Haemorrhoids: what they are and how to treat them
Haemorrhoids, or piles, are enlarged, congested veins just under the surface tissue of your rectum (the last part of your bowel) or your anus (the opening of your bowel).
Haemorrhoids can become swollen, painful and inflamed (‘flare up’) and bleed when irritated. They may be itchy or associated with a mucous discharge. At other times, when they are not swollen or irritated, they may cause no symptoms.
Managing and treating haemorrhoids
Most haemorrhoids can be treated with simple changes to the diet and bowel habits. Be sure to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. And to soften stool and make it easier to pass, try increasing the amount of fibre in your diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains or a fibre supplement.
Apply a cold compress to the area or try a warm bath. Always go to the toilet as soon as you feel the need – ‘holding on’ can make things worse.
Visit your local Life Pharmacy
If the area itches, there are several prescription and over the counter creams and ointments that can help reduce mild discomfort. Speak with your Life Pharmacist to be sure these products are safe for you and to make sure there isn't any other underlying medical condition that needs different treatment or a visit to the doctor.