Treatments for internal hemorrhoids typically begin with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter remedies, but may progress to more invasive medical and even surgical techniques. For many people, hemorrhoid symptoms can be managed by making dietary changes and using topical anti-inflammatory creams. In cases where these treatments for internal hemorrhoids do not provide adequate relief, medical intervention may be necessary. Doctors may begin treatment with so-called fixative procedures that cut off circulation to the hemorrhoid, but may need to resort to the surgical cutting away of hemorrhoids that do not respond to other types of treatment. Individuals who are experiencing rectal pain or bleeding should always seek medical attention, as these symptoms can be signs of far more serious conditions, such as cancer.
Individuals with internal hemorrhoids are often instructed by health care professionals to begin treatment by reducing constipation, which can lead to the straining that causes the development of hemorrhoids. For example, a hemorrhoid suffer may be instructed to drink more water, get more fiber in his diet, and, if necessary, take fiber supplements. In some cases, over-the-counter treatments for constipation may be recommended, including stool softeners. In addition to these dietary changes, he may be told to seek relief through the use of over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams. Some of these creams can be used internally through the use of a special nozzle that can be inserted into the rectum.
If these conservative treatments for internal hemorrhoids do not work, a doctor may advise a course of treatment that can cause the hemorrhoids to eventually shrink and drop off. One common type of treatment is the rubber band ligation, in which elastic bands are placed around the hemorrhoids in order to cut off blood flow. Other options include infrared coagulation, in which some type of heat source, including laser, is used to damage the hemorrhoid tissue, which again limits circulation. Finally, a doctor may inject fluid into the hemorrhoids, which causes a similar effect of reducing circulation such that the hemorrhoids eventually dissipate.
It is possible to obtain surgical treatments for internal hemorrhoids, though this option is generally reserved for cases in which a person does not respond to nonsurgical treatment and her symptoms are severe enough to warrant surgery. Surgical treatments carry with them more danger, more expense, and a longer recovery time. As such, nonsurgical treatments are typically recommended for individuals who are elderly or have health concerns in order to prevent complications and further threat to a patient's health.