Hemorrhoids – Symptoms Causes Treatment

Hemorrhoids also called piles are very common health condition.Here we will present to you what are the causes,symptoms and treatment for hemorrhoids.

Everyone has hemorrhoids (or piles), the pillow-like clusters of veins that lie just beneath the mucous membranes lining the lowest part of the rectum and the anus. The condition most of us call hemorrhoids (or piles) develops when those veins become swollen and distended, like varicose veins in the legs.

Hemorrhoids can develop inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids) or under the skin around the anus (external hemorrhoids).

Nearly three out of four adults will have hemorrhoids from time to time. Hemorrhoids have a number of causes, but often the cause is unknown.

External hemorrhoids are the most uncomfortable, because the overlying skin becomes irritated and erodes. If a blood clot forms inside an external hemorrhoid, the pain can be sudden and severe. You might feel or see a lump around the anus. The clot usually dissolves, leaving excess skin (a skin tag), which may itch or become irritated.

Internal hemorrhoids are typically painless, even when they produce bleeding. You might, for example, see bright red blood on the toilet paper or dripping into the toilet bowl. Internal hemorrhoids may also prolapse, or extend beyond the anus, causing several potential problems. When a hemorrhoid protrudes, it can collect small amounts of mucus and tiny stool particles that may cause an irritation called pruritus ani. Wiping constantly to try to relieve the itching can worsen the problem.

What causes hemorrhoids?

Traditionally, hemorrhoids are associated with chronic constipation, straining during bowel movements, and prolonged sitting on the toilet — all of which interfere with blood flow to and from the area, causing it to pool and enlarge the vessels. This also explains why hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy, when the enlarging uterus presses on the veins.

Related: How To Use Olive Oil To Relieve Constipation

More recent studies show that patients with hemorrhoids tend to have a higher resting anal canal tone — that is, the smooth muscle of the anal canal tends to be tighter than average (even when not straining). Constipation adds to these troubles, because straining during a bowel movement increases pressure in the anal canal and pushes the hemorrhoids against the sphincter muscle. Finally, the connective tissues that support and hold hemorrhoids in place can weaken with age, causing hemorrhoids to bulge and prolapse.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids usually depend on the type of hemorrhoid.

External hemorrhoids

These are under the skin around your anus. Signs and symptoms might include:

  • Itching or irritation in your anal region
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Swelling around your anus
  • Bleeding
  • Internal hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids

You usually can’t see or feel them, and they rarely cause discomfort. But straining or irritation when passing stool can cause:

  • Painless bleeding during bowel movements. You might notice small amounts of bright red blood on your toilet tissue or in the toilet.
  • A hemorrhoid to push through the anal opening (prolapsed or protruding hemorrhoid), resulting in pain and irritation.

Thrombosed hemorrhoids

If blood pools in an external hemorrhoid and forms a clot (thrombus), it can result in:

  • Severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • A hard lump near your anus
Risk factors

As you age, your risk of hemorrhoids increases. That’s because the tissues that support the veins in your rectum and anus can weaken and stretch. This can also happen when you’re pregnant, because the baby’s weight puts pressure on the anal region.

Complications

Complications of hemorrhoids are rare but include:

  • Anemia. Rarely, chronic blood loss from hemorrhoids may cause anemia, in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your cells.
  • Strangulated hemorrhoid. If the blood supply to an internal hemorrhoid is cut off, the hemorrhoid may be “strangulated,” which can cause extreme pain.
  • Blood clot. Occasionally, a clot can form in a hemorrhoid (thrombosed hemorrhoid). Although not dangerous, it can be extremely painful and sometimes needs to be lanced and drained.
Treatment

Home remedies

You can often relieve the mild pain, swelling and inflammation of hemorrhoids with home treatments.

Eat high-fiber foods. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Doing so softens the stool and increases its bulk, which will help you avoid the straining that can worsen symptoms from existing hemorrhoids. Add fiber to your diet slowly to avoid problems with gas.

Use topical treatments. Apply an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream or suppository containing hydrocortisone, or use pads containing witch hazel or a numbing agent.

Soak regularly in a warm bath or sitz bath. Soak your anal area in plain warm water for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a day. A sitz bath fits over the toilet.

Take oral pain relievers. You can use acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil) temporarily to help relieve your discomfort.

With these treatments, hemorrhoid symptoms often go away within a week. See your doctor in a week if you don’t get relief, or sooner if you have severe pain or bleeding.

Medications

If your hemorrhoids produce only mild discomfort, your doctor might suggest over-the-counter creams, ointments, suppositories or pads. These products contain ingredients such as witch hazel, or hydrocortisone and lidocaine, which can temporarily relieve pain and itching.

Don’t use an over-the-counter steroid cream for more than a week unless directed by your doctor because it can thin your skin.

Prevention

The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep your stools soft, so they pass easily. To prevent hemorrhoids and reduce symptoms of hemorrhoids, follow these tips:

Eat high-fiber foods. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Doing so softens the stool and increases its bulk, which will help you avoid the straining that can cause hemorrhoids. Add fiber to your diet slowly to avoid problems with gas.

Drink plenty of fluids. Drink six to eight glasses of water and other liquids (not alcohol) each day to help keep stools soft.

Consider fiber supplements. Most people don’t get enough of the recommended amount of fiber — 20 to 30 grams a day — in their diet. Studies have shown that over-the-counter fiber supplements, such as psyllium (Metamucil) or methylcellulose (Citrucel), improve overall symptoms and bleeding from hemorrhoids.

You can buy your fiber supplements from Amazon here.

If you use fiber supplements, be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water or other fluids every day. Otherwise, the supplements can cause or worsen constipation.

Don’t strain. Straining and holding your breath when trying to pass a stool creates greater pressure in the veins in the lower rectum.
Go as soon as you feel the urge. If you wait to pass a bowel movement and the urge goes away, your stool could dry out and be harder to pass.

Exercise. Stay active to help prevent constipation and to reduce pressure on veins, which can occur with long periods of standing or sitting. Exercise can also help you lose excess weight that might be contributing to your hemorrhoids.
Avoid long periods of sitting. Sitting too long, particularly on the toilet, can increase the pressure on the veins in the anus.

Conclusion: Hemorrhoids can be prevented by changing lifestyle and adding healthy food and drinks to your diet.If you have problem with hemorrhoids try using these home remedies mentioned above.If the problem doesn’t go away ask your doctor for medications.

References:  mayoclinic.org    health.harvard.edu

How to get rid of hemorrhoids
Symptoms,causes and treatment for hemorrhoids

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