Hemorrhoids – Conditions

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Overview

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are enlargements of the veins in the lower rectum or around the anus that are painful. By the age of 50, hemorrhoids affect approximately half of all adults in the United States.

The rectum is the portion of your colon that is located at the bottom (large intestine). The tissues that hold the arteries in place swell because of the stretching of the supporting vessels. As a result of the swelling, the walls of the vessels thin, resulting in bleeding. As the stretching and pressure continue, weak vessels begin to show signs of wear and tear.

They can appear on either the inside or outside of the body, depending on their location. External hemorrhoids are distinguished from internal hemorrhoids by the location as they appear in the rectum or anus. External hemorrhoids develop outside of the anus.

External hemorrhoids are the most common and bothersome type to experience. In addition to pain and itching, they are characterized by difficulty while sitting. Nevertheless, they can be treated if they are diagnosed early.

Causes

A wide range of unidentified factors causes hemorrhoids. With our upright posture, we place significant strain on our rectal veins, which can result in bulging.

Straining on anal and rectum veins leads to hemorrhoids, which results in bleeding.

Acute irritation of the anal and rectal veins can result from any straining that puts pressure on your tummy or lower extremities.

The illness can be caused by increased pelvic pressure as a result of weight gain, which is particularly common during pregnancy. The likelihood of developing hemorrhoids increases if you are pregnant. As the uterus grows in size, the colon vein protrudes, putting pressure on the uterine artery.

Another cause of this condition is constipation. Straining and constantly putting pressure on your anal glands causes rectal veins to expand. Lifting heavy objects or exerting a great deal of effort in weightlifting also causes hemorrhoids.

The condition can be genetically transferred. They are not contagious, but if either of your parents had them, you are more likely to develop them as well. Those who engage in a lot of heavy lifting, are overweight, or put their bodies under a lot of stress may be at greater risk of developing hemorrhoids.

Symptoms

In most cases, internal hemorrhoids do not cause discomfort unless they prolapse. Because they do not cause any symptoms, many people are unaware that they have them.

In the event that you have internal hemorrhoids, you may notice blood on your toilet paper, in your stool, or in your toilet bowl. Rectal bleeding is indicated by the presence of these signs and symptoms.

External hemorrhoids are characterized by the presence of the following symptoms and signs:

·         Itching in or around the anus.

·         There are hard lumps near the anus that are unpleasant or sensitive to the touch.

·         Itching or soreness in the back that is exacerbated by sitting.

·         Rectal bleeding is also a common occurrence.

Experiencing prolapsed hemorrhoids can be a very uncomfortable and painful experience. They should not protrude outside of the anus, so gently press them back into the anus.

Diagnosis

In some cases, a visual examination of your anus may be sufficient to determine whether you have hemorrhoids. It is possible that your doctor will perform another examination to check for any abnormalities within the anus to further confirm the diagnosis. This procedure is referred to as a digital rectal exam. Your doctor inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum of your genital area during this examination.

To rule out any potential problems, your doctor may recommend further tests such as an endoscopy, colonoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy, depending on your individual risk factors. Your doctor uses a small camera to determine whether you have any abnormalities and examines the entire anus, the rectum, and the colon.

An anoscopy is a procedure that examines the inside of the anus, a colonoscopy is a procedure that examines the colon in its entirety, and sigmoidoscopy is a procedure that examines the last foot and a half (40 centimeters) of your colon, among other things.

When you go through one of these tests, a small fiber-optic camera is placed in a small tube and inserted into your rectum to gather information. Your doctor will be able to get a clear view of the inside of your rectum because of this procedure, which will allow them to examine hemorrhoids in detail as well.

Treatment

Symptoms can be alleviated with the treatments listed below.

·         Topical creams and ointments containing hydrocortisone are available over-the-counter. Witch hazel or a numbing ingredient is also available in the form of pad applications for providing hemorrhoid relief.

·         Swelling can be reduced in the affected area with the use of ice packs.

·         A sitz bath filled with warm water is placed over the toilet. They may be of assistance in alleviating the burning and itching.

·         To avoid aggravating the problem, wet towelettes should be used instead of dry toilet paper.

·         Pain relievers can help to alleviate pain and discomfort in a variety of situations.

Rubber band ligation is the most commonly used nonsurgical hemorrhoid elimination treatment.

It is possible to perform an outpatient procedure to treat internal hemorrhoids by placing an elastic band around the base of the hemorrhoid and cutting off the blood supply to the area. Either the hemorrhoid will shrink or it will rupture and fall out of the body.

Other options include the use of sclerotherapy, which is the injection of a solution into a hematoma that is internal in nature. The hemorrhoid’s blood supply is cut off because of the formation of a scar.

A hemorrhoidectomy is a surgical procedure that completely removes hemorrhoids. Another option is stapling, which involves stapling a prolapsed hemorrhoid back into place with a surgical stapler.

When to See a doctor

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

·         Discomfort in the abdomen.

·         Constipation on a regular basis.

·         Rectal bleeding and discomfort that are extremely uncomfortable.

Hemorrhoids are painful and sometimes may cause complications, thus it is necessary to see your doctor for early treatment. 


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