What Are Hemorrhoids ?
Hemorrhoids are the medical term used for describing “Piles”. The veins of the anus and rectum area become swollen due to excess of strain caused by pushing the bowels. Some women will develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy owing to the inbuilt pressure on the veins of the anus due to bulging uterus. Taking too much time to pass stool and putting too much strain is the main cause for hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids can be external if the swelling and inflammation takes place on the skin in and around the anus and it is said to be internal if they are found inside the rectum. External hemorrhoids are painful and irritating and internal hemorrhoids mostly do not cause pain. As one grows older it is quite common to develop hemorrhoids which can cause itching and discomfort around the anus. More than half of the adults are likely to get piles at some point of their lives. Hemorrhoids can be managed easily by over the counter remedies and by small changes in lifestyle.
Some of the common signs of having hemorrhoids are bloody discharge while passing bowels, itching and discomfort on the anus. It is common to see blood stains on the toilet paper if you push too much to make bowel movements. The area around the anal region will develop swelling and itching. It can also cause painful lump or lesions on the anus. It becomes difficult to clean the anus due to pain.
For some people, internal hemorrhoids are pushed outside due to excess of strain while passing stools. This protrudes through the anus causing pain and irritation. If you experience any pain/discomfort or bleeding while passing stools, it can be due to hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are caused when the veins surrounding the anus are stretched too far due to pressure caused while making bowel movements. The veins become swollen when you sit too long on the toilet. Constipation (persistent) and diarrhea can also cause hemorrhoids. Taking very low fiber diet can cause constipation and swollen veins of the anus. For some people, obesity or having anal intercourse often can cause this problem.
If hemorrhoids are present for too long time, it can lead to anemia (blood loss for prolonged period). In rare cases blood supply may stop totally to the internal hemorrhoids causing tissue death. In such cases it has to be removed immediately.
Your doctor can diagnose hemorrhoids if they are external by mere physical exam. But for detecting internal ones, your doctor will have to use special devices like sigmoidoscope or anoscope which gives clear idea about the condition of the anus and rectum.
Often, swelling of veins around the anus will improve if you make small changes in lifestyle and diet. Only on severe cases hemorrhoids have to be treated using surgery. Over the counter lotions, creams and suppositories are available for managing mild hemorrhoids. But remember you can use them only temporarily for getting relief from the symptoms. Continued use of these pads can cause skin rash and trigger more inflammation on the area.
For treating external hemorrhoids your doctor might use minimal procedure and can be completed on office desk. He would gently make small incision on the area to remove the bulging tissues from the rectum or anus. He would tie the hemorrhoids using tiny rubber bands so that blood supply is cut off. Subsequently the hemorrhoids would fall off in few days. This process is known as rubber band ligation and is very effective. This procedure can cause slight discomfort and the area may bleed for one or two days.
Sclerotherapy is the process in which chemical compounds are used to shrink the hemorrhoids. Your doctor would give you a shot of this compound on the affected area. Laser therapy or light therapy or heat therapy are also used for treating hemorrhoids. These are called coagulation techniques which are easy but the chances of getting hemorrhoids are more in this method.
For severe cases and large sized hemorrhoids surgical removal is done. Depending on the case, the surgeon may use local anesthesia or spinal anesthesia to serve off the hemorrhoids from the rectum. This procedure is called hemorrhoidectomy during which excess growth of the tissue is removed. This is the only method of removing hemorrhoids permanently. You may be asked to stay one night in the hospital. Recovery is fast and painkillers are given to manage the pain or discomfort. Stapled hemorrhoidopexy is another procedure in which the bulging growth of the tissues is stapled to block the blood flow.
Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Hemorrhoids :
Hemorrhoids Home Remedies
- You can use creams or ointments for treating mild form of hemorrhoids.
- If there is pain or discomfort due to hemorrhoids you can soak the anal region in warm water for few minutes.
- Alternatively you can use sitz bath that is available on the drugstore.
- Keep the anal area clean and dry. Do not apply soap on the anus since it can trigger rash and inflammation. You can apply hair dryer on the area after taking bath to keep it dry.
- If there is swelling and pain you can apply ice packs on the area to get quick relief.
- If you the symptoms are not improving in a week, you need to visit your doctor for medical treatment.
You can prevent getting hemorrhoids by eating high fiber diet and drinking plenty of water. This helps in moving stools fast and you should not strain or apply pressure to push it out. Fiber supplements are always available in the stores and you can take them regularly to prevent constipation. A healthy man may require about 35-40 gm of fiber and a woman would need 25-30 gm of fiber daily. These are effective in keeping the stools soft. Don’t apply too much pressure on the rectum or anus while passing stools. This can cause inflammation of the veins. Do regular exercises and eat healthy diet.