If you think back to the times you were with a cough, especially for a long and extended period of time, you probably hate them. You can cough because of a simple cold, or more serious conditions like pleuritis or bronchitis, or because you swallowed some food or a bug in the wrong way. Whatever the reason is, coughing is an inevitable part of your life and there is not much you can do keep yourself cough-free forever. Even though being down with a cough is pretty bad on its own, it is much worse if you have hemorrhoids.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are veins in the lower part of the anus and rectum that get swollen when the walls of these veins get stretched and irritated due to various conditions. Hemorrhoids can be of 2 types, internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids are present inside the anus or lower rectum and external hemorrhoids are present outside the opening of the anus. 1 If the term hemorrhoids does not ring a bell, you may be more familiar with its common name piles.
Pregnant women are more likely to suffer from hemorrhoids and your likelihood of developing the condition increases as you age.23 Even though it is painful and unpleasant, it is easily treated and preventable. If you suspect you have hemorrhoids, you should get it diagnosed and treated as soon as possible because the quicker you treat your condition, the better your chances of healing completely.
How Coughs Worsen Hemorrhoids
When you cough, especially for a long period of time, it can exert a lot of pressure on your anus area. This added pressure in your anal area can result in the damage of the hemorrhoidal tissues. When you already have hemorrhoids, coughing can make your situation much worse than it already is.4 You may even end up suffering from intense pain in your anal area each time you cough. You have it much worse if you have internal hemorrhoids as coughing can cause the hemorrhoids to protrude out of your anus, thus progressing your hemorrhoids to the next stage. This stage is known as prolapsed hemorrhoids, which can get pretty bad, so you would want to avoid it at all costs.5
What You Should Do When You Have A Cough And Hemorrhoids At The Same Time
The first thing you should do when you develop a cough when you have hemorrhoids is to take a cough syrup. Your main aim should be to prevent the buildup of pressure in your anal area, which can end up making your situation much worse. You can try numbing the pain and reducing the swelling of the affected area by applying ice packs and cold compresses. Topical creams and ointments, which contain hydrocortisone, and pads, which contain hazel or a numbing agent, are easily available at any drug store. You can use them to ease the symptoms of your condition. When you have hemorrhoids, you have to be very careful not to aggravate your condition by irritating your hemorrhoids in any way. Always use moist towelettes to clean the area as dry toilet paper may aggravate your problem. Drink plenty of water and use stool softeners if you need to but do not strain yourself during bowel movements. You can also take painkillers to ease the discomfort.6
External hemorrhoid does not require any specific treatment unless it becomes acutely thrombosed and causes excessive discomfort. In many of the cases, simple measures help relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of external hemorrhoids. But if your condition is serious, you may need to visit the doctor, who may prescribe certain medications, treatment procedures, and even surgery to treat your condition.7
One of the most common treatment options for low-grade internal hemorrhoids is rubber band ligation. It is a technique in which an elastic rubber band is placed at the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off blood supply. When the hemorrhoid does not get enough nutrition and oxygen through the blood, it will shrink and fall off eventually. Another nonsurgical procedure you can opt for is sclerotherapy. In this procedure, a solution is injected into an internal hemorrhoid. This results in the production of a scar tissue, which will cut off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid.8
A surgery known as hemorrhoidectomy involves the complete removal of the affected hemorrhoidal tissues.9 This technique is generally prescribed for advanced or complicated hemorrhoids. If you have prolapsed hemorrhoids, the procedure may involve stapling, where the hemorrhoid is collected and tacked into one place. Such a procedure generally involves the use of anesthesia and the patient may or may not have to stay at the hospital depending on their condition. Make sure you get all the necessary tests done and be completely open with your doctor so that they can choose the best treatment option for you based on your symptoms and the severity of your condition.
|↑1, ↑5||Hemorrhoids. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑2||Staroselsky, Arthur, Alejandro A. Nava-Ocampo, Sabina Vohra, and Gideon Koren. “Hemorrhoids in pregnancy.” Canadian Family Physician 54, no. 2. 2008.|
|↑3||Hemorrhoids and what to do about them. Harvard Health Publishing.|
|↑4||Haemorrhoids (piles). National Health Services.|
|↑6||Treatment of Hemorrhoids. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.|
|↑7, ↑8||Lohsiriwat, Varut. “Treatment of hemorrhoids: A coloproctologist’s view.” World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 21, no. 31. 2015.|
|↑9||Hemorrhoidectomy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.|