How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last?
Hemorrhoids are a common, if not slightly embarrassing problem to deal with. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at the issue of hemorrhoids. This article will answer medical questions such as. “What are hemorrhoids,” “What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids,” “How long do they last,” and “How to treat them?”
What Are Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are painful, swollen veins found in and around the anus and the lower rectum. These swollen veins are sometimes called piles by the medical community. They look similar to varicose veins.
Hemorrhoids can either be internal or external. Internal hemorrhoids can be found in the rectum while external hemorrhoids appear under the skin tissue around the anus.
Hemorrhoids happen because the tissue around your anus tends to stretch and that causes the veins in that area to stretch as well. Too much stretching causes the veins to bulge or swell under pressure. Many things can cause the overstretching of rectal veins including:
- Extreme straining when going to the bathroom
- Sitting too much
- Spending too much time on the toilet
- Anal intercourse
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Little fiber in diet
Any of these factors can create undue stress and strain on anal tissue and can help create an environment for painful hemorrhoids to appear.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
There are many different symptoms of hemorrhoids. They will change in severity based on the location, size, and condition of the hemorrhoid.
Internal hemorrhoids are inside the rectum. You usually cannot see or feel internal hemorrhoids. However, heavy, bowel-movement straining will cause discomfort or pain in those with internal hemorrhoids. It’s also possible that those with internal hemorrhoids will experience some minor bleeding with their bowel movement. This is because internal hemorrhoids are usually damaged slightly with heavy straining causing them to rupture somewhat. This process is not usually dangerous, but it is always worth contacting your doctor whenever a bowel-movement is accompanied by bleeding just to confirm that you’re not dealing with something worse than hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids can be felt and seen. Usually, external hemorrhoids are associated with itching or some other kind of irritation. Swelling around the anus is usually associated with external hemorrhoids as well. It is possible for internal bleeding to occur inside an external hemorrhoid, willing the lump with blood. These are called thrombosed hemorrhoids and are usually sensitive or painful to the touch.
How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last
Three out of four people will experience hemorrhoids at some point or another in their lives. Which means there are a lot of people who want to know how long do hemorrhoids last. Luckily for them, hemorrhoids don’t usually stay around for very long. Most hemorrhoids will resolve themselves within a week’s time with a mixture of home remedies.
Some more extreme cases may take longer to treat. Thrombosed hemorrhoids may even require medical surgery before the problem is resolved. In most cases, however, these more extreme measures aren’t necessary.
Risk Factors for Hemorrhoids
Most risk factors related to hemorrhoids is centered around lifestyle choices.
The following factors can affect the likelihood that you’ll experience hemorrhoids:Diet - A diet that is low in fiber and proper hydration can make bowel movements strenuous and painful. To avoid this eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains - make sure to drink plenty of water too. Eating a lot of fiber without drinking water as well can have the opposite effect and make bowel movements even more strenuous. It’s also important to limit your fat intake as this too has the opposite effect on bowel movements as fiber and water. Exercise - It’s important to get up and move for two reasons. First, those who continually sit for extended periods of time are more likely to experience hemorrhoids. Getting up out of your chair and going on a daily walk will help relieve pressure from your buttocks and get blood moving.
Second, weight gain creates unnecessary pressure while sitting. Not only does exercise relieve pressure and get the blood flowing, but it also helps keep off the extra pounds that make it hard on the body to prevent hemorrhoids while being sedentary.Physical Condition - As previously mentioned, added weight can increase one’s chances for hemorrhoids. So it’s important to get up and exercise. Fighting off obesity is also another good reason to eat healthier. Not only does it make bowel movements easier but it makes the waistline narrower. It also fights off other obesity-related diseases such as heart disease and certain cancers.
But obesity isn’t the only physical condition that can increase your chances of hemorrhoids. Pregnant women also have an increased chance of getting hemorrhoids as well. Your doctor can likely give you suggestions for how to best avoid hemorrhoids while pregnant.Sexual habits - Certain riskier sexual habits increase one’s chance of getting hemorrhoids - namely anal sex. Doctors or other sexual health resources can point you to resources on having sex while reducing strain to different parts of your body.
Hemorrhoid Treatment Options
There are multiple ways to treat hemorrhoids. Most of them do not even require the help of a licensed, medical doctor.
Here are some suggestions to treat your hemorrhoids:Change your diet - The first thing you should do if you get hemorrhoids is increase your fiber and water intake. Even if you eat healthily, it’s a good idea to try and soften your stools with extra fiber and water. A softer stool means an easier time in the bathroom, and that means less strain on the hemorrhoids. The less strain your hemorrhoids are under, the more likely they will be able to heal on their own.
If these hemorrhoid treatment methods fail to reduce your hemorrhoids after a week, talk with your doctor. It is possible that you may need surgery or some other form of more advanced treatment.
Hemorrhoids can feel uncomfortable and are embarrassing to talk about, but they are treatable.
So, how long do hemorrhoids last? They’ll last as long as they’re left untreated. Possibly even longer if they become severely thrombosed. Just remember that you don’t have to deal with painful hemorrhoids forever though. You can reduce the effect of your hemorrhoids by treating them as soon as you notice that they’re developing. If your hemorrhoids have thrombosed, contact your medical doctor for advanced treatment options.
Hopefully, now you feel more confident with the idea of treating your hemorrhoids.