Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, is a condition that causes difficulty in expelling stools along with discomfort and bleeding while passing stools. Although it is relatively common in people above 50 years of age, there are certain factors that increase your risk of piles. These include certain medications, lack of exercise and diet rich in refined and processed foods. Most people tend to ignore the symptoms of piles, which can lead to severe complications. Use of laxatives and a high-fiber diet can help you to fight the condition. But in some cases, this may not provide relief and can also lead to recurrent episodes, which is a sign that you should consult a doctor at the earliest.
Tips To Manage Piles At Home
In many cases, hemorrhoids can be treated easily and naturally at home. Dr. Parameshwar CM, Chief, SIICP (Bengaluru Smiles) shares some of the common tips for hemorrhoids that can help you to relieve the symptoms of piles at home. These tips work best when used along with medications as prescribed by your doctor. Here are the expert tips to manage piles at home:
1. Apply coconut oil to the piles (hemorrhoids)
Coconut oil is a highly popular home remedy for piles. This is because it has strong anti-inflammatory properties which help in reducing inflammation and swelling in the anal region when applied in the area. It also has pain relieving properties which lower the discomfort caused by the condition. The presence of its mild antifungal and antibacterial properties not only relieve itching but also promote healing of the inflamed tissues.
You can add coconut to your diet or use it as a suppository. Warm a tablespoon of coconut oil and cool it down. Use a cotton ball and dip it into the coconut oil. Apply the cotton ball directly to the external piles. It can relieve pain and aid in the healing of the condition when done for at least a week.
2. Use aloe vera for external hemorrhoids
Aloe vera has been used as a traditional remedy for various skin related problems. Its role in the treatment of piles is attributed to its potent anti-inflammatory properties which not only reduce inflammation but also alleviate irritation.
The American National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health has recommended aloe vera as a very safe remedy for topical use. Apply fresh aloe vera gel to the inflamed area for the relief. Be sure to use a pure aloe vera, without fragrances and chemicals added, preferably a fresh leaf taken directly from the plant. However, some people might be allergic to aloe vera, so do a patch test before using it.
3. Try wet wipes instead of toilet paper
Piles cause inflammation of the area around the anal region and hence, use of dry toilet paper might further worsen the condition. This is the reason why people suffering from piles are recommended to use wet wipes, preferably natural baby wipes instead of using dry toilet paper to clean the area as it helps to avoid irritation. Do not choose the ones that contain alcohol or added chemicals or perfumes as it can aggravate the symptoms. Instead, look for the ones that contain aloe vera or any soothing natural ingredient.
4. Sleep on your left side
Do you have a habit of sleeping on your right side? If yes, then it’s time to change your sleeping position to the left. This is because it is known that sleeping on the left side can ease the pressure on the abdomen and might provide some relief from the pain and discomfort caused due to piles.
5. Wear loose-fitting cotton clothes
Another simple tip that can help you to manage piles is to wear loose, cotton clothes. This is because, cotton clothes aid in improving the air flow and help your skin breathe, which in turn can aid in improving the symptoms of piles. Moreover, it also keeps the area clean and dry, thus helping you to manage the condition. So replace tight polyester clothes, especially undergarments, with ultra-breathable cotton clothes.
6. Avoid sitting for a long
When you sit for long, it puts pressure on the blood vessels in the anal and rectal region. So if you are suffering from piles, sitting for a long time can worsen the symptoms. Hence, it is advised to avoid sitting and if possible, take small, frequent breaks as it helps relieve the pressure in the pelvic area. For people who have a desk job, investing in a hemorrhoid pillow, which is a ring-like cushion, can also help.
7. Take a warm water bath
A warm water bath can help you to ease the symptoms of piles and manage the condition as it helps in improving the blood flow all over the body. For added effect, you can apply warm water compress on the affected area for 10 minutes to relieve swelling and inflammation. This acts as an effective remedy for people with large, painful hemorrhoids. You can even soak a towel in warm water, squeeze it and apply it directly to the skin to relieve pain and discomfort while taking a bath.
In most cases, piles can be treated with proper medical care along with using some of the common at-home tips and remedies. However, it is always recommended to visit a qualified coloproctologist or gastroenterologist to know about your condition in detail and follow the necessary recommend treatment for quick relief and prevent its recurrence.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician)