What Are Hemorrhoids and Why Do They Hurt So Much?
Almost everyone knows that hemorrhoids are painful and embarrassing, but a surprisingly small number of people actually know much about them. This uncomfortable problem can even go for long periods without treatment because patients don't understand what is happening to their bodies. While treating hemorrhoids is actually fairly easy, deciding to go to the doctor can be a much more difficult situation. The method gets easier if you know more about your system and how hemorrhoids affect it, however. Here's a look at what hemorrhoids are, that they produce and what can be done to make them easier to deal with.
What is a Hemorrhoid?
Hemorrhoids are also known as piles, and take the form of small growths or bumps in the anus and the lower part of the rectum. Even though they may look like polyps or other extra tissue, they are actually a normal part of the body. A hemorrhoid is actually a vein that helps with elimination. When you feel constipated as well as stress to complete a bowel motion or when a pregnancy puts more pressure on these veins, they will can become inflamed or painful or itches. This pressure causes the hemorrhoid to swell up considerably. It can even begin to bleed, producing bright red marks on toilet paper or even in toilet bowl water.
Some Hemorrhoids are Internal, and Develop Inside the Rectum
Others develop under the skin just around the anus and are considered exterior hemorrhoids. About half of people will have to deal with these unpleasant inflamed veins by the time they reach the age of 50, and many people do not understand that developing hemorrhoids is actually quite regular. Fortunately, there are many different ways to deal with both the symptoms of hemorrhoids and the redness itself.
Common Piles Symptoms
Many people who have hemorrhoids don't even know that they have them. One of the most common signs that someone is suffering from this condition is painless bleeding when they have a bowel movement. The bright red bloodstream in the toilet bowel or perhaps on the tissue may be alarming, yet it doesn't actually indicate a problem. You might also have irritation or itching around your own anus. In many people, this discomfort ultimately gets painful.
People With External Hemorrhoids, a Swelling May Appear Around the Rectum
This can be surprising and alarming to people who do not know what it is. These lumps might be mistaken for tumors, abscesses or other problems. If the lump interferes with the natural muscles around this area, that may cause waste to accidentally leak out of the rectum, which is often uncomfortable. In some cases, external hemorrhoids may be pushed out of the body throughout a bowel movement, causing what is known as a prolapsed hemorrhoid. These are especially likely to become unpleasant. If you suffer from any of these problems, it's a good idea to see a doctor for help.
Anatomy of Prolapse and hemorrhoids
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Complications of Hemorrhoids
Some people with piles symptoms eventually develop more serious problems when their hemorrhoids go untreated. These types of are not very common, but can include anemia from internal hemorrhoids that bleed heavily, as well as strangulation. Strangulated hemorrhoids occur when an internal hemorrhoid loses its blood supply, leading to severe pain and eventually gangrene. It's important to have a strangulated hemorrhoid treated at once.
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The process of diagnosing hemorrhoids is normally fairly straightforward. The doctor will examine the affected area as well as could use a gloved hand to be able to gently check for swelling and other unconventional changes in the body. In some cases, a lighted scope may be used to perform a visual examination. People who have piles symptoms and are over the age of 50 may also have some other tests performed to eliminate the risk of issues such as rectal or colon cancer.
While hemorrhoids can be upsetting and confusing for many people, treating them is actually fairly straightforward. Doctors have many different options to help patients feel better. Some hemorrhoid treatments include over the counter medications to relieve pain and itching, as well as removal of the hemorrhoid. Doctors may choose to relieve piles symptoms by giving you a suppository, sleeping pad or ointment if you suffer from mild discomfort only. If the hemorrhoids result in a lot more significant problems, they could use a rubber band, chemical injection or laser technique to make the hemorrhoid to fall off. In more severe cases, the particular hemorrhoid could be surgically removed or stapled.
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Natural and Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids are Also Available
For instance, some people apply witch hazel to be able to the problem area to relieve discomfort. People choose to soak in a warm bath for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times every day. Using moist towelettes instead of dry toilet paper can help in some situations. In some cases, cold compresses and ice packs can help relieve the swelling. These treatments work best for relatively mild hemorrhoids, but they can be a big help for people who can't get to a doctor right away.
People who don't yet suffer from the discomfort of hemorrhoids have some options in order to reduce the risk of this problem developing in the future. It's important to eat a diet high in fiber that will reduce the risk of constipation. It is also a good idea to avoid straining during a bowel movement. Increased pressure on the veins raises the risk of irritation down the road. You should also avoid sitting on the toilet for long periods of time.
To keep yourself from getting hemorrhoids, make sure you drink a lot of fluids and utilize the rest room as soon as you feel the impulse to have a bowel movement. "Holding it" can result in greater problems later on. Regular exercise and moving around at the job can also be a big help. Long periods of sitting or standing can result in pressure problems that lead to irritation later on.
People who suffer from chronic constipation or diarrhea associated with illness or intestinal disorders are at a higher risk for hemorrhoids, as are obese people, who may have difficulty with normal bowels. Pregnancy greatly increases the risk of this problem, since the changes that occur while carrying a baby put a lot of pressure on the lower intestines. People who engage in anal intercourse are also somewhat more likely to have hemorrhoids than people who don't, because of the increased potential for irritation. Your chances of suffering from this problem boost if anyone in your family has had hemorrhoids. In addition they go up as you age, since the tissues responsible for supporting the veins turn out to be weaker over time.
Hemorrhoids can be upsetting and distressing, especially if you allow them to go untreated. They are very common, however, and in many cases are considered a normal part of aging. If you suffer from itching, bleeding or some other signs of irritated veins, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor right away. He or she can help you find the right remedy for your circumstances and symptoms. You could feel a lot better in just a short time. Don't wait and allow your hemorrhoids to become more uncomfortable or produce unpleasant side effects. Deal with the problem as soon as you think you might have it.
- Helena is the editor at a Hemocyl website.
- You can see a detailed list of piles symptoms included in Helena's most recent Hemocyl Review.