Help with hemorrhoids!
October 21, 2005 2:35 PM   Subscribe

Tell me about hemorrhoids! Read more inside if you don't mind some details!

Yep, I've got them. I'm a 31 year old male. I thought they were just for old people, but I was wrong. So, does anyone have experience with them? How do they form? How do you get rid of them? How long does my anus keep burning?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some Google searching would help you. But quickly:

1. The form because the veins in your ass bulge when you push really hard to take a crap. If you're constipated frequently, this will be the source of the problem. Sites also say that sitting for prolonged periods of time aggravates the situation, so get up and walk around often if you have a desk job.

2. They don't go away. The best you can do is engage in behaviors that won't aggravate them in the future. Eat a diet that promotes regularity (this is a topic in itself). Of course, fiber is a part of this.

3. Sorry, don't know about burning. I just dealt with itching. And for that, there is apparently no cure.

Here's an older thread about the topic.
posted by knave at 2:51 PM on October 21, 2005

grab yourself some tucks and some stool softener.

keep everything clean, and keep everything moving.

good luck and godspeed.
posted by fishfucker at 2:52 PM on October 21, 2005

Everyone has hemorrhoids. They're just the lower rectal veins. They can become dilated if you do a lot of Valsalva manuvers (coughing, straining), causing more intraabdominal pressure and blood backing up into them (also in liver cirrhosis). If they're bothering you, they're external hemorrhoids (internal ones don't hurt).

Preparation H works for some people. Warm, soothing baths. In the long term, eat more fiber; you'll strain less, and they won't get so engorged. Give them a couple days, I'd say.
posted by gramcracker at 2:53 PM on October 21, 2005

I second the warm soothing baths, that is the best method, don't even bother with creams, their messy.
posted by corpse at 3:16 PM on October 21, 2005

Another earlier askme thread on this topic.
posted by ambrosia at 3:20 PM on October 21, 2005

What everyone else will tell, and ask your doctor for 5% cortisone cream. The OTC stuff isn't strong enough to do it.

Eat a dill pickle every day. Takes a month or two before you'll see improvement, but it's coming. Do this for a few months, then can you can switch to the maintenance plan, and eat a pickle a couple of times a week. By then, you won't hear from them much, except for the rare occasion when you "over-do" it, and they will heal quickly.

I started a research group and fed them to a bunch of sufferers, all report marked improvement. You won't do this, because it sounds too stupid and easy to possibly do any good, and not very scientific. Nobody knows why it works, but my doctor is eating pickles, and it's working for him too.

/> returns to lurk mode, waiting for the next hemorrhoid question
posted by deep_cover at 3:57 PM on October 21, 2005 [2 favorites]

Preparation H it to hell. Drink more water, consume more fiber.

Had my first when I turned 20, freaked me out (was eating dorm/lunchall food). Haven't had any bad incidents since aside from when I was a fulltime drunk and was essentially living off ramen and junkfood for three weeks a few years back.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 3:59 PM on October 21, 2005

Smoking exacerbates the condition.
posted by FYKshun at 5:06 PM on October 21, 2005

I've had an intermittent very painful prolapsed hemorrhoid for a few years now. Ditto all of the advice above. I'd also recommend a morning shot of metamucil in water.

That said, the thing that made the difference to me was when I realized that my physical response to the pain had been precisely backwards from what would help. My reaction to the pain was to relax my anus. In fact, that just made the prolapse worse. What I needed to do was actually make it a practice to keep my anus as tight and "pulled up" as possible.

Oh, the other thing, if you get to the point of even moderate prolapse: don't be shy about touching yourself there. Get some latex gloves. Get your cream of choice (Preparation H, cortisone cream, nupercainal), and physically readjust yourself and hold it.

Good luck.
posted by alms at 7:43 PM on October 21, 2005

this year has been my first time as well, and man that pain can be flare-ups are decreasing (mainly i think because i'm eating bran buds every day, but if i skip it i definitely pay a price!)...i'll be picking up some pickles tomorrow now--i've never heard that...i've tried prep h (which so far the ointment i think is the best, though i've been meaning to try the cream version)...i carry the cooling gel in my pocket at all times...i'm big on 30-minute hot baths myself...i tried anesthetic cream but did not notice a difference with that...

i know what you mean about the and then i'll have a cycle of burning that goes on for a few hours (once on a long car trip...damn i was cranky!)...and at those times it becomes like a toothache, a dull, throbbing, general pain...and baths and lying down are the only things that will help me then...sometimes ice helps...

best of luck,'s a rough road
posted by troybob at 8:18 PM on October 21, 2005

I had them at age 21 or 22. I forget. either way, the stuff you can get from a doctor is far and away better than preparation H. preparation H simply didn't help, and the suppositories of cortizone cream you can get are a gift from god. they're the only reason i stayed sane. Mine weren't too bad, so they went away in a couple weeks.
posted by shmegegge at 8:20 PM on October 21, 2005

Cortisone cream, lots of fiber and drinking lots of water helped me. I get it (them?) maybe every year or so, more often when stressed.
posted by Lynsey at 10:37 PM on October 21, 2005

It's important to get into habits that will not only treat them now, but prevent them in the future -- most importantly, get lots of fiber, lots of water, and regular exercise. Also, if you're in the habit of reading on the toilet, break it -- spending too much time there encourages the blood flow in the wrong direction, shall we say, and helps exacerbate the problem.
posted by scody at 10:57 PM on October 21, 2005

My midwives recommended grating a raw potato and making a sort of, uh, wet pack with it. On your 'roids. I didn't actually try this since they stop bugging me before I took treatment to that limit. Witch hazel is pretty good.

I have heard the pickle thing before. If it works it'd be a good thing for heavily pregnant women or new mothers to know.
posted by Melinika at 11:30 PM on October 21, 2005

It works.
I swear. I was throwing those thrombosed kind all the time until someone told me that. That's a side effect of a couple of deliveries they won't let you have any more, they do a C section instead.
And you can cure bad knees with Vit B6, and heartburn by drinking hot water. Nobody ever does those things either, they're waiting for something more scientific-sounding.
posted by deep_cover at 1:37 AM on October 22, 2005

Preparation H and the like do not work. If you want relief from pain and burning, try Desitin. It promotes healing as well as anything I know. You'll find it in the Baby care aisle of your grocery store.
posted by queue_strategy at 8:48 AM on October 22, 2005

A couple of things to keep in mind:

Keep that area dry. Wetness/Moistness irritates it. Also, you can take supplements to increase fiber, such as Psyllium.

My Dr. gave me Proctofoam which is much better and feels "cooler" than Prep H.
posted by captainscared at 9:47 AM on October 22, 2005

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