Hemorrhoids are painful, swollen veins in the lower portion of the rectum or anus.
Hemorrhoids are very common, especially during pregnancy and after childbirth. They result from increased pressure in the veins of the anus. The pressure causes the veins to swell, making them painful, particularly when you are sitting.
The most common cause is straining during bowel movements.
Hemorrhoids may be caused by:
- Straining during bowel movements
- Sitting for long periods of time
- Anal infections
- Certain diseases, such as liver cirrhosis
The discomfort and bleeding can be a real torture in many cases. But thankfully, hemorrhoids can be prevented and also cured.
One of the easiest ways to relieve this painful condition is to eat more fiber and drink more water as stools come out easier when they're full and moist. But in cases where the pain and discomfort is extreme a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Treatment of hemorrhoids is a two way process. Firstly, we have to relieve the symptoms of burning, itching, and pain. And secondly, the hemorrhoid itself has to be shrunk.
Hemorrhoids can be either external or internal.
They occur outside the anal verge and act as varicosities of the veins draining the territory of the inferior rectal arteries which causes pain, swelling, irritation, itching and a lump around the anus. If the vein ruptures and a blood clot develops, it will get converted into thrombosis.
They occur inside the rectum and act as varicosities of veins draining the territory of branches of superior rectal arteries which causes less pain but bleeding can be there. No treatment of this can result into prolapsed and strangulated hemorrhoids. Prolapsed ones are internal ones that are so much distended that they are pushed outside the anus. If the anal sphincter muscle goes into spasm and traps a prolapsed condition outside the anal opening and if the supply of blood is cut off, it will become a strangulated one.
Healing the symptoms
There are various creams and ointments available in the market, which help in relieving the pain, itching and burning. Some medicines also target particular areas like there are different ointments for pain, another for burning etc. While there are also the tropical creams, which work well overall. Another common Hemorrhoids remedy that helps to curb swelling of irritated hemorrhoidal tissues are Hemorrhoids creams. It also gives immediate and temporary relief from the painful burning, itching and discomfort of hemorrhoids.
Shrinking the hemorrhoids
There are specially designed tubs called Sitz Bath available at leading medical stores. This is a small tub and is specially designed to allow the soaking of hemorrhoids without taking a bath. In this process the rectal area is soaked in hot water for 15-20 minutes about 3-4 times a day. Not only does this helps relieve symptoms, but also aids shrinkage of the hemorrhoid.
Eating habits and physical activities
Eating fruits like oranges, apples, bananas, prunes, grapefruits, mangoes, watermelon, grapes and cherries enhances the digestion process. Food products like white bread, pasta and other white flour products, sweets and sodas should be avoided as they may lead to constipation. In order to avoid constipation, nutritionists suggest that patients should drink 8-10 glasses of water daily.
Physical activities like running, walking, swimming should be added to your daily regime. Sedentary lifestyle contributes to the development of the hemorrhoids.
Surgical procedures for external Hemorrhoids
- Laser coagulation - The hemorrhoid is clotted with an electric probe which makes it shrink.
- Infrared photocoagulation - The hemorrhoid is clotted with infrared light to make it shrinks.
- Hemorrhoidectomy - Complete surgical removal of the hemorrhoid.
Surgical procedures for internal Hemorrhoids
- Rubber Band Ligation - In this process a small rubber band is placed at the base of the internal hemorrhoid.
- Injection Sclerotherapy - A chemical solution is injected into the mucous membrane near the hemorrhoid resulting in inflammation and closure of the veins, thereby shrinking the hemorrhoid.
- Infrared Photocoagulation - An infrared is directed to clot the dilated veins of the hemorrhoid.
- Laser Coagulation - An electric current is applied to the hemorrhoids triggering a chemical reaction that shuts down the blood supply in the hemorrhoid and causes the inflamed tissue to shrink.
- Hemorrhoidectomy - Here the hemorrhoid groups are surgically removed with a scalpel, cattery device or laser.
The surgery is always rather painful and requires some period of healing and rest.
The best way to care for hemorrhoids is to prevent them from growing. As mentioned above, diet and exercise are the first steps to a better digestion.
Ointments and other topical remedies may ease the discomfort. Herbal supplements may help digestion and relieve constipation.
Article courtesy of Venapro website
*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.