, usually in ways that allow the white blood cells to get there faster.
There are many different types of white blood cell, all with different properties.
Some specialize in eating bacteria, some in secreting chemicals that promote healing, some in removing dead or damaged cells, but either way, they congregate in the damaged area and do their stuff.
You can usually see or feel this as swelling, accompanied by a feeling of heat, perhaps pain or itching, and the area usually becomes infused with blood and red.
So if your piles are red, itchy, sore and inflamed, although that is a signal something isn’t right, it’s also the body’s natural response to that damage, and it’s part of what it does to set it right.
Cells are very specific in their needs, and one such need is the temperature they can live at.
Ours are quite happy at body temperature, but they actually work slightly more efficiently at a slightly higher one – this is why damaged areas get hot, or why you get a fever when you have an infection.
It’s a deliberate thing your body does.
It doesn’t do that all the time because that wouldn’t be an efficient use of its resources, it saves it for emergencies.
Piles are no exception to the rule.
All that heat, swelling and tenderness is partly nature’s way of telling you to leave the area alone for a bit so it can get on with getting better.
The problem is that it doesn’t quite work for piles:
The damage in piles is caused by the veins in the rectum getting stretched out of shape from within by having too much blood in them over long periods of time, blood that is forced in when you strain at stool, for example, or blood pushed there from somewhere else in the case of pregnancy or portal hypertension.
Once that damage is done, the body can repair it but it takes a long time, several months at best, because the veins can’t shut down to let the repair process work.
Like a busy rail terminal, if you completely close it down to fix it, you almost cause more problems than you fix!
It’s not an option for blood supply, you cant shut it down without killing tissue and cells etc.
Skin is a very dynamic tissue, and grows in response signals from the tissues it covers.
Pressure is one such signal – if something, like a swollen vein, presses against the skin from below, it will grow to contain that pressure.
That is why some piles have skin covering them – you body is keen to protect them from the outside world.
Remember, though, that the damage has been caused to the vein by something else, and if you can remove the cause (better diet, end of pregnancy, whatever it is), your piles will start to get better.
Piles are not like a cut or scrape, you can’t ignore them and let the body get rid of them on its own.
You will probably need to take action on piles yourself.
First important point – most mild cases of piles, if left entirely alone, will disappear without further intervention within a couple of days.
They may come back later, but if it’s a mild case you should not worry and you probably don’t need to treat them other than considering lifestyle changes.
Mostly, though, piles are a chronic (a long term) problem, and in most cases, that means a long term solution.
The best, recommended treatment for most cases of piles in the west remains treating them through dietaryand lifestyle changes.
It is likely that if you change to eating a healthy, high-fibre diet and get regular gentle exercise, you will experience an improvement in the state of your piles within two weeks, and you could expect a total cure after about six months.
That is the bottom line – there is no quick fix without resort to surgery, and that is never the first line of treatment unless there’s a crisis going on.
If it’s detailed information on what each treatment is, I suggest you look through the rest of this website, where you’ll find more specifics than I’m going to go into here.
This is going to be information on when you should expect a treatment to start working, along with a short consideration on what you should expect it to do, but it will be broad strokes. This is simply because there are so many different treatments that I can’t cover all of them in exact detail, and I don’t want to miss any!
Always, if in doubt, read the label. It should explain how long you should take the medication for and what to do if it doesn’t work.
So here is a very broad consideration of the other different treatments of piles.
This refers to any kind of treatment that looks after thesymptoms of piles.
All of them act in the short term to reduce pain and swelling in your pile.
A good example would be ibuprofen, a painkiller that reduces the pain you feel as well as reducing swelling.
These are good because they usually start working as soon as you apply or take the treatment.
Ibuprofen, for example, can be taken as a tablet or applied directly to the skin as a gel, and will start dulling the pain within a matter of minutes. They give you quick relief, which is vital to help you get through your day.
Symptomatic treatments do not treat the cause of piles, only the symptoms of them that you experience.
That doesn’t mean they won’t help them go away, exactly – if a painkiller helps you poo without pain, it helps ease your constipation and that will have a beneficial effect on your piles. But alone, they aren’t acting directly on the pile to cure it or make it go away, so if your piles are a long term problem, you need to consider what else you can do.
Check through the general advice I’ve given above, and make sure your medication is doing what it says it will, and always follow the instructions on the label.
Some herbal remedies or over the counter medicinescontain a mix of different active ingredients that not only help boost the body’s healing process with vitamins, but also strengthen the veins, reduce swelling and discomfort and may also help you bowel move easily and regularly too.
Many of them promise instant relief on the label or on their website, and it may be that you will get instant relief.
But maybe that’s all you’ll get – check to see what the product says it will do.
Relief is not the same as a cure.
Whether surgery for a straight removal of a pile, or tying one off so it dies from the lack of blood supply, injecting it with a chemical that collapses it, surgery is the only direct intervention that will immediately remove a pile.
By instant, I’m not including the waiting for the operation, the time taken out of your life by having to hang about in day surgery or the (usually very brief) recovery!
There may be some temporary side effects, such as the tenderness of the wound where the pile has been snipped off, but these are usually minimal, and you’ll usually be offered appropriate painkillers and advice to deal with them.
But yet again, although surgery will cure a specific pile, it is not a cure for whatever is causing you to get piles – although your immediate problem is gone, the long term one will probably remain.
Here’s some general advice on taking medication that can apply to anything, not just piles treatments. Really, it’s all common sense, but worth having a look through anyway.
Firstly, you should be aware that all these treatments will work at different rates on different people. There are no exact answers or guarantees when it comes to how quickly your body can heal itself with or without the assistance of drugs. Everyone is different.
Additionally, as an added caveat, you should carefully read the instructions that come with your medication. They are not rough guidelines as to how you might consider using the medication – they are instructions!
There will probably be things they tell you to specifically do and things you must not do.
Pay close attention to this.
Many people have tried to treat internal piles with a treatment designed to be used externally, for example, hoping that if it works in once place it will work elsewhere. This is almost never true of medications – they are designed for specific use, and you need to follow the instructions closely.
It’s reasonably well-known, for example, that some models use pile creams under their eyes to get rid of bags and lines. Maybe that might work in the short term, but it’s certainly not what the creams are for, so you’re dealing with the unknown – there isn’t research to tell you what to expect, so if something bizarre and horrible happens, you’ve only yourself to blame!
Perhaps this sounds patronizing of me so say ‘always read the label’, but I’m mostly saying it because I know I don’t.
If my doctor tells me ‘take three a day’ I go by that, and don’t read all the small print.
It’s important you do read the small print, even though it’s time consuming and annoying.
Doctors are not infallible, and you may find something in there that they have missed – a reason you shouldn’t take the medication, or a way of applying it they assumed you already knew. If you get it right first time, you’ll be saving both you and your doctor time and bother.
Whatever the medication is, it will probably explain somewhere in the labeling what it claims to do.
Maybe it relieves itching, or stops pain, or whatever – the important thing to note is that if it doesn’t do what it says it’s going to do, then it probably isn’t working for you.
The general recommendation if you aren’t getting results is to try using it as per its instructions for a maximum of seven days, and then stop if there still isn’t any change.
There could be many reasons it isn’t working, but don’t try second guessing them, just stop.
If it’s something your doctor prescribed, go back and see them to talk about the medication; if it’s an over the counter medication, take it back with you to the pharmacy and see if there’s someone there you could ask for advice on what to try instead.
And if it’s making things worse, stop at once!
If your cream makes your skin extra red, or the tablets make you extremely nauseous, don’t be a martyr to the course of medication. Stop taking them and go and seek help.
This isn’t always true, of course – some pills have side-effects that are expected, like the nausea that some anti-malarial pills can cause, and in cases like that you do have to soldier on through it.
But equally, if there are going to be side effects you should expect, you should have been warned to expect them before you start taking the course.
Here’s the painful truth. If you want to totally get rid of your piles, for good, there is no quick or easy answer.
Surgery is only really an option for chronic piles that do not respond to other treatments, or piles that have become an acute health problem through prolapse or infarct (blood clot – thrombosed piles).
It takes your body a matter of months to heal the damage, and it may not be able to do that at all unless you alter your lifestyle.
Even if you do everything right, and even with the aid of the many treatments to alleviate pain, you are looking at 6 months or so before they are gone.
That’s quite a serious undertaking, and requires a lot of strength of mind and stubborn willpower.
However, all treatments, even the long haul of dietary change and exercise, should start working quickly, even within hours, to relieve the symptoms of piles.
Dietary changes take longer, perhaps two weeks, and it’s well worth following the advice you can find elsewhere on this website to do whatever you can to relieve yourself of the symptoms in the short term.
But curing piles takes time.
If it is a medication you are trying, if it isn’t working or starting to work within a week, something is wrong. Either this treatment doesn’t work for you, something isn’t quite right with the way you’re doing it, or you may not even have piles at all but something that just appears in the same way. Whatever the case is, you should seek help from someone with medical experience.
But don’t lose heart! With patience and time, you can successfully cure yourself of piles.
Main write by Dr. James D. Hogg, (BSc Oxon, MBBS & BA Hons), medical doctor, and minor rewrite by D S Urquhart.