Hemorrhoids often known as piles are a common disease among people. Every three out of four individuals suffer from hemorrhoids at different ages during their lifespan. Hemorrhoids are the swollen veins in the anus and parts of the lower rectum. There are several causes of hemorrhoids. During deliveries, high pressure is exerted on the veins which may cause piles. Excessive straining during the bowel movements is another cause of hemorrhoids. Some of the probable symptoms of hemorrhoids include bleeding, itching, and discomfort.
Read the article below to explore the causes, symptoms, facts, diagnosis, and treatment of hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids can be classified into two categories, internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids: Internal hemorrhoids occur inside the rectum walls. These hemorrhoids are less painful and don’t cause discomfort or irritation. In the beginning, people don’t even feel internal hemorrhoid. However, the enlargement makes them more obvious. In some cases, too much irritation and straining worsens the hemorrhoids and can even cause bleeding.
Internal hemorrhoids can move to the anal opening due to high straining or increased pressure. The condition is known as protruding or prolapsed hemorrhoids. If you find pink skin around the anus area, it is a probable sign of prolapsed hemorrhoids.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids cause much pain at times. This is because the anus has an intricate network of pain-sensing nerves. Protruding hemorrhoids can move into the rectum by itself. However, if they don’t, they can be moved back to the required place using medical treatment.
External hemorrhoids: External hemorrhoids occur on the outer skin around the anus.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids: Thrombosed hemorrhoids result in the formation of blood clot. Though thrombosed hemorrhoids don’t have severe impacts, it can be painful at times and lead to inflammation and bleeding.
Enlarged hemorrhoids: The enlarged hemorrhoids can be identified with the symptoms such as mucus discharge, burning sensation in the anus, improper emptying during a bowel movement, itching, and pain.
Doctors worldwide have classified hemorrhoids into four different stages:
First-degree hemorrhoids: These hemorrhoids don’t prolapse outside the anus but often bleed.
Second-degree hemorrhoids: Such hemorrhoids may protrude outwards during bowel movements and go back into the body. It could cause occasional bleeding
Third-degree hemorrhoids: The hemorrhoids protrude outside but can be retracted using a finger.
Fourth-degree hemorrhoids: These are the most severe hemorrhoids. They protrude outwards and don’t move back into the anal canal. Thrombosed hemorrhoids can be categorized as fourth-degree hemorrhoids.
Symptoms of hemorrhoids
- Inflammation around the anus
- Bleeding during the bowel movements; you could find blood stains in the toilet or tissue paper.
- Formation of lump around the anus, which could be painful at times
- Irritation in the anal parts
When should you see a doctor?
If you find bleeding during the bowel movement, it’s high time to consult a doctor. The doctors will perform a series of tests to find out the underlying and actual causes of hemorrhoids. The physical examinations help the doctor’s access the most critical problems.
Talk openly about the hemorrhoids problem with your doctor. Tell them how long you have been suffering from the problem. Share the medications or home remedies you have used to get rid of the problem. Talk if the bleeding is frequent and excessive.
Some people believe that rectal bleeding is due to hemorrhoids. Diseases such as anal cancer or colorectal cancer can cause rectal bleeding. If you find changes in the bowel habits or changes in the stool color, you must consult the doctor. If you experience high rectal bleeding and some other symptoms such as faintness or dizziness, it is wise to seek emergency care.
Severe complications of hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids can even lead to significant problems if it is not treated properly.
- Anaemia: Too much blood loss for prolonged time intervals can cause anemia. The count of red blood cells (RBCs) which transport oxygen to the body cells is highly reduced.
- Strangulated hemorrhoids: When the blood supply is disconnected from hemorrhoid, it may strangulate hemorrhoid, causing severe pain.
How to prevent hemorrhoids?
Since you have learned the causes of hemorrhoids, you must follow proper preventive measures to prevent hemorrhoids.
- Drink water: Take a maximum of eight glasses of water in a day along with other fluids. This keeps the stool soft and easy passing.
- Intake of fiber foods: Take a high intake of fruits and vegetables rich in fiber. Fiber controls constipation and thereby prevents straining during the bowel movements.
- Avoid sitting for a long time: Sitting for prolonged time intervals exerts more pressure on the anus veins.
- Exercise: You can lose weight by practicing exercises. This reduces the chances of hemorrhoids. Following exercise regimen reduces the pressure on veins and straining during constipation.
- Avoid straining: Avoid holding breath during the bowel movement. Doing so can exert high pressure on the rectum veins contributing to hemorrhoids.