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 develop 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. Although they may appear to be polyps or other extra tissue, they're actually a normal part of the body. A hemorrhoid is actually a vein that helps with elimination. When you feel constipated and also strain to complete a bowel movement or when a having a baby puts a lot more pressure on these veins, they can become inflamed and painful or itchy. This pressure causes the hemorrhoid to swell up substantially. 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 Anus
People develop under the skin just around the anus and are considered external hemorrhoids. About half of people will have to deal with these kinds of unpleasant inflamed veins by the time they reach the age of 50, and many people hardly understand that developing hemorrhoids is actually quite normal. Fortunately, there are many different ways to take care of 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 blood vessels in the toilet bowel or perhaps on the tissue may seem alarming, yet it doesn't actually indicate a problem. You might also have irritation or itching around the anus. In many people, this kind of discomfort ultimately gets painful.
People With External Hemorrhoids, a Swelling May Appear Around the Anus
This may also be surprising and worrying to people who don't know what it is. These lumps could be mistaken for tumors, abscesses or other problems. If the lump interferes with the natural muscles around this area, this may cause waste to accidentally leak out of the rectum, which can be awkward. In some cases, external hemorrhoids may be pushed out of the body within a bowel movement, causing what is called a prolapsed hemorrhoid. These are especially likely to become agonizing. If you suffer from any of these problems, it's a good idea to see a doctor for help.
Complications of Hemorrhoids
Some people with piles symptoms eventually develop more serious problems if their hemorrhoids go untreated. These are certainly not very common, but can include anemia from internal hemorrhoids that bleed heavily, as well as strangulation. Strangulated hemorrhoids occur when an interior hemorrhoid manages to lose its blood supply, leading to severe pain and at last gangrene. It's important to have a strangulated hemorrhoid treated at once.
The process of diagnosing hemorrhoids is generally fairly straightforward. The doctor will verify the affected area and also might use a gloved hand in order to gently check for swelling and other uncommon 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 problems just like 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 much 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, mat or cream if you suffer from mild discomfort only. If your hemorrhoids result in much more significant problems, they might use a rubber band, chemical injection or laser technique to result in the hemorrhoid to fall off. In much more serious cases, the particular hemorrhoid may be surgically removed or stapled.
Natural and Home Remedies Regarding Hemorrhoids are Also Available
For instance, some people apply witch hazel in order to the problem area to alleviate discomfort. Others 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 cures work best for relatively mild hemorrhoids, but they can be a big help for many 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 lower 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. Additionally it is a good idea to avoid straining during a bowel movement. Increased pressure on the veins raises the risk of irritation later on. You should also avoid sitting on the toilet for long periods of time.
To keep yourself from getting hemorrhoids, make sure you drink lots of fluids and use the restroom as soon as you feel the need to have a bowel movement. "Holding it" can result in greater problems later on. Regular exercise and moving around at work 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 trouble with normal going number 2. Pregnancy greatly increases the risk of this issue, 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 will not, due to the increased potential for irritation. Your chances of suffering from this problem improve if anyone in your family has had hemorrhoids. In addition they go up as you get older, since the tissues responsible for supporting the veins grow to be weaker over time.
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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 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 in a Hemocyl website.
- You can see a detailed list of piles symptoms included in Helena's most recent Hemocyl Review.