How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last?
If you have been diagnosed with hemorrhoids, you will have many questions about this condition. Knowing what is causing them, what aggravates your pain, how long do they last, and what is the fastest way to seek relief will help you take good care of yourself and live a normal life. Schedule an appointment with the board-certified and experienced gastroenterologists at the Century Medical and Dental Center to seek answers to all your questions and learn about effective treatment options and remedies. The specialist doctors also recommend ways to prevent hemorrhoids in the future and help you take good care of your gastrointestinal health.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anus or lower rectum. They can be internal or external. Internal hemorrhoids are inside of the rectum while external hemorrhoids are outside of the anal opening.
Hemorrhoids can sometimes be painful, uncomfortable, or itchy. They can also bleed during bowel movements. They can make simple activities such as sitting or walking uncomfortable or challenging.
Hemorrhoids are common. A large population suffers from hemorrhoids at some point in life. People between the ages 45 and 65 are most affected by hemorrhoids.
Learning about hemorrhoids can help you understand what are they and what treatment options offer relief from this painful condition.
Here are some key FAQs regarding hemorrhoids that will help you better understand what you are suffering from and how to deal with this condition most effectively.
How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last?
How long hemorrhoids last can vary from person to person. Regular or mild hemorrhoids usually shrink within a week. It also depends on the type of hemorrhoids and how serious it is as well as the type of treatment being administered.
In some cases, it may take a couple of weeks for the lumps to go down, and you should be able to resume most activities right away. While minor hemorrhoids go away on their own, painful and severe hemorrhoids may stick around for a while.
What Are the Symptoms of Hemorrhoids?
Initially, there are no symptoms from internal hemorrhoids. Sometimes a bowel movement may irritate internal hemorrhoids and cause bleeding.
If the internal hemorrhoid is pushed outside of the anal opening, you may experience bleeding during bowel movements in the anal area. Other symptoms of external hemorrhoids include:
- A lump;
What Are the Risk Factors for Hemorrhoids?
Risk factors for hemorrhoids are mostly related to the pressure on the anal and rectal veins. They include:
- Family history of hemorrhoids;
- Advancing age;
- Anal intercourse;
- Frequent constipation or diarrhea;
- Sitting too long on the toilet;
- Lack of fiber in the diet;
- Overuse of enemas or laxatives;
- Straining during bowel movements.
Can Hemorrhoids Go Away on Their Own?
Minor hemorrhoids can go away on their own without requiring any treatment. However, hemorrhoids generally need some care to ensure they do not turn severe or begin to bleed. In more critical cases, hemorrhoids can get bigger, and older and require medical treatment.
Can Hemorrhoids Heal or Shrink on Their Own?
Sometimes hemorrhoids can shrink within a week with proper home care. But hemorrhoids that are not going away or show signs of worsening must not be self-treated or left unattended. You should see a doctor to have them accurately diagnosed and treated. It will ensure there is little or no risk of complications such as a blood clot or strangulated hemorrhoids.
Are Hemorrhoids Permanent?
In most cases, hemorrhoids are not permanent or last for a lifetime, but they can be persistent and occur frequently. If you are suffering from hemorrhoids that are causing ongoing problems such as bleeding, pain, and discomfort, it is best to seek medical attention and prevent them from becoming permanent.
What to Eat With Hemorrhoids?
Whole grains and other high-fiber foods are good for hemorrhoids and help to ease painful symptoms such as discomfort and swelling. These foods can also prevent hemorrhoids from occurring as they soften the stool and make it bulky, and it moves easily inside the rectum. It helps to avoid straining, which is the main reason behind hemorrhoids.
When increasing your fiber intake, you must remember to do it gradually, as too many fibers at once can increase the risk of gas and other gastrointestinal disturbances.
Can Medications Help in Shrinking Hemorrhoids?
Doctors often recommend topical medications to manage hemorrhoids. These medications include ointments, pads, and creams to provide relief from symptoms of hemorrhoids. However, they are not as effective in shrinking hemorrhoids and only take care of the painful symptoms.
Oral pain relievers may also offer temporary relief. Soaking in a bath or warm water can also help with the pain.
Are Hemorrhoids a Sign of Cancer?
Internal hemorrhoids cause bleeding from the rectum when you have a bowel movement. However, there have been no instances of hemorrhoids being a sign of cancer or causing cancer unless there is some underlying condition that has not been diagnosed. If you experience continuous bleeding along with intolerable pain, schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist for a complete checkup to know more about your condition.
When to See a Doctor for Your Hemorrhoids?
Seeing a doctor for your hemorrhoids becomes necessary if you have bleeding while having a bowel movement. Medical care is also suggested if your hemorrhoids do not get better after a week of home care. Symptoms like severe rectal bleeding and lightheadedness must not be ignored as they can lead to life-threatening conditions, and you must rush to the emergency.
What Are Thrombosed Hemorrhoids?
When a blood clot forms inside a hemorrhoidal vein, obstructing blood flow and causing painful swelling of the anal tissues, it becomes a thrombosed hemorrhoid. They are not dangerous, but they can be very painful and lead to rectal bleeding if they become ulcerated.
External hemorrhoids or hemorrhoids that stick out of the anal canal are more likely to get thrombosed, which can potentially lengthen their duration and increase the level of discomfort.
What Causes Thrombosed Hemorrhoids?
Thrombosed hemorrhoids result from increased pressure on the veins in the rectum. Common causes of this pressure include:
- Straining while you have a bowel movement, especially if you are constipated;
- Irregular bowel movements;
- Pregnancy, from the force of the baby pressing on your veins or from pushing during delivery;
- Sitting for a long time, such as during a long car, train, or plane trips.
Do External Hemorrhoids Go Away on Their Own?
External hemorrhoids can get better with home care measures and precautions. It usually takes about a week for the symptoms to ease and provide relief. If your external hemorrhoids are not getting better, you feel them worsening or they keep coming back, consult a specialist to learn about treatment options and surgical procedures to have them removed.
Is Hemorrhoid Removal Surgery Painful?
Minor or minimally invasive hemorrhoid removal surgery is not painful, and you can go through it with the help of pain relievers. These procedures are performed after administering local anesthesia that numbs the affected area and allows you go through the process without feeling any pain.
Severe or persistent hemorrhoids may require invasive surgery such as hemorrhoidectomy when no other method works, although it only happens in rare cases.
What Happens if Hemorrhoids Burst?
When hemorrhoids burst, you will experience some relief from pain and discomfort. You can also expect some bleeding as hemorrhoids are swollen veins that contain blood. However, it is essential to keep the area clean to avoid the risk of infections and further complications.
If your burst hemorrhoids are giving you trouble, contact your primary care doctor to get the best medical assistance. The doctor can recommend the best medical treatments and procedures that reduce their intensity and help to get rid of them without causing any complications.
With the right support, you can shorten how long your hemorrhoids last and learn about preventing them from recurring. The expert gastroenterologists at the Century Medical and Dental Center come up with the best solutions for unresolved hemorrhoids and the pain associated with them to avoid a severe impact on your overall health and wellbeing.