Did you know that there is a similarity between varicose veins and hemorrhoids? That’s because instead of protruding veins on legs, hemorrhoids are swollen veins of the rectum. This is a miserable condition, but it is surprisingly common.

Why do a lot of people suffer from hemorrhoids? Here are some factors that activate the development of hemorrhoids—frequent constipation or diarrhea, lifting extremely heavy weights, prolonged sitting, childbirth, and persistent bouts of violent coughing.

Finding blood on toilet paper after a bowel movement is a symptom of hemorrhoids. Itching or soreness around the rectum area are two more symptoms.

Hemorrhoids come in two forms—external ones and internal ones. Internal hemorrhoids usually don’t bother people very much, but external hemorrhoids are a different story! They can be extremely painful and they can burn and itch too.

You should want to protect yourself from developing hemorrhoids. And if you already suffer from them, you’ll want to relieve their misery as soon as possible.

Drinking a lot of water will help you to avoid constipation, which will also help you to avoid resulting hemorrhoids. Be sure to eat enough fiber in your meals to keep yourself regular. You don’t want your hemorrhoids to get worse, so don’t let yourself become constipated. Drinking plenty of water and eating enough fiber will help prevent constipation.

Don’t spend a lot of time on the toilet because that strains the area that can develop hemorrhoids. So don’t read while you’re sitting on the toilet and don’t have a book of puzzles nearby either.

Make sure you get plenty of exercise. If you sit a lot, get up periodically and walk around a bit to avoid sitting for long stretches at a time.

There are simple things that you can do at home to help yourself if you suffer from hemorrhoids. For example, you can sit in a shallow tub of warm water to help relieve the area. You can also apply ice packs to your hemorrhoids. The pain and swelling will be eased by the cold. Consider using a cream that has witch hazel in it to help relieve the inflammation brought on by hemorrhoids.

There are medications you can buy over the counter to treat your hemorrhoids. However, they may or may not work effectively. These medications are not a long-term solution for hemorrhoid sufferers.

If your hemorrhoids are a serious condition in your case, you might want to consider surgery depending on what your doctor recommends. But that is a last resort measure.

Local anesthetics are available to ease your discomfort. Some products can shrink the inflammation around your blood vessels and bring you much needed relief. And there are protective products to ease the suffering of this sensitive area.

There are quite a few other products out there as well that this article doesn’t mention. So you have a number of choices for hemorrhoid relief.

If your hemorrhoids bother you, be sure to check with your doctor to find the treatment that will work most effectively in your case.