da roids
June 30, 2005 10:53 PM   Subscribe

Any suggestions for ridding one's self of hemorrhoids?

Childbirth has left me with a couple the size of small grapes. While they are not painful, they are unsightly and I know they're there. They have also made me a little self-conscious in bed.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
This might be a good read as far as diet changes you might make. You might also see a doctor, who would probably check them out to make sure they're nothing to worry about. S/he might then suggest steroids or other topical treatments, or surgery to remove them.
posted by Rothko at 11:26 PM on June 30, 2005

See a doctor?

"Smaller hemorrhoids can be 'banded,' a procedure in which a small rubber band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid, which causes the hemorrhoid tissue to die and fall off as a result of lack of blood flow. Alternatively, such hemorrhoids can be injected with a sclerosing agent, which has the same effect. These procedures can often be done as an outpatient or office procedure with minimal or no anesthesia."

Or were you looking for "alternative" remedies?
posted by trevyn at 11:26 PM on June 30, 2005

They'll go away, but you'll have little skin tags as a reminder. They're overwhelmingly common, if that helps. Acutely, you should soak in a tub of hot water a couple of times a day--this is probably better than "sitz baths," which actually increase perineal pressure. On that note, avoid sitting or straining for prologned periods. Try to eat a lot of fiber and things that will keep you from being constipated. Prep H or Anusol or other over the counter remedies havent really been shown to work, so save your money.
posted by mert at 12:40 AM on July 1, 2005

OK, I know this one. I traded home cures with a hospital employee for a couple of weeks once, and he said you eat a dill pickle every day. All I can vouch for is mine, but they don't bother me any more. I still have them, but they don't hurt. I know it sounds silly, but it has been working on the research group I could get to eat them.

Prep H used to contain some herb that worked like a charm back years ago. Now it's got shark oil and cortisone in it, and while cortisone really does help, there doesn't seem to be enough in there to do much. You can baste them with 1% cortisone cream from the drugstore, which does help, and if your doctor will give you the 5%, so much the better (I think the brand name is Proctosol, it's made for this problem.) If you can remember to do it at night a couple of times, it'll settle down pretty quickly. Point being, at night you won't be disturbing the stuff and have to reapply it all the time. If anyone remembers what the herb used to be, let us know, maybe we can sit on a wet tea bag.

I never found a doctor who was very enthusiatic about surgery vs. possible side effects, so like most elective surgeries, I elected not to.

I really can't recommend the pickles too highly, it's one of those things that sounds too simple and stupid to work, but it seems to. If you can remember to do this every day for several months, it's likely to settle down enough that a pickle here and there will keep it under control. My doctor doesn't know why it works either, but I've got him eating pickles.

< / returns to lurk mode
posted by deep_cover at 5:27 AM on July 1, 2005

If you eat a lot of fiber you should seem them shrink and disappear. Don't strain, don't read on the toilet. Get down, get done, get up.
posted by OmieWise at 5:32 AM on July 1, 2005

They'll go away. The best thing you can do is get one of those sprays to help with the pain, and like OmieWise says, take care of business.

Granted, that's not the magic cure-all answer you were looking for, but it's the best one : )
posted by zerolives at 9:05 AM on July 1, 2005

I had those nasty things back there and also had a fissure, which is a tear in the wall of the anal tissue. I tried ointments with no success. Finally, I had the surgery and have, ahem, never looked back. That was 5 yrs ago and there are absolutely no problems back there. It was a LONG 2 or 3 weeks of recovery. Don't plan on working. I didn't eat much because I was TERRIFIED of the need to get rid of whatever I ate, casue it was so painful for those weeks. Don't mean to scare you, cause it was definitely worth it.

Has anyone experienced the non-surgical techniques that I often see in the super shopper mailings? That scares me when there is a coupon for something like that!
posted by cincidog at 9:22 AM on July 1, 2005

deep_cover, thanks for the tip. I told my husband that AskMetafilter said that dill pickles took care of hemorrhoids. He got this worried look on his face and asked the inevitable follow-up question... and was very relieved to hear that you only have to *eat* them.
posted by ambrosia at 2:50 PM on July 3, 2005 [2 favorites]

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