Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are defined as swollen veins in the lower rectum and anus.
What are the types of hemorrhoids?
There are four types of hemorrhoids which include:
This type of hemorrhoids is found in the rectum. They grow deep in the anus; therefore often invisible.
Stool moving through the rectum can also cause irritation of internal hemorrhoids.
Here are the symptoms of internal hemorrhoids:
- Pain or discomfort
- Noticeable swelling or lumps around the anus burning sensation
- External hemorrhoids
- External hemorrhoids grow on the anus on the surface where stool comes out.
They are usually not visible, but are seen as lumps on the surface of the anus. The symptoms of external hemorrhoids are the same as those of internal hemorrhoids.
Considering that they are located outside the rectal area, you will feel more discomfort or pain when doing physical activities, sitting or having a bowel movement.
A prolapsed hemorrhoid occurs when internal hemorrhoids protrude from the anus. There are different degrees of prolapsed hemorrhoid depending on how far it has protruded.
Protruding hemorrhoids may have no symptoms other than protrusions, or they may cause discomfort or pain, burning, or itching.
A thrombosed hemorrhoid includes a blood clot around the hemorrhoid tissue. They appear as swelling or lumps around the anus.
The blood clot can occur in both external and internal hemorrhoids, and the following symptoms may be:
- Swelling and redness
- Severe pain and itching
- Blush color around hemorrhoid area
What causes hemorrhoids?
The veins around the anus stretch under pressure and tend to swell or bulge. Hemorrhoids usually develop from excessive pressure in the lower rectum due to:
- Sit on the toilet for a long time
- Congestion during bowel movements
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- To be pregnant
- To be overweight
- Eat a diet low in fiber
Regular heavy lifting
Age increases the risk of hemorrhoids. This is because the tissue that supports the veins in the rectum and anus tends to stretch and weaken.
It can also happen when you are pregnant because the weight of the baby puts pressure on the anal area.
What are the complications associated with hemorrhoids?
Although complications from hemorrhoids are rare, they can include Some of the complications associated with hemorrhoids include:
If hemorrhoids cause excessive bleeding, they can deprive red blood cells of oxygen. This can lead to shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, and headaches because the blood supply carries a low amount of oxygen throughout the body.
The arteries that supply fresh blood to the hemorrhoids may be blocked. This can prevent the blood supply from reaching the hemorrhoids. Afterward, you may feel intense and unbearable pain.
Bacteria can enter the hemorrhoids which bleed and lead to tissue infection. Untreated infections can lead to serious complications, including abscesses, fever, and tissue death.
This can be a complication of external hemorrhoids. A blood clot can lead to severe itching and unbearable pain.
Accumulated hemorrhoids can cause discomfort or pain when passing stool or sitting.
How are hemorrhoids diagnosed?
Depending on your symptoms, doctors may perform one or more of the following tests to examine the rectal or anal area for hemorrhoids:
Look at the rectum or anus for signs of hemorrhoids:
A doctor can easily diagnose prolapsed internal hemorrhoids or external hemorrhoids through proper visual examination.
Perform a digital rectal exam:
In this diagnostic process, the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum or anus to check for any signs of hemorrhoids.
Using diagnostic imaging:
The doctor will use diagnostic imaging to examine the rectum to look for signs of internal hemorrhoids. This usually involves inserting a thin, light tube into the end of the rectum. The doctor may use a sigmoidoscopy or anoscope for this diagnosis.
How are hemorrhoids treated?
Treatment for hemorrhoids can vary depending on the type, severity, or degree of prolapse. Here are some remedies you can try if the symptoms are not too severe:
You can reduce pain by taking certain pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Using over-the-counter hemorrhoids –
To relieve pain or swelling, you can choose a hemorrhoid cream with lidocaine or witch hazel.
Sit in warm water –
You can either use a sitz bath or fill a tub with warm water and sit in it for 10-15 minutes.
Use a cold compress –
Using a cold compress can help relieve swelling and pain.
In some cases, hemorrhoids may need to be removed to protect against any long-term complications. Procedures used to remove hemorrhoids include:
- Infrared coagulation
- Rubber band ligation
How to prevent hemorrhoids?
The most effective way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep stools soft so they pass effortlessly. To reduce symptoms or prevent hemorrhoids; you can follow the advice:
- Eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. This will soften the stools and increase their bulk. This can help you avoid the strain that causes hemorrhoids. Include more fiber in your diet to avoid gas issues.
- Drink at least six to eight glasses of water and other liquids.
- Straining and holding your breath during bowel movements can cause a lot of pressure in the veins.
- Stay active to prevent constipation and reduce excessive pressure on the veins. Exercise can help you lose weight, which can lead to hemorrhoids.
- Sitting too long, especially on the toilet, can increase tension on the veins in the anus.
- If you wait to pass stools and the urge goes away, the stools may dry out and become more difficult to pass.
Above is all the vital information about hemorrhoids. If you experience the symptoms, be sure to see a doctor to reduce the risk of complications.
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