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Last updated date: 04-Jan-2022

Originally Written in English

Hemorrhoids is a delicate problem

  • CloudHospital

  • General Health

  • Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen (enlargement) veins in the lower part of the anus and rectum. When the walls of these vessels are stretched, they become irritated. Although hemorrhoids can be very unpleasant and quite painful, they can be treated and are preventable. As hemorrhoids generally can get worse over time, doctors suggest that they should be treated as soon as symptoms appear.

The following are conditions that increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids:

  • Pregnancy: They occur more commonly in pregnant women because, as the uterus enlarges, it presses on the vein in the colon, causing it to bulge.
  • Aging: Hemorrhoids are most common among adults aged 45 to 65 years, although younger people can also have them.
  • Diarrhea: Hemorrhoids can occur after cases of chronic diarrhea.
  • Chronic constipation: Straining to move stool puts excessive pressure on the walls of the veins.
  • Sitting for extended periods: Staying in a seated position for long periods of time can cause hemorrhoids, especially on the toilet.
  • Heavy lifting: Repeatedly lifting heavy objects can lead to hemorrhoids.
  • Anal intercourse: This can cause new hemorrhoids or worsen existing ones.
  • Obesity: Obesity can cause hemorrhoids due to excessive pressure resulting from burdensome weight.
  • Genetics: Some people are more prone genetically to develop hemorrhoids.

 

Some common symptoms of hemorrhoids include painless bleeding, anal itching or irritation, anal discomfort, anal pain, anal soreness, lumps and swelling in the anal region, and leaking stool. In many cases, while symptoms can be unpleasant or alarming, they are normally not a reason to worry. However, if symptoms include significant amounts of bleeding, dizziness, and a fainting sensation, one should seek medical care immediately.

Hemorrhoids are classified as internal or external. Internal hemorrhoids are deep inside the rectum and not visible from the outside. They are normally painless. Often, the first sign that internal hemorrhoids are present is rectal bleeding. Straining can sometimes push an internal hemorrhoid so that it protrudes through the anus. This condition is called a protruding or prolapsed hemorrhoid and can be painful.

External hemorrhoids are under the skin around the anus and are therefore visible. Because there are more sensitive nerves in this part of the body, they are normally more painful. Straining when passing a stool may cause bleeding.

Hemorrhoids are often treated successfully without complications, especially if treatment starts early. However, the following rare complications can arise:

  • Strangulated hemorrhoid: If the blood supply to the hemorrhoid is cut off, it may become strangulated. This condition can be very painful.
  • Anemia: Significant, chronic blood loss from hemorrhoids can lead to anemia, which is a condition whereby there is a lack of red blood cells circulating in the body, which can lead to other problems.
  • Blood clots: Sometimes, blood may clot in the anus resulting in swelling and inflammation of the area, which can be quite painful.

 

While in severe cases, medical help and treatment via surgery is the possible solution, prevention measures and healthy habits are the best way to stay away from this problem developing. The risk of developing hemorrhoids is greatly reduced when stools are kept soft, which can be helped by watching the following:

  • Healthy nutrition: Eating plenty of foods rich in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, which results in stools being soft. Similarly, drinking plenty of fluids helps keep stools soft. Fiber supplements can also ease constipation.
  • Avoiding over-straining: When using the toilet, avoid excessive strain, which can create too much pressure in the veins of the lower rectum.
  • Going to the toilet when needed without long delays: Avoid delaying going to use the toilet when needed. A prolonged wait or delay will result in dryer and harder stools.
  • Physical activity and exercise: Sitting or standing still for long periods puts pressure on the veins. Physical activity results in stronger bowel muscles which helps stool move through the bowel, which helps keep a regular bowel movement.
  • Maintaining a normal body weight: Being overweight significantly raises the risk of developing hemorrhoids.

 

If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, you should consider seeing a doctor. A doctor can perform an examination and some tests to determine whether or not hemorrhoids are present. However, be aware that a number of other health problems including colorectal and anal cancers, can cause rectal bleeding similar to hemorrhoids. A full examination by an experienced doctor can pinpoint the actual cause(s) of the symptoms.

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