What is a hemorrhoid?

Hemorrhoids are very common and appear when the veins under the lining of the rectum and anus become swollen and bulge. Yes, you can push a hemorrhoid back in.
Hemorrhoids are very common and appear when the veins under the lining of the rectum and anus become swollen and bulge. Yes, you can push a hemorrhoid back in.

Hemorrhoids are very common and appear when the veins under the lining of the rectum and anus become swollen and bulge. Extra pressure from constipation, obesity, heavy lifting, anal sex, pregnancy, and straining during childbirth can irritate the veins and cause them to swell.

There are two types: internal hemorrhoids, which happen inside your rectum, and external hemorrhoids, which happen under the skin around your anus. The skin over the external hemorrhoids can become irritated and break down, which can cause itching and pain

Other hemorrhoid symptoms include:

  • Bleeding during a bowel movement 
  • Mucus 
  • Swelling around your anus
  • Irritated skin around your anus

Can you push a hemorrhoid back in?

Yes, you can push a hemorrhoid back in. In fact, pushing it back inside can protect the blood vessel and lower your risk of getting a blood clot or hemorrhoid strangulation.

A strangulated hemorrhoid happens when an internal hemorrhoid pushes outside the anus and gets trapped outside by sphincter muscles. The blood flow becomes blocked, which causes swelling and a lot of pain.

What are other treatments for hemorrhoids?

In most cases, hemorrhoids go away within a week with some self-care and at-home treatments. There are simple ways to manage them and ease your symptoms. 

Eat more fiber

Constipation and straining during a bowel movement are big causes of hemorrhoids. Eating fiber helps relieve constipation and makes it easier to pass stool. Fiber is a carbohydrate that your body can’t digest. As it moves through your bowels, it draws water into your stool, making it softer and easier to pass. Studies show that eating extra fiber reduces hemorrhoid bleeding.

The best form of fiber comes from food, which includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and lentils. To get more fiber, you can also:

  • Replace white bread, pasta, and rice with whole grain versions
  • Eat beans and other legumes instead of meat a few times a week
  • Snack on raw vegetables with hummus instead of chips or cookies
  • Eat oatmeal instead of sugary cereal

Fiber supplements made of psyllium seed, bran, or inulin can also be helpful. Add supplements slowly, though, to avoid gas and bloating. If constipation is severe or ongoing, you might need to take a laxative with senna.

Drink more water

Constipation happens when food moves too slowly through your bowels. The bowels absorb too much water, and the stool gets hard, making it tough to pass. Drinking lots of water can help keep your stool soft and prevent constipation. Swap tea, coffee, and alcohol for water.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise helps build good muscle tone in your abdomen and diaphragm. These muscles are important during bowel movements, and poor tone can make it harder. The bowels also respond to activity, and people who exercise regularly usually don’t get constipation.

Obesity also causes extra pressure on the rectum, anus, and hemorrhoids. Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and prevent hemorrhoids.

Don’t sit and strain for a long time

Straining and sitting on the toilet for a long time puts pressure on your rectum and anus and causes more hemorrhoids and more symptoms. Go when you feel the urge instead of waiting, as doing so can promote constipation and make it worse. 

Take sitz baths

A sitz bath is a shallow bath of warm water. It can help relax your muscles and increase blood flow. Sometimes stool can get stuck around the hemorrhoid, so a sitz bath can also help keep your skin clean. It can also help relieve itching and pain. Gently pat the area dry afterwards instead of rubbing or wiping, which can irritate the skin.

Use topical creams and cleansing pads

Cleansing pads and hemorrhoid cream can help keep the skin clean and soothe irritation. You can buy witch hazel cleansing pads at the pharmacy. Witch hazel is an astringent, which can help soothe the skin. 

Other hemorrhoid creams and suppositories can lower inflammation and irritation. Look for a cream with an analgesic that helps ease pain. Some ingredients like aloe vera can be soothing, and you can also use an ice pack to help with swelling. You might want to wear a liner in your underwear for a few days to absorb any extra cream and stay dry. 

When to see your doctor

You can usually manage your symptoms at home without issue. Push your hemorrhoid back in, make dietary and lifestyle changes, and use personal care products. If your hemorrhoids don’t go away in a week or you have a lot of bleeding or pain, see your doctor. 

QUESTION

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Medically Reviewed on 12/27/2021
References
SOURCES:

Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England: "The acute management of haemorrhoids."

Cleveland Clinic: "5 Best and Worst Home Remedies for Your Hemorrhoids."

GI Society Canadian Society of Intestinal Research: "“Hemorrhoids."

Harvard Medical School Harvard Health Publishing: "Common causes of constipation," "Hemorrhoids and what to do about them." "Self-help steps to get through hemorrhoid flare-ups," Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Fiber."

JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE: "Constipation."

Mayo Clinic: "Hemorrhoids."

National Health Service: "Piles (haemorrhoids)."

Saint Luke's: "Taking a Sitz Bath."