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How Long Does It Take For Hemorrhoids To Go Away

How Long Does It Take For Hemorrhoids To Go Away?

Have you ever felt a sharp pain or noticed blood after a bowel movement? – If you have, you might be dealing with hemorrhoids.

This common yet often misunderstood condition can be both uncomfortable and concerning. But how long does it take for hemorrhoids to go away?

Understanding the nature of this condition, the symptoms, and how to treat hemorrhoids to help ease your discomfort and prevent future issues.

What Are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum and anus. Sometimes the walls of these blood vessels stretch so thin that the veins bulge and get irritated, especially during bowel movements. Hemorrhoids are a common problem, and though they can be painful and unpleasant, they are usually not serious.

Types of Hemorrhoids

There are several types of hemorrhoids, each classified based on their location and symptoms.

1- Internal Hemorrhoids:

  • Location: Inside the rectum.
  • Symptoms: Generally painless, but they may lead to bleeding hemorrhoids during bowel movements. In some cases, they may also become prolapsed hemorrhoids, protruding outside the anus, causing discomfort and pain.

2- External Hemorrhoids:

  • Location: Under the skin around the anus.
  • Symptoms: Can cause itching, pain, and swelling. If a blood clot forms inside an external hemorrhoid, it can cause severe pain and inflammation.

3- Thrombosed Hemorrhoids:

  • Location: Can be either internal or external.
  • Symptoms: Occurs when blood pools in an external hemorrhoid and forms a clot (thrombus). This leads to severe hemorrhoid pain, swelling, inflammation, and a hard lump near the anus.

How Long Does It Take For Hemorrhoids To Go Away?

The duration for hemorrhoids to heal varies depending on the type and severity of the condition, as well as the treatment approach.

  • Mild Hemorrhoids: These can resolve within a few days to a week with over-the-counter treatments and home remedies.
  • Moderate Hemorrhoids: It may take a few weeks to improve, particularly with lifestyle changes, such as increased fiber intake and improved hygiene.
  • Severe Hemorrhoids: These may persist for several weeks or longer, and could require medical intervention such as rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, or surgical procedures.

Risk Factors for Severe Hemorrhoids

Certain factors can increase the risk of developing severe hemorrhoids, including:

  • Chronic Constipation: Straining during bowel movements increases pressure on the veins in the rectum and anus.
  • Chronic Diarrhea: Frequent bowel movements can irritate and inflame hemorrhoids.
  • Pregnancy: Increased pressure from the growing uterus and hormonal changes can cause hemorrhoids.
  • Obesity: Excess body weight increases pressure on the pelvic veins.
  • Prolonged Sitting or Standing: Both can increase pressure on the rectal veins.
  • Low-Fiber Diet: A diet low in fiber can lead to constipation and straining.
  • Heavy Lifting: Regularly lifting heavy objects can increase abdominal pressure.

Hemorrhoid Symptoms

There can be a variety of hemorrhoid symptoms, depending on their type and severity:

  • Bleeding: Bright red blood during or after bowel movements.
  • Itching: Around the anus.
  • Pain or Discomfort: Particularly with external hemorrhoids.
  • Swelling: Around the anus.
  • A Lump: Near the anus, which may be sensitive or painful (thrombosed hemorrhoid).
  • Protrusion: Internal hemorrhoids may protrude through the anus.

What Happens If You Ignore Hemorrhoids?

Ignoring hemorrhoids can lead to a worsening of symptoms and potentially more serious complications:

  • Increased Pain and Discomfort: Symptoms can become more severe and persistent.
  • Anemia: Chronic blood loss from hemorrhoids can lead to anemia.
  • Strangulated Hemorrhoid: If the blood supply to an internal hemorrhoid is cut off, it can cause severe pain and lead to tissue death.
  • Infection: Open sores or severe hemorrhoids can become infected, leading to further complications.

Hemorrhoids Treatments

There are various options for hemorrhoids treatments, ranging from home remedies to surgical interventions:

– Home Remedies:

  • High-Fiber Diet: Helps soften stool and reduce straining.
  • Hydration: Drinking plenty of water helps prevent constipation.
  • Warm Sitz Baths: Soaking the anal area in warm water for 10-15 minutes, several times a day.
  • Over-the-counter treatments: Creams, ointments, and suppositories to reduce swelling and relieve pain.

– Medical Treatments:

  • Rubber Band Ligation: A small band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply.
  • Sclerotherapy: A chemical solution is injected into the hemorrhoid to shrink it.
  • Coagulation: Using infrared light or laser to shrink hemorrhoids.
  • Hemorrhoidectomy: Surgical removal of severe hemorrhoids.
  • Stapled Hemorrhoidopexy: A procedure to block blood flow to hemorrhoidal tissue.

When to See a Doctor?

While many hemorrhoids can be treated with home care, certain symptoms warrant a visit to a healthcare provider:

  • Severe or Persistent Pain: Indicates a possible complication.
  • Excessive Bleeding: This can lead to anemia or indicate other conditions.
  • Lump or Swelling: Especially if accompanied by pain.
  • Changes in Bowel Habits: Such as persistent diarrhea or constipation.
  • No Improvement with Home Treatment: Symptoms persist despite self-care measures.

Early consultation with a healthcare professional can prevent complications and ensure appropriate treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do hemorrhoids go away?

Yes, mild hemorrhoids can go away on their own with proper care and lifestyle changes. More severe hemorrhoids may require medical treatment.

What triggers hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids can be triggered by straining during bowel movements, chronic constipation or diarrhea, pregnancy, prolonged sitting or standing, a low-fiber diet, and heavy lifting.

What shrinks hemorrhoids fast?

Hemorrhoids can be shrunk quickly with over-the-counter creams and ointments, warm sitz baths, cold compresses, and maintaining good hydration and a high-fiber diet.

What are stage 3 hemorrhoids?

Stage 3 hemorrhoids are internal hemorrhoids that prolapse outside the anus and require manual retraction. They often cause discomfort and may cause rectal bleeding.

What not to do with hemorrhoids?

Avoid straining during bowel movements, sitting for long periods, lifting heavy objects, and consuming a low-fiber diet. Refrain from ignoring symptoms, as this can lead to complications.

– Disclaimer –

This blog is for informational & educational purposes only and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health-related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 06/21/2024

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  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

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