Haemorrhoids: NHS expert gives advice on treatment
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Haemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum, similar to varicose veins. They normally get better on their own within a few days but sometimes sufferers require medicine. Express.co.uk reveals 5 easy ways to prevent haemorrhoids.
Nearly three in four adults will have haemorrhoids from time to time, so the unpleasant problem is really common.
Haemorrhoids can develop inside the rectum (internal haemorrhoids) or under the skin around the anus (external haemorrhoids).
Piles have a number of causes, but often the cause is unknown.
You can check if you have piles at home yourself. Symptoms of piles include:
- bright red blood after you poo
- an itchy anus
- feeling like you still need to poo after going to the toilet
- slimy mucus in your underwear or on toilet paper after wiping your bottom
- lumps around your anus
- pain around your anus
Fortunately, effective options are available to treat haemorrhoids. Many people get relief with home treatments and lifestyle changes.
If you have piles and they don’t go away themselves or improve after seven days of treatment at home or you keep getting piles, you should see your doctor.
Your GP may prescribe stronger medicines for haemorrhoids or constipation.
If there’s no improvement to your piles after home treatments, you may need hospital treatment.
Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you. Treatment does not always prevent piles from coming back.
How to treat piles
Piles can be treated at home in a few easy steps.
Start by drinking lots of fluid and eat plenty of fibre to keep your poo soft and make sure you wipe your bottom with damp toilet paper
Take paracetamol if piles hurt or take a warm bath to ease itching and pain.
While constipated, do not take painkillers that contain codeine, as they cause constipation.
You should not take ibuprofen if your piles are bleeding.
Use an ice pack wrapped in a towel to ease discomfort and do not wipe your bottom too hard after you poo.
Never ignore the urge to poo but also don’t push too hard when you’re on the toilet if it won’t come out and don’t spend more time than you need to on the toilet.
Gently push a pile back inside and always keep your bottom clean and dry.
5 easy ways you can prevent haemorrhoids
On top of the above tips, make sure you’re exercising regularly to avoid piles.
In terms of diet, you should also cut down on alcohol and caffeine (like tea, coffee and cola) to avoid constipation.
Regularly make sure you’re eating lots of fibre and drinking plenty of water to prevent piles from happening in the first place.
Any time you’re on the toilet, make sure you get the job done and don’t linger on the loo for longer than you need.
Always wipe your bum properly and keep it clean and dry.
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