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What are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids, which is also known as piles are swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum or anus. The typical symptoms are pain, itching and sometimes bleeding around the anal area. Treatment normally involves non-prescription ointments, home treatments and lifestyle changes. If Hemorrhoids don’t start to clear up you, maybe require to see a doctor and, in some cases, minor surgery. 



Causes of Hemorrhoids


Hemorrhoids are caused by an increase in pressure in the lower rectum.

  • A strain during bowel movements
  • When you sit for long periods of time, especially on the toilet
  • Severe constipation or diarrhea that lasts for a long time
  • When you are overweight or obese
  • Pregnancy
  • When you have anal intercourse
  • A low-fiber diet
  • A spinal cord injury
  • Poor posture. 

Hemorrhoids are very common and mostly happens in most people at some stage during their lives. They mostly occur later in life, and this is due to age-related weakening and stretching of the tissues that are supporting the veins in the rectum.

 
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids


Usually, Hemorrhoids are mild and sometimes it doesn’t cause symptoms. When there are symptoms, these usually include: 

  • Bleeding in the stool
  • An itchy bottom 
  • A lump hanging down outside the anus, this lump may need to be pushed back in after passing a stool

The symptoms of pile often go away on its own after a few days. Some people don’t know that they have Hemorrhoids; this is because they do not experience any symptoms. When symptoms do occur they may include:

  • Bleeding after passing a stool
  • Itchiness around the anus
  • A lump hanging outside of the anus, which may need to be pushed back in after passing a stool
  • Mucus discharge after passing a stool
  • Soreness, redness and swelling around your anus

 

Prevention


Haemorrhoid symptoms often go away after a few days without treatment. Hemorrhoids also occur during pregnancy but gets better after you give birth.

Making changes in your life to stop the strain on the blood vessels and around your anus is often recommended. These can include:

  • Slowly increase the fibre in your diet – fibre includes fruit, vegetables, wholegrain rice, whole wheat pasta, bread, seeds, nuts and oats
  • Drinking plenty of water, try to avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Not waiting to go to the toilet – ignoring the urge to urinate can make your stools harder and drier and can lead to straining when you do go to the toilet
  • Avoiding medication that causes constipation, such as painkillers that contain codeine
  • Losing weight if you are overweight
  • Exercising regularly – this will reduce your blood pressure and help you lose weight


Diagnosis of Hemorrhoids


A visual inspection will allow your physician to see if you have external Hemorrhoids. Tests and procedures to diagnose internal Hemorrhoids should include:

  • A digital rectal examination; your doctor insert a lubricated gloved finger into your rectum to feel if there is anything unusual, such as growths.
  • Inspecting your anal canal and rectum using a viewing device such as an anoscope, proctoscope or sigmoidoscope

A colonoscopy will be used to do a longer examination of the entire bowel (colon) if the signs and symptoms look as if you might have another digestive system disease, or you have risk factors for colorectal cancer.


 

Treatment


Hemorrhoids can usually be self-treated. If it is more severe or repeat cases, you may require medication or surgical procedure. Hemorrhoids can appear again after treatment; hence, they are controlled rather than cured.

Self-treatment 

Home treatments include: 

  • Use non-prescription haemorrhoid ointments, creams, suppositories, or pads containing a mild corticosteroid
  • Soak the anal area in warm water for about 10 to 15 minutes two or even three times a day
  • You may use stool softeners; this will help stools to be passed more easily
  • Need to make sure that the anal area is always clean by bathing or showering daily, soap doesn’t need to be used, and the affected area can be dried with a hair dryer
  • Use moist wet toilet paper or wet wipes to help keep the anal area clean after passing a stool

Non-surgical and surgical procedures 

For external haemorrhoid, a clot may have formed, prompt relief can be obtained from your doctor performing a small cut to remove the clot.

For continuous bleeding or painful Hemorrhoids, the following non-surgical procedures may be done to eliminate the haemorrhoid and this procedure can be performed in a doctor’s office:

  • Rubber band ligation, this method includes a rubber band to cut off the blood supply to the haemorrhoid causing it to get smaller and die
  • Injection (sclerotherapy), involves injecting a substance into the haemorrhoid to make it harder and shrink
  • Laser coagulation, this is a type of heat treatment, which causes the haemorrhoid to harden and shrivel.
  • If non-surgical procedures are not helpful or if the Hemorrhoids are a little too large, one of the following surgical procedures may be needed:
    • Haemorrhoidectomy – The haemorrhoid is removed with a scalpel or laser
    • Haemorrhoid stapling – The haemorrhoid is removed with a special staple gun that inserts a ring of staples that closes the wound and prevent bleeding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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