What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are dilated veins located in the wall of the rectum and anus, which cause pain, itching, and occasionally hemorrhages. Hemorrhoids occur when the veins of the rectum or anus dilate, causing bleeding.
Hemorrhoids are an extremely common problem, and yet people are still too shy to ask for help for the painful sensation of burning, itching, and bleeding caused by them.
Also, hemorrhoids may become inflamed, and blood clots (thrombi) may form.
There are two types of hemorrhoids:
- internal hemorrhoids
- external hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids, the most common type of hemorrhoids, develop in the anus, do not cause pain, but minor bleeding may occur.
External hemorrhoids are, on the contrary, painful and can, in turn, bleed.
Both forms of hemorrhoids can turn into prolapsed hemorrhoids, which become prominent on the outside, forming a soft gall.
The main factor that leads to the appearance of hemorrhoids is the increase in pressure in the veins of the anal and rectal regions. This happens especially during pregnancy, frequent lifting of heavy weights, or during repeated attempts of defecation. Constipation can cause the onset or worsen of hemorrhoids.
Also, prolonged sitting in the chair and age may contribute to the appearance of hemorrhoids.
In a small number of people, hemorrhoids occur due to increased pressure in the portal vein, which is the large vein of the abdomen that drains the blood of the intestinal viscera to the liver.
It is the physician who can distinguish between common hemorrhoids and venous dilations that occur in this disease.
Hemorrhoids can bleed, usually after the person has had a stool, with the appearance of blood on toilet paper or feces. Blood can make the water in the toilet bowl red, but the amount of blood lost is usually low, and hemorrhoids rarely lead to severe bleeding caused by anemia.
When hemorrhoids are protruding at the anal level, they sometimes have to be gently pushed backward.
Hemorrhoids can swell and become painful when their surface is damaged or when a blood clot forms inside them. More rarely, hemorrhoids can lead to the elimination of mucus and cause the feeling that the rectum is not completely emptied after the person has had a stool.
The itching that occurs in the anal region (anal pruritus) is not usually a symptom of hemorrhoids, but this may occur if the presence of hemorrhoids causes anal hygiene to be deficient.
The doctor can easily determine the diagnosis of hemorrhoids when they are of large size, only by checking the anus and rectum. An examination with an analscope or sigmoidoscope helps determine whether the patient would have a more serious illness, such as a tumor.
Bleeding hemorrhoids can be treated by injecting a substance that causes local fibrous tissue formation, a procedure called injectable sclerotherapy.
Large internal hemorrhoids and those who do not respond to the injectable sclerotherapy can be ligated using special rubber bands. The bands cause the hemorrhoid size to rush and fall without pain. Treatment usually only applies to single hemorrhoid at intervals of at least two weeks.
Internal hemorrhoids can also be destroyed by laser, by a procedure called laser dissection, infrared light (infrared photocoagulation), or electric current (electrocoagulation).
If all of these therapeutic procedures do not work, surgery can be performed to remove the hemorrhoids. But surgery can cause intense pain.
Currently, modern and less painful techniques such as hemorrhoidal arterial ligation are carried out under Doppler guidance, where hemorrhoidal arteries are identified and ligated, thus reducing hemorrhoidal blood supply. Another method is the circumferential stapling of hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids: Natural Remedies
Some more or less effective remedies are not scientifically proven and do not work in all cases, so you should consult your doctor before making a decision.
Here are some natural remedies for hemorrhoids.
Comfort comes from heat.
Take a bath with warm water. You should stay with your knees bent, allowing a warmer exposure to affected area. This could relieve pain, facilitate blood circulation in the area, and help reduce dilated veins.
For external hemorrhoids, you can use a warm, wet tea bag. Heat calms and tea’s tannic acid helps to reduce pain and inflammation, also favoring coagulation that stops bleeding.
Stay on the ice.
Fill an ice-resistant plastic bag, wrap it in a piece of cloth and sit on it. The cold contracts the swollen vessels, offering a strong calming effect. Do not stay more than 20 minutes.
Do not scratch.
Soak a cotton swab in undisturbed hamamelis and apply to the hemorrhoids. It is rich in tannins, which cause the contraction of the blood vessels.
A little grease, which is included in many of the hemorrhoid treatments released without a prescription, can help.
Liquid vitamin E and wheat germ oil are both reputed to be effective. Put them on a cotton swab and apply for several times a day.
If you can find it in a herbal products store, try an ointment containing dill and marigold, which calms and favors healing.
Several times a day, when you find a cozy couch, stretch yourself and put your feet up. What is good for tense nerves is good for hemorrhoids, too. In this calming posture, lower the weight of the overloaded anal area. At the same time, you’ll improve your circulation.
The cereals are good.
It is good to have more fiber in your diet. Researches have shown that a fiber-rich diet can significantly reduce the symptoms of hemorrhoids, including pain and bleeding.
Foods rich in fiber include whole grain bread, fresh fruit and vegetables, brown rice, and oilseeds.
When you include more fiber in your diet, you must keep yourself well hydrated to avoid constipation. Make sure you drink enough liquids.
Any person who has been sitting on a chair for a long time has to make some moves from time to time. If you are tired at the office, take a break and stroll for 5 minutes every hour.
Every time you’ll stand up, you’ll relieve the rectal pressure that results in the hemorrhoids.
Heavy lifting exerts pressure on the anal area, so avoid lifting up heavy furniture, avoid heavy weights lifting at the gym, or anything that can harm you, at least while you are suspicious of being prone to hemorrhoids.
Also avoid any physical activity that involves sitting in a seat for long periods of time, such as the use of a bicycle.
Keep in mind that the toilet paper that you use should be fragrance-free and should not be colored because such substances may be irritating.