As individuals age, the risk of having hemorrhoids increases. This can be chalked up to the body’s tissues weakening and stretching over time, thereby reducing the support given to the veins in the rectum and anus.
While this condition is more common for older people, this can happen to just about anyone. Thankfully, this condition is treatable and can be prevented.
In this article, we’ll be focusing on defining what hemorrhoids are, what they feel like, what causes them, and how you can prevent them from happening to your body. To know more about this, read on.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Also referred to as piles, hemorrhoids are considered the enlarged and swollen veins located in the lowest part of your rectum and anus. This enlargement develops when the walls housing these veins are stretched, thereby irritating the veins in the process.
There are two types of hemorrhoids, namely the internal and the external. The internal one develops and occurs in the lower rectum, while the external one tends to develop under the skin surrounding the anus.
Of the two types of hemorrhoids, the latter condition is considered more painful and uncomfortable primarily because the skin surrounding the anus becomes swollen and sensitive.
The internal condition, on the other hand, is typically painless and less visible. Read on to see some of the risk factors of hemorrhoids.
Straining to pass a stool during a bowel movement puts added pressure on the anal canal. In turn, this can move the hemorrhoids towards the sphincter muscle. Suffering from diarrhea can also cause the veins in the anus to stretch due to constant pressure.
This condition can come with pregnancy because the growing and expanding uterus tends to press on the veins of the colon. Staying in a seated position for a long time, particularly while on the toilet, can cause hemorrhoids.
Constantly lifting heavy objects for a long period can also lead to the development of the said condition.
Hemorrhoids Symptoms to Look Out For
This condition is normally painless, especially if they occur inside the rectum. Because of this, there is a need to pay attention to some of the more prominent symptoms listed below.
- Rectal bleeding
- Microscopic blood in the stool
- Blood on the toilet or the toilet paper
- Lump around the anus (moist, pink bumps protruding from the anus)
- Itching or irritated excess skin caused by a dissolved clot in the anus
- Fecal matter leaking from your anus
Hemorrhoid Treatment – What You Can Do
There are lots of different methods of dealing with hemorrhoids. We have listed some below.
Use of Topical Creams and Ointments
Over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments, like cream, ointment, or suppositories can be applied, provided these contain hydrocortisone. Pads that contain hazel or a similar numbing agent can also be applied.
Rubber Band Ligation
A non-surgical option would be to undergo rubber band ligation. This procedure normally includes an elastic band being placed on the base of hemorrhoids with the help of a band ligator. The band causes hemorrhoids to shrink and heal the surrounding tissues.
For more serious conditions, hemorrhoidectomy might be an option, especially for cases with large and protruding hemorrhoids. This surgical procedure involves completely removing hemorrhoids in the anal area.
Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
Eating a diet consisting of fiber-rich food is the best approach to avoiding hemorrhoids and constipation. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, as well as drinking copious amounts of water, can help keep stool soft.
Engage in Physical Activity
Staying active and keeping fit helps you to relieve pressure on your veins, as well as move stools through the bowels easily. This can also help you shed extra weight which might be contributing to the strain on your anal and rectal veins.
Go to the Bathroom When You Feel the Urge
Should you feel the urge, make sure to go to the bathroom right away. Waiting to pass a bowel movement can result in a drier and much harder stool to pass.
The Bottom Line
Hemorrhoids can successfully be treated over time. To keep this condition at bay, make sure to take note of its risks and its prevention tricks.