What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are commonly known as piles. They are swollen veins in the anus or the lower part of the rectum. The swelling happens when the blood vessels are stretched and the veins bulge. It is known as the varicose veins of the rectum and anus. It especially happens during poop as they get stretched and irritated. Rectal bleeding is one of the main side effects of hemorrhoids.
There are two types of hemorrhoids
- Internal: It develops inside the anus or rectum
- External: It happens outside the anus and is most common and troublesome
Irrespective of the Internal or external hemorrhoids it is extremely unpleasant and painful. They often go away on their own and even if it is a severe case, a gastroenterologist can Treat it effectively.
What are the Hemorrhoids Symptoms?
Most of the time hemorrhoids do not cause any symptoms and hence most of the people will not even know they have this condition. They may have:
- Pink bumps on the edge of the anus or coming out of the anus. These bumps may also look blue or purple and are usually moist.
- Extreme itching, discomfort, or pain around the anus
- Irritation or painful lumps near the anus
- Leakage of the fecal matter
- Bowel movements are painful
- Blood can be seen on the tissue paper or in the toilet after bowel movements.
Hemorrhoids are not considered dangerous and life-threatening but are extremely painful. In some rare cases, it can lead to blood loss and hence cause weakness, pale skin, or even anemia.
Who is at Risk of Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids Risk Factors include:
- Genetically passed from parent to child
- Commonly occurs during pregnancy. It can be due to hormonal changes that results in the swelling of blood vessels. It can also happen due to the pressure of the baby’s weight.
- As a person ages the chances of getting hemorrhoids increases
- Medical Causes like inflammatory bowel Diseases like chron’s Disease, and ulcerative colitis, ascites, and anal injury
- Lifestyle factors like poor hydration, low fiber diet, a diet rich in foods that cause constipation like fast food, cheese, chips, processed foods, etc can directly or indirectly increase chances
- Lack of regular exercise leads to loss of muscle tone and affecting gastrointestinal mobility.
- Obesity means the abdominal girth increases and that puts pressure on the pelvic floor muscles which result in hemorrhoids.
- Lifting heavy objects and constantly straining the body
- Frequent diarrhea
- Standing for too long without breaks
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids affect 3 out of 4 people and adults in the range of 45 to 65 are at a higher Risk than younger people. While even scientists are not able to find a concrete reason for why some people have this condition and others do not, there are certain factors that can cause hemorrhoids. These are:
- Straining the muscles during bowel movements stretches the walls of the blood vessels
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation leads to inflammation of the tissues of the anus and rectum
- A huge sneeze can also stretch and snap the blood vessels.
The above activities cause a strain on the blood vessels located in the hemorrhoid cushion. The strain on it leads to an increase in blood pressure and results in slippage of the blood vessels from the muscles that hold it.
Most people avoid seeing a hemorrhoids doctor as they feel embarrassed about it. People may fail to identify it unless it has been a problem earlier and see a doctor only when it worsens. By seeing a doctor when the initial Signs appear you get the right Diagnosis as well as Treatment. Moreover, hemorrhoids have Symptoms that are similar to other serious complications and hence getting a Diagnostic test is important.
Physical exam: A physical examination is done to diagnose this issue. It is done by checking inside and outside the anus. A rectal exam is the most common hemorrhoids test. This is the most common way to Diagnose hemorrhoids. In this, the physician will check the anus and the skin around the anus called the perianal area. A finger is inserted into the anus to determine if there are any internal hemorrhoids. For a more definite exam, any blood or mucus that is on the glove is given for further testing.
Anoscopy: An anoscope is used by rectum to check the internal of the rectum. The physician inserts a tube with a light to look at the internal structure and to check for hemorrhoids. This procedure may cause some discomfort but it does not last long.
Sigmoidoscopy: In this procedure, the doctor uses a sigmoidoscope which is a small camera into a tube to test for internal hemorrhoids. This tube is inserted into the rectum and the doctor gets a clear view of the hemorrhoids if any.
People who experience the above-mentioned symptoms should contact a doctor as rectal bleeding can also be caused due to anal cancer. If you also have dizziness and a fainting sensation then immediately go to emergency care. Additionally, polyps in the colon can also lead to pain and bleeding in adults over 50 years of age. The doctor may also ask for other tests to rule out inflammatory bowel Diseases as the cause of bleeding.
Treating hemorrhoids can be done at home or at a doctor’s office. Some of the treatment options are:
- Hemorrhoids medicine like creams, ointments, or even tablets for pain relief.
- Change in the diet which helps in relieving constipation and also softening of the stools which aid in healing. Fiber supplements are also prescribed to help in increasing fiber.
- Medical procedures for hemorrhoids cure need to be performed if the symptoms become severe. Some of them are injections, rubber band ligation, cauterization, or surgery if the internal hemorrhoids are large or the external hemorrhoids are highly uncomfortable.
If you are also suffering from hemorrhoids, contact our specialists at Cure.fit. They will offer the best course of action which is effective so that it does not come back.
How can Hemorrhoids be Prevented?
Some of the ways of Preventing hemorrhoids are:
- Nutrition: Eating foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables so that stools are soft. Drink plenty of fluids so that it reduces the chances of constipation.
- Toilet habits should include not over-straining while pooping as that can create pressure in blood vessels.
- Use the toilet as and when needed without waiting as the stool get drier when you wait longer.
- Maintaining a proper body weight as obesity increases the risk of hemorrhoids
- Have a healthy lifestyle with enough physical activity so that it helps regular bowel movements. Do not sit or stand for too long as it can apply pressure on the blood vessels and veins.