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Hemorrhoids are quite common than you may imagine. Surprised? You may commonly know it as Piles. Adults are susceptible to the condition at any time in their life. If you ignore it, then it causes you discomfort and pain. Some people affected with hemorrhoids get cured without any treatment. But, others need treatment for it to alleviate completely from the body. So, let’s know in detail about the condition. It will help you take the necessary action at the right time.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
The anus has veins located around it. The swelling of the veins or dilated blood vessels around the area or the lower rectum region is known as hemorrhoids. It is a common condition that affects at least 50% of the adults between the ages of 45-65. Therefore, you can experience swelling in the anus. Sometimes you may bleed along with other symptoms. Fortunately, it is a treatable condition.
You should never confuse it with fissures. If you see anal bleeding, then do not panic. All anal bleeding is not associated with hemorrhoids. The temporary injury (fissure) to the anal passage can result in bleeding. Hard stools are responsible for the issue. So, consult a doctor before taking any further step.
Classification Of Hemorrhoids
Depending on the location of the hemorrhoids, you can classify into different types. So, you can easily determine the type of piles.
As the name suggests, it occurs inside the rectum. The location of the piles makes it difficult to see or feel it. It causes you no pain or discomfort. But, constipation or straining to pass stool can result in severe irritation. Sometimes, it can damage the hemorrhoid surface. So, it causes bleeding. In occasional cases, the straining can push the internal hemorrhoids. It comes out through the anal passage resulting in discomfort and pain. The condition is referred to as prolapsed/protruding hemorrhoid.
You can see and feel the external hemorrhoids as it is present under the skin around the anus. It does not bleed like the internal version. But, irritation can cause itching and bleeding. You can also see blood on the toilet paper after the bowel movement.
The blood pooling in external hemorrhoid causes clot formation. It is known as thrombosed hemorrhoids. So, you can feel a hard lump near the anus region. It may cause you severe pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Most people suffer the combination of internal and external hemorrhoids. With piles, you may experience severe pain while sitting.
Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids
Piles is a very common health condition. So, 3 out of 4 people can suffer from it in their lifetime. For some, it may not show any signs or symptoms. But, others can experience symptoms like:
- Extreme itching around your anal region
- Pain/discomfort/irritation around the anus
- The appearance of painful lump or swelling near the anal cavity
- Leakage of Feces
- Painful bowel movements
- Passing stool with blood
The hemorrhoids are not serious. So, it is not a life-threatening condition. It often clears itself without any treatment. But, you can contact your doctor to get relief from the pain. In some rare cases, it results in anemia. You can feel pale and weak due to the blood loss.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
The cause of hemorrhoids is not clearly identified. Various factors contribute to the occurrence of the disease. Some of the major factors that cause the issue are:
- A family history
- Straining during your bowel movement
- Spending more time sitting on the toilet
- Complications from chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Frequent anal intercourse
Some people are more prone to the issue compared to the others. The factors influencing it are:
Excessive weight can put pressure in your body that will increase your risk of getting hemorrhoids.
A sedentary lifestyle with no time for exercise can lead to the irregular bowel movement. You can get piles if you work for long hours sitting in the same place or have no physical activity.
The inclusion of processed food like bread, junk food, carbonated drinks, etc. is bad for health. The low-fiber diet can lead to constipation. The lack of fruits and vegetables can cause the irregular bowel movement.
If you have a parent or grandparent with piles, then you are more at risk. The chances of you getting it increased due to the genetics.
Pregnancy And Childbirth
The pregnancy and childbirth cause the uterus enlargement. So, put the strain on the veins of the colon. It causes it to bulge resulting in piles.
Stress can cause several diseases in your body. One among them is piles. Stress can affect the mental well-being. Your mental health has a direct effect on the bowel movement. So, bad mental health can cause negative effects on the bowel movement. It results in constipation that develops into piles.
Once you seek medical help, your doctor may perform a visual examination to detect piles. Checking the anus will determine the severity of the issue. Your doctor can adopt other test methods to detect the anus abnormalities.
Digital Rectal Exam
The digital rectal examination can detect the issues with the organ in the pelvic area or the lower belly. During the procedure, the doctor puts the gloved finger into the rectum. By pressing the other hand on the pelvic area, the doctor can find any abnormalities.
Your doctor opts for it if an abnormality is found in the rectal exam. It provides a comprehensive picture of the piles. Your doctor uses a camera to determine the severity of the piles. The sigmoidoscope (small fiber optic camera) is fitted at the end of a tube. Your doctor inserts it into the rectum. It offers a clear picture of the piles. So, your doctor can examine it more clearly.
Stages Of Hemorrhoids
Depending on the results on the diagnosis, your doctor may classify the grade of the issues. The problems develop into different stages.
The first grade is for the piles that develop in the anal canal or inside the rectal region.
It refers to the hemorrhoids that protrude outside the anal canal with the opening of the bowel. But, it returns back on its own.
It is similar to the second-grade piles. But, it does not return back normally. You need to push it back physically.
It refers to the external hemorrhoids that hang permanently outside the rectal region.
Treatment Options for Hemorrhoids
You can seek medical attention depending on the severity of the problem. If your pain is severe, then consulting a doctor is a good option. The doctor can suggest the following methods to eliminate the discomfort of hemorrhoids from your life:
It is ideal for the first stage piles. You need to make some dietary changes to alleviate the problem. Including fiber-rich food in your diet can loosen the stools. So, it will prevent constipation can avoid piles.
Your doctor may suggest soaking in the warm tub of water for pain relief. It is effective for external piles as the warm water can provide good relief. Your doctor can suggest over-the-counter suppository medications to relieve the itching and burning sensation.
External Fiber Supplements
Source : Amazon.com
The over-the-counter fiber supplements are helpful in easing constipation. Common supplements like methylcellulose or Psyllium can alleviate the issues with bowel movements. You can get them with ease by shopping online from Amazon.
If all the above methods do not work, then your doctor may suggest medical procedures. Depending on the severity of the issue, your doctor can opt from methods like:
Rubber Band Litigation
It is an in-patient procedure done only in the hospitals. It is perfect for the internal piles. The procedure involves placing a rubber band around your hemorrhoids. So, it cuts off the blood circulation, making it shrink in size. You must never try it yourself. Only a skilled medical professional can perform it with precision.
Injection sclerotherapy involves injecting a chemical directly into the hemorrhoids. The irritation chemical causes inflammation of the swollen veins. So, it results in the closure and shrinkage of the piles.
The dilated veins of the piles get coagulated using an infrared light source. The coagulated blood vessels do not allow blood flow. So, it causes the piles to shrink.
Home Remedies For Hemorrhoids
For less severe hemorrhoids, you can opt for home remedies. The simple methods can alleviate the symptoms. So, the pain and discomfort reduce considerably. You can continue it till the hemorrhoids clear itself completely.
Good hygiene is necessary to reduce the symptoms of piles. Cleaning the anus with warm water every day during the bath or shower is good. Do not use soap to clean the anus as it can worsen the irritation. Using dry or rough toilet paper to wipe after the bowel movement can flare the irritation.
Applying the cold compress or ice packs can relieve pain. It reduces the inflammation caused due to piles. Once you place the ice pack, it helps in numbing the pain. It also temporarily reduces the swelling. It is not a permanent solution. But, it offers great relief.
It is the natural moisturizer that can give you relief from itching. Applying it directly on your anus can stop the scratching tendency. It also reduces the swelling in the rectal area.
Aloe Vera has natural anti-inflammatory properties. So, applying it directly on the anus can alleviate the inflammation and irritation. Pure aloevera can give relief from the itching and burning sensation. It also reduces the swelling.
You can soak your anus in the sitz bath for getting relief. By spending 15-20 minutes you can get immense relief. You can also use over-the-counter topical creams to ease the irritation and discomfort. The creams used to treat the condition are:
- Creams containing hydrocortisone
- Hemorrhoid Creams
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also relieve the pain and discomfort caused by the piles. So, taking ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen is helpful in managing the pain.
Ayurveda originated in India offers relief to various ailments. The west recognizes it as the alternative medical practice. The advantage of Ayurveda is its holistic nature. It is the complementary therapy that can address the issues relating to mind, body, and spirit. Among the different treatment option for piles, the kshara karma is effective. It involves applying the herbal paste on the piles. The caustic paste applied using slit proctoscope cauterizes the piles. It is the safer and effective Ayurveda treatment that has no side effects. So, you can talk to your doctor before opting for it.
You can prevent hemorrhoids and the pain associated with it. With few lifestyle changes, you can make sure you feel good. So, it will help you gain control of your body. The steps to prevent piles include:
Increasing the water intake will make a huge difference. Adequate hydration keeps the body free from toxins. It also flushes out the unwanted waste. Hence, drinking water will prevent hardening of the stools.
You need to focus on your bowel movement. Unnecessary straining can put pressure on the rectum. So, the veins start to swell. So, avoid the habit to prevent piles or worsening it. Do not hold back from the bowel movement. Therefore, go to the restroom immediately.
Regular Physical Movement
Do not sit on a hard surface for a long time. Sitting on tile or concrete can worsen constipation. Get up and walk to avoid it. Including regular exercise is good for your health. So, it will prevent constipation.
A good diet rich in fiber will prevent the stool from hardening. The food rich in dietary fiber can minimize the risk of hemorrhoids. Therefore, you need to include the following food items in your diet:
- Whole Wheat
- Brown Rice
Dietary fiber can soften the stool by creating the bulk in intestines. So, it makes it easier to pass.
Complications Of Hemorrhoids
Piles are common that does not cause severe complications. But, in rare cases, you can experience some problems that include:
- Blood clots in the swollen vein
- Anemia or iron deficiency resulting from the blood loss
Though the name sounds dramatics, Hemorrhoids is not a scary disease. With good care and treatment, you can overcome it. So, you need to follow a good diet plan to prevent it from distressing you. If the pain is severe, get immediate medical attention. Follow your doctor’s order to T. Include physical exercise for overall health. Therefore, take the necessary steps to prevent piles from causing discomfort in your life.