Self-Care Tips for Hemorrhoids

Woman Drinking WaterHemorrhoids are a literal pain. It’s easy to take little daily activities for granted like sitting down, lifting a heavy object or riding a bicycle. Trying those same activities after a hemorrhoid flare-up is a different story entirely. Hemorrhoids affect much of your life and they are uncomfortable and inconvenient. Here are some ways that you can take care of yourself to alleviate the symptoms of hemorrhoids.

  1. Water, water water—Staying hydrated is essential in keeping the stool soft. Constipation aggravates hemorrhoids  and causes painful bowel movements. To assure you are getting enough water, drink more than the recommended 64-ounces, especially during the summer months or when you have been exercising.
  2. Eat more roughage—Increasing fiber will also keep bowel movements regular and painless. Men should eat a minimum of 38 grams of fiber per day, and women should eat a minimum of 25 grams per day.  Split peas pack a hearty 16.3 grams of fiber per cup! Try raspberries (8 grams per cup), bran flakes (5.3 grams per cup) or black beans (15 grams per cup).
  3. Hydrotherapy—take a sitz bath in a few inches of water to soothe painful and itchy hemorrhoids.  A small plastic tub can also be placed over the toilet for a “mini” sitz bath and provide faster and more frequent relief.
  4. Swelling relief—Ice packs and cold compresses help reduce swollen, inflamed blood vessels.
  5. Regular exercise—Make exercising a habit. Thirty minutes of exercise several times per week will help the colon keep things moving. Whether walking, tennis, aerobics, swimming or zumba, get out and move your body! It will help your blood pressure, weight and cholesterol levels as well.
  6. Use over- the- counter products sparingly—hemorrhoid creams, gels and pads that contain hydrocortisone, witch hazel or numbing medication can be helpful, but only use them for a week at most. You can also try Tylenol or ibuprofen (Source:

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