Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum and anus. They are a normal part of the anatomy and are located at the junction where small arteries merge into veins. Hemorrhoids are usually caused by increased pressure due to pregnancy, being overweight, or straining during bowel movements.
About 50 percent of adults experienced the symptoms of hemorrhoids by the age of 50 which include rectal pain, itching, bleeding, and possibly prolapse (hemorrhoids that protrude through the anal canal). Many women get hemorrhoids during pregnancy and childbirth. The pressure of carrying a baby in your belly puts extra stress on the blood vessels in your pelvic area. Straining to push the baby out when giving birth also puts extra pressure on these blood vessels.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF HEMORRHOIDS?
There are mainly three types of hemorrhoids:
- INTERNAL HEMORRHOIDS: involve the veins inside your rectum(found inside the rectum). Internal hemorrhoids usually don’t hurt but they may bleed painlessly.
- PROLAPSED HEMORRHOIDS: may stretch down until they bulge outside your anus. A prolapsed hemorrhoid may go back inside your rectum on its own. Or you can gently push it back inside. or you can say that it’s more severe and painful form of internal hemorrhoids.
- EXTERNAL HEMORRHOIDS: involve the veins outside the anus. They can be itchy or painful and can sometimes crack and bleed. they are more like small hemorrhages (bleeds) under the skin around the anus. They feel like hard lumps.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF HEMORRHOIDS?
Experts and scientists aren’t sure yet what causes hemorrhoids, but here are the most possible factors that triggers this situation
- Straining during bowel movements
- Sitting for long periods of time on the toilet
- Having chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Being obese
- Being pregnant,(enlarging uterus presses on the veins).
- Having anal intercourse
- Eating a low-fiber diet
- Regular heavy lifting
- (Heredity)A family history of hemorrhoids
- Weakening of the supporting tissues in your anus and rectum. This can happen with aging
- Faulty bowel function due to overuse of laxatives or enemas
- Holding your breath while straining to do physical labor
At the same More recent studies shows 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).
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HEMORRHOIDS?
It is not necessary that hemorrhoids show any symptoms, so you may not realize that you have them.
Any of the following may be a sign of hemorrhoids:
- Extreme itching around the anus
- Irritation and pain around the anus
- Protrusion of skin during bowel movements
- Sensitive lump(s)
- One or more hard, tender lumps near your anus
- Itchy or painful lump or swelling near your anus
- Fecal leakage
- Bright red blood in your stool, on toilet paper, or in your toilet bowl
- Painful bowel movements
- Blood on your tissue after having a bowel movement
Although hemorrhoids are painful, they aren’t life-threatening and often go away on their own without treatment. If you have them often, you may develop symptoms of anemia, such as weakness and pale skin due to blood loss, though this is rare.
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF HEMORRHOIDS?
In rare cases, hemorrhoids may cause other problems. These may include:
- Having a low blood count that makes you tired (anemia). This can happen because of bleeding from a long-term or chronic hemorrhoid.
- Blood flow being cut off from hemorrhoid that is sticking out (prolapsed). This can happen when the blood supply to the hemorrhoid is cut off. This can be very painful and cause bleeding. You may need surgery.
WHEN SHOULD I SEEK A DOCTOR’S HELP?
You should seek a doctor’s help if you
- Still have symptoms after 1 week of at-home treatment
- Have bleeding from your rectum, Hemorrhoids are a common cause of bleeding, but other conditions can also cause bleeding. They include Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer, and anal cancer. So it’s important to see your provider to find the cause of the bleeding.
HOW ARE HEMORRHOIDS DIAGNOSED?
- PHYSICAL EXAMINATION: This is done to check your anus and rectum and look for swollen blood vessels that are a sign of hemorrhoids.
- MEDICAL HISTORY: your doctor may ask you to provide your medical history, about your symptoms, lifestyle pattern such as to eating habits, toilet habits, enema and laxative use, and current medical conditions.
- DIGITAL EXAMINATION: Your doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum. He or she feels for anything unusual, such as growths.
- VISUAL EXAMINATION: Because internal hemorrhoids are often too soft to be felt during a rectal exam, your doctor might examine the lower portion of your colon and rectum with an anoscope, proctoscope, or sigmoidoscope.
HOW CAN YOU TREAT HEMORRHOIDS AT HOME?
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, others), aspirin, or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) temporarily to help relieve your discomfort.
Some individuals can have single hemorrhoid while others have ongoing hemorrhoids throughout life. Most hemorrhoids completely resolve within a week or so. Maintaining adequate intake of dietary fiber, drinking plenty of water, avoiding abdominal strain, and getting regular moderate exercise might help to avoid the recurrence of hemorrhoids.
Here is a special video for you, do watch and share awareness about defecation and always go to the clean toilets to defecate. stay safe, stay healthy.