General Question

ETpro's avatar

Warning, Yucky Topic -- Is there anything short of surgery that really cures hemorrhoids?

Asked by ETpro (34503points) May 16th, 2010

There are tons of OTC drug-store preparations and holistic “cures” but all too many have only one beneficial effect, that of transferring cash from the hemorrhoid sufferers’ back pocket to the snake oil salesman. Has anyone tried anything short of surgery that really works?

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36 Answers

SeventhSense's avatar

A healthy diet can ease the pain and their onset I think.

talljasperman's avatar

heat lamps… or sunshine

shilolo's avatar

A combination of sitz baths, stool softeners and drinking plenty of water can help alleviate the pain and help hemorrhoids resolve. Major surgery is often not required, as hemorrhoid banding can be done routinely, in addition to other minimally invasive procedures.

Zen_Again's avatar

Welcome to my world of pain.

PM me if you want to tap my vast experience and knowledge. It wouldn’t be right to post it all here.


Arp's avatar

Eat more fiber? I don’t know much about hemorrhoid… Nor do I want to 0_o

Rarebear's avatar

Tell me more about the hemorrhoids. Tell me exactly what you are experiencing, and what you mean by “hemorrhoid.” If you prefer, you can tell me by PM if you don’t want to get into the gory details.

eden2eve's avatar

I know a couple of people who injested Cayenne Pepper and said they had some great results. As @shilolo said, plenty of water seems to help a great deal as well. Aloe Vera on the site can be soothing. These are all just anecdotal remedies that others have suggested.

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faye's avatar

My son is having a lot of pain and the surgeon said they weren’t bad enough for surgery. He says prep H doesn’t do much.

Rarebear's avatar

@SeventhSense I the assistant chief of my gastroenterology department in my hospital. It’s a subject I happen to know a lot about.

Seek's avatar

Oh, gods. Bookmarked.

I have a beautiful son, but pushing his 10½ lb self out of me is still causing me problems. I’d love to hear @Rarebear‘s info.

Rarebear's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr 10.5 pounds, egads!

Okay, the term “hemorrhoid” is used to describe any one of a number of anorectal conditions. To avoid going into a long post about the different types of conditions, let me ask a few questions.

Is there pain? Is the pain all the time? Only when pooping? How about sitting on it?
Did the pain start all of a sudden out of the blue or gradually? Is the pain really very sharp and isolated when you poop and then last for awhile?

Is there bleeding? It the bleeding on the toilet paper? Does it fill the toilet bowl? Is it mixed in the poop?

Do you notice any lumps? Are the lumps painful? Did the lumps start all of a sudden? Do they pop out of your butt and pop back in when you poop?

SeventhSense's avatar

Fair enough but still sounds funny. Is there a hemorrhoids chat room?

ETpro's avatar

@Rerebear, at the risk of shaming myself on such a personal topic, I will keep this public rather than via PM for the sake of others who can share in the knowledge.

About mine. They have developed slowly over many years. I am 66 now. I get plenty of fiber in my diet, love fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains. I have a BM generally 2 times a day, and rarely am either constipated or afflicted with diarrhea. The only meds I take are Hydrochlorothyazide 25 MG and Lisinopril 5MG for blood pressure, well managed with that. Perhaps the diuretic might matter, though, if hydration is an issue. The only topical treatment I have tried in Prep. H or the CVS generic of it with the added Dibucaine for pain relief. It does a decent job of easing pain, but doesn’t seem to have any healing value.

I notice the problem after a BM. They protrude and make cleaning up difficult. I am also aware of them when I shower and clean where the sun seldom shines. I find myself trying to put part of me back inside where it belongs. It does not stay put all that well.

Now, to answer your specific questions.

1—Is there pain? Yes.
2—Is the pain all the time? Thankfully, not yet.
3—Only when pooping? Not even always then, only when some straining is required or the movement is hard. That usually doesn’t happen unless my regular routine is disrupted and I have to hold it for later.
4—How about sitting on it? Not very often, but occasionally I use the CVS Dibucaine ointment for that when it does happen.
5—Did the pain start all of a sudden out of the blue or gradually? Came on gradually.
6—Is the pain really very sharp and isolated when you poop and then last for awhile? Sometimes sharp, sometimes dull, sometimes not much at all. Lasts for a while. When it is sharp and bothersome though, I usually treat it with the analgesic ointment, so I may be under-reporting it.
7—Is there bleeding? Yes.
8—It the bleeding on the toilet paper? Yes.
9—Does it fill the toilet bowl? Very rarely and only if I have had a bout of constipation.
10—Is it mixed in the poop? No and I was recently tested for blood in stools with negative results.
11—Do you notice any lumps? Not unless I have been unable to go on my regular schedule.
12—Are the lumps painful? Yes.
13—Did the lumps start all of a sudden? No, that happens predictably when either diet or schedule cause a bit of constipation.
14—Do they pop out of your butt and pop back in when you poop? No. Can poop do that? Those sneaky little turds. :-)

Well, there you have it, folks, I have aired the dirtiest of my laundry. Thanks, Rarebear for the list of questions and whatever you can offer as solutions..

ETpro's avatar

@SeventhSense I do maintain a healthy diet with the exception of an occasional splurge on pizza. PS> Nice new avatar.

@talljasperman Sunshine where the sun don’t shine. That would make an interesting use for our roof deck, and quite a view for WCVB Boston’s Channel 5 Sky Cam.

@shilolo I wasn’t aware there were treatments short of major surgery. My primary care physician noted them during my last rectal exam, but she made no suggestions about seeking treatment. I am guessing I am more a complainer than someone in need of emergency medical care.

@Zen_Again PM re BM on its way.

@eden2eve Cayenne pepper, hey? I love spicy food. Couldn’t hurt giving it a try.

@Seek_Kolinahr You bet your sweet bippy I am interested in this one too. Hope we both find a cure, cause they are a definite PITA

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro Okay, then. You’re right. You have an internal hemorrhoid. With your bowel habits, nothing is really going to make that better medically. If you were constipated, I’d say be not constipated, but you’re already not.

At your age, I’d recommend a colonoscopy if you haven’t had one, or at least a sigmoidoscopy. After that, I’d recommend surgery. The surgery nowadays, as @shilolo can be minimally invasive. I’ve done hemorrhoidal banding before, but the problem with that is that you can’t be sure you got them all. Go to a surgeon who does a lot of these and she can tell you the options.

@Seek, your hemorrhoids will probably get better with time.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear They have me scheduled for a colonoscopy. Thanks for the quick eval. That is better than I had expected.

Rarebear's avatar

If the colonoscopist is very very good, they can sometimes band the hemorrhoids endoscopically. It’s tricky, though, and most gastroenterologists won’t do it and will send the patient to a surgeon. The other thing to expect is that sometimes you can’t see them endoscopically because they’re collapsed.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear Pass the cayenne pepper that @eden2eve mentioned.

Rarebear's avatar

Yeah, no.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear My attitude is never turn your nose up at folk cures that taste good, but don’t get your hopes up that they will do much more than that.

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro My attitude is different. I eschew and actively dissuade people from folk cures that have no evidence of efficacy. Caveat emptor.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear Ha! Here we go again. :-> Would you really stop using pepper on your food because someone said it was good for you?

shilolo's avatar

@ETpro I’m with @Rarebear on this one. Use the pepper because it tastes good, but don’t expect it to do anything beyond that….

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Eat oatmeal on a regular basis, drink lots of water, fiber supplements, and Ducolax as needed (according to the proctologist, you can take twice the dosage on the label as needed with no harm.) There are prescription compounds that you can get though a compounding pharmacy (very different from a regular pharmacy) that are an ointment made up of a muscle relaxer, nitro, and one other thing that you insert anally that will heal anal fissures without surgery. Not all doctors prescribe this, and I would suggest starting backwards with the compounding pharmacy in your area, and ask which doctors prescribe, and make the appointment accordingly. The stuff works great.

The most important thing, however, is to use the fiber, oatmeal and stool softener to reduce straining. Every time you have to strain, you run the risk of tearing or putting pressure on an existing tear.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I tried all the OTC and prescription things. I eventually had the surgery 5 years ago. Fortunately there have been no reoccurrances.

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro Of course not, I like pepper. I just don’t use it to treat hemorrhoids.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Mine don’t hurt yet but they’re bothersome (two kids and a very recent colonoscopy will do that to you!) – I’ve been thinking about going to the doctor about ‘em but I guess they don’t bother me enough yet.

Zen_Again's avatar

Okay I got the Pm on the Bm.

ETpro's avatar

@PandoraBoxx Thanks. I will follow up on that. @stranger_in_a_strange_land That’s good to know. I had wondered about the likelihood of reoccurrance if I got surgery. @Rarebear Good. My take was I like pepper and spice anyway. Even if it does nothing to heal hemorrhoids, a bit extra in the diet won’t hurt me a tad. @Simone_De_Beauvoir Good luck clearing yours up.

jca's avatar

i have them since having a baby almost 3 years ago and i find that when they’re fine, then they’re not an issue but when they’re not fine it’s a real hassle. for me, they impact my ability to go to the bathroom, and that happens about once a month. i make a point of eating fruits and vegetables and all kinds of roughage every day, but they still act up. i use Prep H sometimes, sometimes a laxative when they act up. it’s funny you ask this question now because tomorrow after work i am going to a GI doctor to have him assess. i had told the gyn about a year ago and he just asked me “do you push them inside?” which i thought was a horrifying thought, i said “no, i don’t touch them.” he didn’t do anything beyond asking that question, and i made the appointment with the GI doctor after having to push so hard to go to the bathroom about a month and a half ago, it was really like giving birth. i thought to myself “i am strong enough to push like this now, but when i’m old i won’t be able to push like this.” so if you want i will PM you with the doctor’s advice tomorrow.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jca Should we be pushing them inside?

ETpro's avatar

@jca Sounds to me like it’s time to push your Ob-Gyn inside and shut the door. I certainly hope the GI is more concerned with your health.

jca's avatar

he is recommending a colonoscopy. i guess that’s the thing now.

Rarebear's avatar

@jca A colonoscopy won’t treat the hemorrhoids—it’s just one of three different methods of screening for colon cancer.

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