As a natural physician, my patients often seek advice on how to manage health concerns with natural remedies.
I have recently had an increased number of patients suffering with recurring hemorrhoids and it prompted me to dig deeper into the best way to help them.
The questions that most of my patients are asking is how long do hemorrhoids last and what's the fastest way to get relief?
I also didn't realize how common hemorrhoids are. About half of people experience hemorrhoids at least once by the time they reach the age of 50.
They can occur in anyone of any gender or age, but they do tend to be more common in older people, pregnant women and people with digestive conditions.
How Long Do Hemorrhoids Usually Last?
How long your hemorrhoids last will depend on their severity. Most mild hemorrhoids (internal) resolve on their own within a few days.
Sometimes, they may take up to a week. Larger hemorrhoids (external) might last longer, and can be more prone to complications.
So, the answer is "it depends". Let's take a look at the different types of hemorrhoids so that you can better determine how long your hemorrhoid will last.
Types of Hemorrhoids:
There are (4) Types of Hemorrhoids: Internal, External, Prolapsed and Thrombosed and there are
(4) Grades of Severity of Hemorrhoids: Grade 1-4
Hemorrhoids occur when the veins in your anus and rectum become swollen. They can happen internally (inside the rectum) or externally (around the anus).
(1.) Internal Hemorrhoids:
Hemorrhoids that don’t protrude out of the anal canal are called internal.
How Long Do Internal Hemorrhoids Last?
Internal hemorrhoids are found inside your rectum. They can’t always be seen because they are too deep in your anus to be visible.
Internal hemorrhoids aren’t normally serious and tend to go away on their own in a few day or maybe a week.
(2.) External Hemorrhoids:
Those that protrude out but go inside on their own are termed as external.
How Long Do External Hemorrhoids Last?
External hemorrhoids occur directly on the surface of of your anus where your bowel movements occur. They appear as red bumps on the outside of the anal area.
External hemorrhoids aren’t usually a serious issue and may only last for around 7-9 days but can be prolonged up to a few weeks if the issue causing the inflammation isn't corrected such as constipation.
The symptoms of external hemorrhoids are essentially the same as those of internal ones. But since they’re located on the outside of your rectal area, you may feel more pain or discomfort when you sit down, do physical activities, or have a bowel movement.
(3.) Prolapsed Hemorrhoids:
When hemorrhoids inflame and protrude, it is called a prolapsed hemorrhoid.
How Long Do Prolapsed Hemorrhoids Last?
When inner hemorrhoids swell and protrude, a prolapsed hemorrhoid happens. Determining how long this lasts depends on the severity of prolapse. It typically takes a couple of weeks to resolve.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids look like swollen red bumps outside your anus. They can cause itching, burning and pain.
(4.) Thrombosed Hemorrhoids:
Thrombosis is an internal or external hemorrhoid that has formed a blood clot (thrombosis). Intense itchiness, burning, pain, redness and swelling may accompany thrombosis symptoms that tend to be worse than ordinary.
How Long Do External Thrombosed Hemorrhoids Last?
Thrombosed hemorrhoids are essentially a complication of a hemorrhoid, in which a blood clot forms (thrombosis) within the hemorrhoid tissue or vein. They appear as lumps or swelling around the anus.
The pain of thrombosed hemorrhoids may improve within 7-10 days and may disappear within two to three weeks.
When a thrombosed hemorrhoid ruptures, it may bleed. The bleeding shouldn’t last more than 10 minutes. If it last much longer, you may want to reach out to your physician.
Once the major bleeding episode is over, you may find intermittent traces of blood in your stool.
And while a ruptured hemorrhoid doesn’t require any treatment, you will want to keep the area clean and help it heal well.
How Long Do Postpartum Hemorrhoids Last?
One of the most common complaints after childbirth is hemorrhoids, with as many as 50% of women reporting symptoms at 4 weeks postpartum.
They are actually very common during pregnancy as well, thanks to constipation and the extra pressure on your veins in your lower half from your enlarged uterus.
If you successfully avoided them during pregnancy, you still might have them after childbirth, due to straining during labor and constipation afterward. If you did have them during pregnancy, they might get worse.
Generally, hemorrhoids will go away on their own by 6 weeks postpartum. However, with natural remedies, the pain and swelling should decrease dramatically within a few days.
A postpartum sitz bath can be an amazing way to help heal from childbirth while offering relaxation.
One of the biggest contributors of hemorrhoids after child birth is constipation. Constipation can lead to straining, which can cause hemorrhoids or make smaller hemorrhoids worse.
Hemorrhoid Grading System:
Hemorrhoids can be classified according to their location as external or internal hemorrhoids. Furthermore, hemorrhoids can be graded according to severity into 4 grades.
Grade 1: No prolapse is visible
Grade 2: Protruding but retracts by itself. This happens when you strain during a bowel movement. Once you relax it will return to it's normal position.
Grade 3: Hemorrhoid protrudes through the anus during straining or elimination, but needs to be manually returned to position.
Grade 4 - Hemorrhoid remains prolapsed outside of the anus. You cannot push it without a significant amount of pain.
If you have identified the type of hemorrhoid that you have, and how long it usually takes to resolve, I'm sure your next question is what can I do to get rid of them?
What Shrinks Hemorrhoids Fast?
1. Eat High-Fiber Foods:
Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Increasing your fiber intake can lead to softer stools. It makes for easier bowel movements with less straining, which allows your hemorrhoids to heal. Aim to consume at least 25-30 grams of daily fiber.
2. Drink Plenty of Fluids:
Dehydration can lead to constipation because water or fluids are required for fiber to travel smoothly through the digestive tract. Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day.
For example: If you weigh 200 pounds, you would need 100 ounces of water each day to be fully hydrated.
3. Avoid Straining While Eliminating:
Straining puts pressure on veins in the anus or rectum, causing hemorrhoids. You might think of them as varicose veins that affect your back side.
Straining can make hemorrhoid problems even worse. Try to relax and breathe deeply
4. Prevent Constipation:
Constipation is the most common cause of hemorrhoids besides child birth, Constipation forces you to strain while eliminating and the increased pressure will cis the most common cause of hemorrhoids.
As mentioned above, increasing your daily fiber intake and staying well hydrated is the best defense. A good quality fiber supplement is also helpful.
5. Limit Alcohol and Spicy Foods:
Alcohol can be dehydrating and hard on the digestive system, and spicy foods can intensify the symptoms of hemorrhoids. To be safe, eliminate these foods until the hemorrhoids have cleared up.
6. Try A Probiotic or Eat Fermented Foods:
Fermented foods like kefir, kimchi and raw, pastured yogurt can help provide the digestive system with healthy bacteria that are essential for proper elimination. Several studies have shown that fermented foods and probiotics improve intestinal tract health and aid in digestion.
7. Consider a Fiber Supplements:
Fiber supplements can help reduce constipation, make stools softer, and make it easier to have quick, painless bowel movements. Be sure to choose a high quality supplement. I recommend this brand as it is a certified organic formula that promotes bowel regularity and maintains healthy intestinal function.
8. Try Vitamin C:
Vitamin C works to improve vein health and provides several benefits that can prevent the formation of hemorrhoids and help them heal faster. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidants and has been found to tone and shrink veins, and maintain the integrity of blood vessels
9. Do Not Resist the Urge:
As soon as you know you need to eliminate, go quickly. Waiting can cause our stools to become more dense and will be more difficult to push out.
10. Exercise Regularly:
Exercise keeps your digestive tract more regular, which can help heal hemorrhoids. Perform 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily. Avoid heavy weight lifting as the strain can aggravate hemorrhoids.
11. Clean Yourself Thoroughly:
After a bowel movement, clean yourself thoroughly. Any fecal matter left behind can aggravate or even infect hemorrhoids. Witch hazel extract applied with a cotton pad or a sitz bath after elimination can also be effective at cleansing the area. Avoid using cleansing products with harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances.
12. Avoid Prolonged Periods of Sitting:
If you have external hemorrhoids, the pressure of sitting for prolonged periods with aggravate your hemorrhoids.
Take frequent breaks and avoid sitting for longer than 15 minutes at a time.
If you do have to sit for an extended time, a donut pillow is a sitting device with a hole in the middle. The hole provides pressure relief and can make sitting a lot more comfortable
13. Use Topical Pain Creams:
Avoid chemical laden varieties that contain steroids or other harmful ingredients. These creams are absorbed into the skin quickly in this ultra sensitive area so using chemical-free products is especially important here.
I hand-craft a topical hemorrhoid spray using only plant-based, organic ingredients - like aloe vera, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, and organically grown essential oils that work synergistically to produce powerful relief from pain and inflammation.
14. Soak Regularly In A Warm Bath or Sitz Bath:
A sitz bath is a warm water bath using Epsom salt and essential oils. Fill the tub with a few inches of warm water.
I recommend 2-4 times a day for 15-20 minutes after each bowel movement. This can relieve anal itching, irritation, burning and spasms of the sphincter muscle.
There is also a portable sitz bath that sits on top of your toilet seat. Many patients find this easier than getting in the tub 3 times a day.
Try this recipe...
1 cup Epsom salt
2 tablespoons witch hazel
10 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops frankincense essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
15. Try A Squatty Potty:
A Squatty Potty is a toilet stool that positions your body in a more natural squat position. Your body relies on a bend in the colon to keep everything stored until it's time to eliminate.
The posture of the western toilet causes a kink in this tunnel, which can lead to slower, more challenging bowel movements.
The Squatty Potty undoes this kink so you can do business the way you were meant to.
This natural pose helps you to have easier, more satisfying eliminations, thereby taking the pressure off of the anal area.
16. Avoid Using Laxatives:
You may be tempted to take a laxative if you have been constipated. Laxatives only address the surface of the problem and can cause your bowels to become dependent on them. Your constipation needs to be addressed with proper diet and supplementation.
17. Use A Donut While Sitting:
A special pillow known as donut can be helpful when you need to sit for prolonged periods. It has a hole in the middle so there is less pressure on the hemorrhoid area.
18. Apply Witch Hazel Extract:
This natural plant extract has astringent and potent anti-inflammatory properties that acts as a natural numbing agent and helps to relieve itching, discomfort and irritation.
It's also an excellent cleaning agent. After you have a bowel movement, soak a cotton pad in witch hazel and apply it to the hemorrhoids.
Summary: Final Thoughts and Encouragement
You don't need to accept hemorrhoids as a regular part of life. Lifestyle, dietary changes, and natural remedies are the best way to prevent hemorrhoids. Staying physically active, eating high fiber foods, and drinking plenty of water will keep your digestion moving optimally thus preventing constipation and lessening the chances of a hemorrhoid flare-up.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you need further help or have any questions, you can contact me directly. Contact Dr. Angela.
Best of Health,
Founder of Nashville Organix
Dr. Angela's BEST RECOMMENDATIONS
PLEASE NOTE: I ONLY recommend products, supplements & essential oils in my posts that 1) I have personally crafted myself or one of my team and I know exactly what is in them. 2) I personally use and trust the quality 3) I have recommended to my patients and know the efficacy and have seen the therapeutic value.
Fiber Factor - certified organic with natural omega fatty acids and flax seed meal
Vitamin C - improve vein health and increases healing
Probiotics - improves digestive tract health and improves digestion
Squatty Potty - toilet stool for more natural bowel movement position
Donut - round sitting device for more comfortable sitting
Topical Organic Hemorrhoid Spray - Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel & Essential oils
Dr. Angela's Hemorrhoid Complete Care Bundle - Fiber Factor supplement, Vitamin C supplement & Hem-Ease Spray
Witch Hazel Extract - cleansing and numbing agent
Sitz Bath - portable toilet bath
Epsom Salt - epsom salt with lavender essential oil
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Dr. Angela Walk has been involved in the health and wellness industry for over 20 years as a wellness physician and holistic nutrition coach. Dr. Angela has written extensively for health publications and is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. She embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, she hopes to improve their health and quality of life.
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