If you’re experiencing hemorrhoids, it’s only natural to be concerned about how long they last and when they’ll go away.
The length of time it takes for hemorrhoids to go away can vary from person to person and the type of hemorrhoids being experienced. Your diet may have an effect, as well as how you go about your day. Simply put, there’s no strict amount of time hemorrhoids will last.
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids sometimes referred to as piles, are swollen lumps inside and around the rectum and anus. The lumps are enlarged veins that have become swollen and inflamed. The condition can be both uncomfortable, and painful, and may also cause rectal bleeding. The severity of the condition can vary per case, but hemorrhoids will generally clear up within a few days without professional help.
Hemorrhoids are a very common condition, and most people (around 75 percent) will experience it at some point in their lives. It may be alarming at first, but you should only get in touch with your doctor if you have noticed the symptoms lingering for more than a few days.
It should be noted that cases of hemorrhoids are more commonly experienced by those who are between the ages of 45 and 65 – although it is still possible to experience them before or after.
Can hemorrhoids go away on their own?
Having to deal with a painful and uncomfortable condition can be painful, but you needn’t worry about contacting your doctor straight away. As alarming as the symptoms are, hemorrhoids usually tend to clear up after just a few days. Even more serious cases of hemorrhoids, like prolapsed hemorrhoids, will clear up. You can help your body to heal the condition quicker if you eat a healthier diet and drink plenty of water. A diet lacking in fiber may cause the irritation to get worse.
How long do hemorrhoids last?
The duration of your hemorrhoids can vary. If you’re experiencing only minor symptoms, then you can expect the hemorrhoids to completely clear up after 2-3 days. If you’re experiencing more severe symptoms, like prolapsed hemorrhoids, then you can expect them to take a bit longer to heal.
Sometimes your hemorrhoids can last up to a week, and if it persists any longer than that with no sign of healing – it’s time you saw a professional about it.
What does the duration of hemorrhoids depend on?
There are a few factors that will affect how long your hemorrhoids last, as well as how serious they are. If you want your symptoms to clear up quickly, then it may be time to change your lifestyle a little bit.
If you’re eating a mostly unhealthy diet, lacking in things like fiber, and intaking too much caffeine – your symptoms may last longer than necessary.
Pregnancy is another factor that can affect hemorrhoid duration. During pregnancy, women will be experiencing more pressure in their abdomen, which makes them more likely to experience hemorrhoids. As the pressure isn’t going to be relieved until after the pregnancy, the symptoms may not clear up until the individual has given birth.
How do you relieve hemorrhoids?
Individuals experiencing extreme discomfort and pain from their hemorrhoids may look for ways to ease or relieve the symptoms. There are a few things you can try to help ease the inflammation and discomfort:
- Over-the-counter treatments. Typically, if you’ve been to see your doctor over your condition, and it’s not too severe, you may be prescribed over-the-counter treatments for your hemorrhoids. This will typically be in the form of a cream or a suppository.
- Painkillers. In some cases, basic painkillers can prove to be effective in relieving the pain from hemorrhoids. Anti-inflammatories like aspirin and ibuprofen may help.
- Ligation. If you’ve been examined by a doctor, they may decide that rubber band ligation is the better solution. A rubber band is tied around internal hemorrhoid, and after a few days it falls off. While this treatment is a little more invasive, it can prove to be more effective than others.
- Thrombectomy. If your hemorrhoid has formed a blood clot externally, then your doctor may decide to perform an external hemorrhoid thrombectomy. The patient is given a local anesthetic, and the blood clot is removed surgically.
The best relief and treatment for your hemorrhoids will depend entirely on your condition. It would be better to leave them alone, aside from basic painkillers to give them time to heal. If it persists, it may be better to seek further treatment.
How do you prevent hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can in fact be prevented, but they can be hard to avoid at times. Some causes can happen naturally, outside of your control.
As mentioned before, dietary changes can help to relieve hemorrhoid symptoms, but they can also help to prevent hemorrhoids from occurring. Making sure you eat plenty of foods that are high in fiber can help a lot when it comes to preventing hemorrhoids. Fiber helps to soften your stool, which promotes greater health around your rectum.
Another factor that helps to soften your stool is hydration. Regardless of hemorrhoids, you should be making sure to drink a healthy amount of water each day. The standard is that men should aim to drink 3000ml and women 2,200ml of water daily.
If you feel like you have to push when relieving yourself, it’s better to avoid straining yourself. Pushing too hard only puts a higher amount of strain on your muscles, and may not do anything to help your condition. Another way to avoid strain would be to use the restroom when you need to. Even if you are busy, it’s better to make your bodily functions a priority. Holding on for longer than necessary creates more pressure than your body can handle and can lead to hemorrhoids.
Sitting on the toilet for too long may lead to hemorrhoids. As simple as it is, the posture of the body while sitting on the toilet creates pressure on the veins in the anus, and that can cause hemorrhoids if you have been sitting for too long. It’s generally better to avoid sitting for too long in any position.
When should you see a doctor?
While your hemorrhoids should clear up within a few days, it’s possible that your case requires the input of a professional if the symptoms are going to clear up. There are a few reasons you may consider seeing your doctor about your condition.
As with most minor conditions, if your symptoms have lingered for more than just a few days, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Your condition may be more severe than you thought, and it could require stronger treatment.
Your symptoms may only get worse as time goes on, which can be caused by either a blood clot or a poor diet. If this happens, consider contacting your doctor immediately to discuss further action.
If you’re visiting your doctor about your condition, you should know what to expect from your appointment. Some patients may feel uncomfortable discussing the symptoms, as well as receiving a physical examination from the doctor. The assessment is necessary if you are to receive the correct treatment for your condition.
Get help from an online doctor
Unless you’re a doctor, you likely don’t have all of the answers when it comes to your own health. There’s only so much you can do when it comes to diagnosing yourself. A lot of the time, symptoms can be common across a number of conditions, and without a professional to diagnose you – it’s easy to get the wrong idea about what you’re experiencing. As a result of this, you may find yourself attempting treatments that will do nothing for your condition.
If you haven’t got the time or resources to see a doctor about your condition, or aren’t sure your condition requires the assistance of a professional – you can get help from an online doctor. DrHouse is here for you, and you can learn all you need to know about your condition from a trained professional.
- While alarming, your condition should only last for a few days. If it hasn’t cleared up over the course of a week, then you should be concerned.
- The duration of your hemorrhoids can be shortened if you make sure to eat a diet high in fiber and stay hydrated. This helps to soften your stools.
- Pregnancy can cause and extend the duration of your hemorrhoids, and that can last until birth.
- You should see your doctor if your condition has lasted for longer than a week, or if your symptoms are getting worse over time.
- Hemorrhoids can generally be prevented if you make sure to eat right, stay hydrated, and avoid sitting on the toilet for too long.
- While alarming, the symptoms of hemorrhoids are usually not dangerous, and will only take a short time to heal up and go away.
- Poskus, T., Sabonyte-Balsaitiene, Z., Jakubauskiene, L. et al. Preventing hemorrhoids during pregnancy: a multicenter, randomized clinical trial. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 22, 374 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-022-04688-x
- Marshman, D., Huber, P.J., Timmerman, W. et al. Hemorrhoidal ligation. Dis Colon Rectum 32, 369–371 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02563683
- Moesgaard, F., Nielsen, L., Hansen, J.B. et al. High-fiber diet reduces bleeding and pain in patients with hemorrhoids. Dis Colon Rectum 25, 454–456 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02553653
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