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Hemorrhoids: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

07 Aug, 2023

Blog author iconHealthtrip Team
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Welcome to our comprehensive blog on understanding hemorrhoids. This common health condition, characterized by swollen veins in the lower rectum and anus, affects a significant portion of adults at some point in their lives. Despite its prevalence, there's often a lack of clear, concise information available. This guide aims to fill that gap, providing you with valuable insights into the causes, symptoms, treatments, and prevention methods for hemorrhoids. Empower yourself with knowledge and take proactive steps towards effective management and prevention of this condition. Let's dive in and demystify hemorrhoids together.


TermsExplanation
Definition-Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum and anus. There are two types:
Internal (inside the rectum) and
External (under the skin around the anus)



Causes-
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Sitting for long periods of time on the toilet
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Aging

Symptoms-
  • Pain or discomfort around the anus
  • Itching or irritation in your anal region
  • Swelling around your anus
  • Bleeding during bowel movements
Diagnosis-
  • Physical examination: Checking for external hemorrhoids
  • Visual inspection: Checking for internal hemorrhoids that are too soft to be felt
  • Digital rectal exam: Doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to check for any abnormalities
  • Anoscopy, proctoscopy, and sigmoidoscopy: Examining the lower portion of your colon and rectum


Treatment-
  • Home remedies: Over-the-counter creams, ointments, pads, or suppositories
  • Medical treatments: Rubber band ligation, Sclerotherapy, Infrared, laser, or bipolar coagulation
  • Surgical treatments: Hemorrhoidectomy (removal of excessive tissue that causes bleeding), Hemorrhoid stapling (blocks blood flow to hemorrhoidal tissue)
Time duration to Cure-Hemorrhoid symptoms often go away within a week with home treatments. If no relief is obtained in a week, or if severe pain or bleeding occurs, see a doctor.
Complication-
  • Anemia: Chronic blood loss from hemorrhoids can cause anemia
  • Strangulated hemorrhoid: If the blood supply to an internal hemorrhoid is cut off, it can lead to extreme pain and potentially serious medical complications
  • Blood clots: Sometimes, blood may pool in an external hemorrhoid and form a clot, leading to severe pain, swelling, and inflammation
Prevention-
  • Eat high-fiber foods
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Consider fiber supplements
  • Don't strain
  • Go as soon as you feel the urge
  • Exercise
  • Avoid long periods of sitting
When to see a doctor-If you have persistent bleeding, severe pain, or if your hemorrhoids cause discomfort, you should see your doctor. Also, if home treatments have been ineffective, a medical consultation is necessary

Hemorrhoids, while common and often uncomfortable, are treatable and largely preventable. By understanding the causes and symptoms, individuals can take proactive steps towards prevention. Moreover, a range of treatments, from home remedies to surgical interventions, are available to manage this condition. However, persistent symptoms or severe pain should prompt a visit to a healthcare professional to ensure appropriate treatment and to rule out other potential health concerns. Knowledge is power, and understanding hemorrhoids is the first step towards effective management and prevention.

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FAQs

Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum, similar to varicose veins. They can develop inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids) or under the skin around the anus (external hemorrhoids).