Hemorrhoids, or piles, can be uncomfortable and even debilitating for many patients. We all have veins in the anus that allow for proper bowel movements. However, when these veins become inflamed, they become itchy and painful for various reasons.
Many cases of hemorrhoids can be treated at home with topical creams like Preparation H. Sitz baths can also help with the discomfort and promote healing. These treatments soothe the anus and mitigate itching as the body recovers. However, many patients wonder how long it will take to eliminate the hemorrhoids and regain their normal function.
The Severity of the Problem
Hemorrhoids come in many forms and degrees of severity, both internal and external. Depending on how inflamed the hemorrhoids are and other factors discussed below, the time it takes to moderate or disappear may differ.
The Course of Treatment
How long hemorrhoids last will largely depend on the course of treatment. If the hemorrhoids respond to home treatment, the itchiness and discomfort can go away within a few days, and the swelling shortly afterward. Home treatment may not work for more severe cases of hemorrhoids. If your hemorrhoids last more than a week, even with proper home care, you may need to visit a colorectal specialist like Dr. Alex Crean.
Your Lifestyle Changes
Hemorrhoids are prevalent but can be minimized and even prevented with lifestyle changes. Our lifestyle will also largely dictate how quickly the hemorrhoids return to normal. If you are experiencing hemorrhoids and typically do not get enough fiber, add more through fiber-rich foods or a supplement. You should drink more water to ensure smooth, healthy, and easy bowel movements. Exercise is also essential for colon health. Finally, your bathroom habits are important; start using a stool under your feet when going to the bathroom to mimic a squatting position on the toilet. Reduce the strain and try to avoid using electronics or other distractions while on the toilet to avoid sitting there too long.
The Bottom Line
With proper care, mild to moderate hemorrhoids can be treated relatively quickly. More severe cases may require additional time or intervention from a colorectal surgeon. Most importantly, seeing your specialist early offers the best possibility for minimizing the time it takes to eliminate painful or uncomfortable hemorrhoids and get back to you enjoying your life.
If you need to speak to a colorectal specialist, we encourage you to contact our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Crean, where you can discuss hemorrhoids or any other colorectal concerns you may have.