Treatment and prevention of haemorrhoids

When we talk about haemorrhoids, we usually associate this concept with the appearance of a series of specific symptoms such as (itching, pain, swelling, stinging and/or bleeding). In reality, however, haemorrhoids are present in everyone’s anatomy, whether or not they exhibit these symptoms.1-3

Haemorrhoids are the blood vessels that are located in the rectum and anus. Their function, in addition to irrigating this region of our body, is to assist in defecation and the containment of faeces.2 The symptoms appear when these blood vessels and their adjacent tissues become inflamed or dilated.3-5

Causes include: straining when defecating, especially in patients with chronic constipation; standing or sitting for long periods of time, which hinders blood return; excess weight; and the effort of childbirth and the pressure of the uterus on the perianal area in pregnant women.2

Is there anything I can do to prevent haemorrhoids from appearing?

It is not always possible to prevent the appearance of haemorrhoids. They not only depend on external factors, but also include a hereditary component of genetic predisposition.5 In other words, if your father or mother suffers or has suffered from haemorrhoids, it is more likely that you will also have to deal with them.

Steps can be taken, however, to prevent or at least delay their onset, such as avoiding excess weight and leading a healthy lifestyle with a diet that avoids constipation (drinking plenty of fluids and including foods that are rich in fibre).5 It also helps to defecate in a calm way, trying not to make great efforts and without exerting excessive pressure when wiping with paper, and better yet, to wash with water or use wipes.3,5


Coffee, alcohol, tobacco and spicy foods may trigger the hemorrhoidal symptoms. You should therefore be careful with their consumption, especially if you have a predisposition to suffering from haemorrhoids.3 When having to stay in the same position for a long time, for example, for work, it is advisable to move around and take a short walk at least every hour.3

Should I avoid exercise if I suffer from haemorrhoids?

If you have haemorrhoids, sports should not be avoided. The Spanish Society of Family and Community Pharmacies recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day, at least five days a week.3 It is true, however, that there are certain activities, such as cycling or horse riding that should be exercised with caution, for obvious reasons.3

Treatment for haemorrhoids

In addition to applying the same hygienic-dietary measures recommended to prevent the appearance of haemorrhoids, it is recommended to take sitz baths with warm water for 10-15 minutes after bowel movements.6

Other pharmacological treatments exist, available as pills and tablets, or creams and ointments.


  1. Fundación Española del Aparato Digestivo. HEMORROIDES Y FISURA ANAL. SÍNTOMAS. Available at: https://www.saludigestivo.es/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/B-Sintomas-Hemorroides-y-Fisura-Anal.pdf. Last accessed May 2022
  2. Fundación Española del Aparato Digestivo. HEMORROIDES Y FISURA ANAL. CONCEPTO Y CAUSAS. Available at: https://www.saludigestivo.es/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/A-Hemorroides-y-Fisura-Anal-min.pdf. Last accessed May 2022
  3. Sociedad Española de Farmacia Comunitaria. Consejos para prevenir y tratar las hemorroides. Available at: https://www.sefac.org/system/files/2020-04/SEF_FichaHemorroides_Abril2020_v.pdf. Last accessed May 2022
  4. Alonso-Coello P, Marzo-Castillejo M, Mascort JJ, et al. Guía de práctica clínica sobre el manejo de las hemorroides y la fisura anal (actualización 2007). 2008;31:668-681
  5. Sociedad Española de Medicina Interna (SEMI). Hemorroides. Available at: https://www.fesemi.org/informacion-pacientes/conozca-mejor-su-enfermedad/hemorroides. Last accessed May 2022
  6. Fundación Española del Aparato Digestivo. HEMORROIDES Y FISURA ANAL. TRATAMIENTO. Available at: https://www.saludigestivo.es/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/D-Tratamiento-Hemorroides-y-Fisura-Anal.pdf. Last accessed May 2022

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