Most hemorrhoids are not an emergency situation, so there’s no need to rush to your local hospital. However, making an appointment with a doctor to see about the problem may mean suffering through the symptoms for a few days, especially if they show up on a weekend or holiday. While we will always get you in to see the doctor as soon as possible, here are a few things you can do to make waiting for hemorrhoid treatments in Los Angeles a little easier.
What Can I Do To Ease The Discomfort Until I Can See The Doctor?
The best way to beat hemorrhoid pain, burning, and itching is to see a doctor who specialises in them, and as soon as possible. There is no reason to suffer needlessly when a doctor can put an end to it. Of course, there are a plethora of reasons why you may not be able to make an appointment today, from a conflict with your job to a long weekend where the doctor’s office is closed. If you find yourself in this position, consider these options for temporary relief:
Sitz baths are one of the best ways to reduce inflamed hemorrhoids, and therefore decrease your pain. Simply sit in a little warm several times a day, for up to 20 minutes each time. You can do this in the tub, or buy a shallow bowl that fits over the toilet designed for this purpose. We will likely recommend you continue sitz baths while you recover from your Los Angeles hemorrhoid treatments, so spending a few dollars on one is not a bad investment.
Make sure to dry off completely after each soak. Do not irritate the area with a towel, though. Many people prefer to use a hair dryer with a cool setting, allow a fan to blow on the area, or air dry before getting dressed.
Dietary Changes and Added Activity
Drinking water and increasing your intake of healthy fruits and vegetables and other sources of dietary fiber can make it easier to pass stool. Dietary fiber intake greatly reduces the chances of constipation, and can help reduce the discomfort you have during a bowel movement until you can get to our office to let us treat your hemorrhoids.
Many people are tempted to add dietary fiber supplements to make passing stools easier, but we’d rather you wait until after your appointment with us to do so. In some cases, these may cause stomach distress which only worsens your situation. At your appointment, we can discuss how a high fiber diet can reduce the need for future hemorrhoid treatments in Los Angeles.
You will also want to avoid sitting for long periods of time while you are experiencing hemorrhoid symptoms. This only comes naturally to many sufferers because of the pain from sitting, but it is important to get up and take a walk or get other light exercise regularly. This helps to prevent and relieve constipation, which makes going to the bathroom a lot less painful.
Being Careful About Cleanliness
Developing certain bathroom habits can make it easier to deal with hemorrhoids until you receive treatment. It is important to keep the area clean and dry, and avoid further irritating the tender skin around your anus.
As soon as you feel the urge to pass stool, go to the bathroom. It is common for people with hemorrhoids to want to avoid the pain when they use the toilet, but this only exacerbates the issues. If the urge passes and you do not go, you are more likely to become constipated and have a hard time going later.
Once you do go, do not wipe the area with toilet paper. Either clean yourself with fragrance-free wipes, bathe, or shower. This ensures the area remains clean without causing any additional pain or making the situation worse.
There are a number of hemorrhoid “treatments” available over the counter from your local drug store. It is important to note these are not a cure for the pain and inflammation, and some can actually make the situation worse. These ointments and suppositories usually contain a numbing medication meant to help temporarily, and sometimes contain a topical corticosteroid that reduces swelling. Many people prefer the pads that contain witch hazel, for natural temporary relief. If you must use any of these products, read the instructions and warnings carefully.
Another thing people often reach for when they have hemorrhoids are stool softeners. We can discuss using them as a part of your hemorrhoid treatments in Los Angeles, but we do not recommend starting them on your own before you see our doctors. Stool softeners can cause your bowel movements to liquify, leading to additional inflammation or even infection in the affected area.
Your best bet to reduce the pain and discomfort of inflamed hemorrhoids until you can get into our office is to take traditional, over-the-counter pain relievers. Acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen can all help take the edge off your hemorrhoid pain until we can put together a treatment plan for you.
When Should I Go To The Emergency Department?
For the vast majority of people, making an appointment and seeing us in the office is the quickest way to get relief from hemorrhoid pain. There are some situations, though, that may call for a trip to the emergency department if you cannot come to our office immediately. This includes if you experience significant bleeding from your anus, or is you have a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid you cannot push back inside on your own.
Even if you seek help at your local emergency room, you will most likely need to see us at a later time to discuss hemorrhoid treatments in Los Angeles. The emergency room doctors will help with the immediate concern, but only a specialist can provide the types of treatment that reduce your risk of recurrence.