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Hemorrhoids: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Mar 18, 2024

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Causes Of Hemorrhoids

Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids

Internal Hemorrhoids

External Hemorrhoids

Thrombosed hemorrhoids

Risk Factors Of Hemorrhoids

Diagnosis Of Hemorrhoids

Treatment Of Hemorrhoids

Home remedies

Medicines

Hemorrhoids treated with external thrombectomy

Minimally-invasive methods

Surgery

Prevention Of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins located in the anus and lower rectum. This condition is also known as Piles. Hemorrhoids and varicose veins are similar. Hemorrhoids that happen inside the rectum are referred to as internal hemorrhoids. Outside hemorrhoids, or those beneath the skin surrounding the anus, can also develop from them.

There are several different ways to treat hemorrhoids. At-home therapy and lifestyle changes help a lot of individuals find relief.


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Causes Of Hemorrhoids

When under stress, the veins around the anus tend to swell and may protrude. The following factors may lead to increased pressure in the lower rectum and cause hemorrhoids:

  • Stiffening up when releasing gas.
  • Long periods of sitting, especially when using the toilet.
  • Having diarrhea or constipation on a regular basis.
  • Have an issue with weight.
  • Carrying a pregnancy.
  • Having intercourse anally.
  • Eating a diet deficient in fiber.
  • Regularly lifting heavy items.

Also Read: Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids

The symptoms are usually determined by the type of hemorrhoid.

Internal Hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids are found inside the rectum. They are usually felt or unseen and seldom cause discomfort. Nevertheless, straining or pain during the excrement passage might cause:

  • Blood throughout bowel movements without experiencing discomfort. There can be little droplets of vivid red blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet.
  • Prolapsed Hemorrhoids are defined as hemorrhoids that prolapse or protrude through the anal opening. This might cause discomfort and pain.

External Hemorrhoids

These are under the skin, close to the anus. Symptoms that might exist include:

Thrombosed hemorrhoids 

Blood may accumulate in an external hemorrhoid and clot into a thrombus. After an embolus thrombosis:

  • Excruciating pain
  • Inflammation
  • A hard, opaque lump at the anus.

Also Read: Dumping Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment


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Risk Factors Of Hemorrhoids

With aging comes an increased risk of hemorrhoids. This occurs due to the possibility of deterioration and weakening of the tissues supporting the veins in the rectum and anus. Because the weight of the growing baby presses against the anal region during pregnancy, it can also result in this.

Although they rarely happen, problems from hemorrhoids might include:

  • Anemia. Rarely, hemorrhoids that cause chronic blood loss might lead to anemia. Anemia occurs when the body does not produce enough healthy red blood cells to meet the needs of its cells for oxygen.
  • Strangulation of hemorrhoids. The state that results from cutting off the blood supply to an internal hemorrhoid is known as strangulation. It may be quite unpleasant to strangle a hemorrhage.
  • Blood clot. A hemorrhoid may obstruct in rare cases. This is referred to as a hemorrhoid thrombosed. It hurts a lot and sometimes needs to be drained, but it's not dangerous.

Also Read: Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumours: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis Of Hemorrhoids

Your doctor may be able to see obvious external hemorrhoids. A rectum and anal canal examination may be necessary for the diagnosis of internal hemorrhoids.

  • Digital examination. Using a gloved and lubricated finger, your doctor creates an incision in your rectum. This makes it possible for your healthcare provider to search for any abnormalities, such growths.
  • Visual assessment. Often, internal hemorrhoids are too minor to be seen on a rectal examination. To check the lowest part of your colon and rectum, your doctor may use an anoscope, proctoscope, or sigmoidoscope.

Your physician could want to check your whole colon with a colonoscopy if:

  • Your symptoms suggest that you could have another digestive system issue.
  • You have a high chance of developing colorectal cancer.
  • You are in your middle years and have not had a colonoscopy in a while.

Also Read: Rectovaginal Fistula: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Treatment Of Hemorrhoids

Home remedies

Hemorrhoids' mild pain, puffiness, and irritation are often treated with home treatments.

  • Eat a lot of fiber-rich food. Consume more meals high in fiber. By softening and bulking up the feces, this will assist you avoid straining. To avoid gas problems, gradually increase the amount of fiber in your diet.
  • Apply topical medications. Apply a hemorrhoid cream or suppository that is available over-the-counter and contains hydrocortisone. You can also use pads that contain witch hazel or numbing medications.
  • Take regular warm baths or sitz baths. Soak your anal area in lukewarm water for ten to fifteen minutes twice or three times a day. A sitz bath may be used over the toilet. 
  • Consume painkillers orally. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.), aspirin, or ibuprofen  can be used for momentary pain relief.

These treatments often eliminate hemorrhoidal problems within a week. Make a doctor's appointment for within a week if you don't feel better. In the event of severe discomfort or bleeding, call your physician right away.

Medicines

Maybe your hemorrhoids just give you a little pain. In this scenario, your doctor could suggest over-the-counter ointments, creams, suppositories, or pads. Hydrocortisone, lidocaine, and witch hazel are among the compounds in these drugs that have the temporary ability to relieve pain and inflammation.

If hydrocortisone is used for more than a week, it might thin the skin. Consult your physician about the recommended duration of usage.

Hemorrhoids treated with external thrombectomy

If there is an uncomfortable blood clot inside an external hemorrhoid, your healthcare provider can remove it. After removal, there can be instant relief. The optimal outcomes of this procedure, which involves the administration of a local anesthetic—a drug that numbs a particular part of the body—occur 72 hours following the formation of the clot.

Minimally-invasive methods

If your hemorrhoids are really painful or bleed continuously, your doctor could recommend one of the less intrusive alternatives. 

These therapies are available to you at your provider's office or at an outpatient facility. They typically don't need anesthetic drugs.

  • Rubber band ligation. The blood supply to an internal hemorrhoid will be cut off by your doctor applying one or two thin rubber bands at the root of the bleeding. The hemorrhoid wilts and comes off after approximately one week. There may be discomfort and bleeding when bandaging a wound. Blood loss can occur two to four days after therapy, however it is seldom serious. Occasionally, more significant problems may emerge.
  • Sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is the method your doctor will employ to shrink the hemorrhoid tissue. It involves injecting a chemical solution into the tissue. Rubber band ligation may be a more effective procedure than the injection.
  • Coagulation. Infrared light, laser light, or heat are used in coagulation techniques. They cause small hemorrhoids inside the body to contract and harden. Often, coagulation has few side effects and causes little discomfort.

Surgery

For most people, surgery is not required to remove hemorrhoids. If past treatments haven't worked or if you have large hemorrhoids, your doctor can recommend one of the following:

  • Hemorrhoidectomy. One of the several techniques your surgeon uses to remove extra tissue that is causing bleeding is used. During the surgery, a sedative medicine that lowers anxiety and encourages calmness might be given in addition to a local anesthetic. It is also possible to utilize general or spinal anesthetic. Hemorrhoidectomy is the most complete and effective therapy for severe or recurring hemorrhoids. Complications including sudden trouble peeing might lead to urinary tract infections. This problem frequently appears after spinal anesthesia. Most patients experience some discomfort following surgery, which may be controlled with medication. Having a warm bath might also be helpful.
  • Hemmorhid Stapling. One therapy for hemorrhoidal tissue is stapled hemorrhoidopexy. It usually only affects internal hemorrhoids. Staples often result in less pain and enable you to return to regular activities sooner than a hemorrhoidectomy. Hemorrhoidectomy has been associated with a lower incidence of rectal prolapse and recurring hemorrhoids compared to stapling. Rectal prolapse is the term used to describe a piece of the rectum pressing through the anus. Bleeding, pain, and trouble emptying the bladder are possible further problems. Sepsis is a rare and potentially dangerous blood infection.

Together with your healthcare provider, go over your options to choose which is best for you.

Also Read: Renal Artery Stenosis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Prevention Of Hemorrhoids

Having soft, easily passable stools is the best protection against hemorrhoids. Use the following guidance to reduce the symptoms and prevent hemorrhoids:

  • Eat a lot of fiber-rich food. Eat more vegetables, fruits, and healthy grains. The stool becomes softer and more solid as a result. You can avoid straining yourself to the point where you get hemorrhoids by doing this. To avoid gas problems, gradually increase the amount of fiber in your diet.
  • Remain hydrated at all times. Consume six to eight glasses of water and other liquids each day to help maintain soft stools. Additionally, avoid alcohol. 
  • Consider consuming fiber-rich supplements. Insufficient fiber is present in the diets of most people. If you use fiber supplements, make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water or other liquids each day. Failure to do so might make constipation worse or perhaps cause it from the supplements.
  • Avoid straining. Your lower rectum veins will get more pressurized as you strain and hold your breath while trying to pass gas.
  • Exercise. Keep your body active to reduce vein pressure and prevent constipation.

Also Read: Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications


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