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Health Tip: Treating Painful Hemorrhoids

Sometimes, a change in diet can help

(HealthDay News) -- Hemorrhoids are one of the most common ailments around. More than half of the U.S. population will develop hemorrhoids, usually after age 30. While millions of American currently suffer from hemorrhoids, they usually suffer in silence.

But, says American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery, mild symptoms can be relieved frequently by increasing the amount of fiber (for example, fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals) and fluids in the diet. Eliminating excessive straining reduces the pressure on hemorrhoids and helps prevent them from protruding. A sitz bath -- sitting in plain warm water for about 10 minutes -- can also provide some relief.

With these measures, the pain and swelling of many symptomatic hemorrhoids will decrease in two to seven days, and the firm lump should recede within four to six weeks.

However, in cases of severe, persistent pain, your physician may elect to remove the hemorrhoid with a small incision. Performed under local anesthesia as an outpatient, this procedure generally provides relief.

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